William Floyd’s legendary head football coach Paul Longo surpassed a personal milestone – 212 wins – the most for all public high school football coaches in Suffolk County with a 37-15 victory over Ward Melville at home in the driving rain, appropriate weather for a coach whose teams have fought adversity with grit and determination throughout his tenure. Coach Longo’s historic run began in 1995 and his program has been a model of excellence that shows no signs of slowing down. This victory propelled Coach Longo past Joe Cipp Jr.’s 211-career victories (Bellport High School) for the top spot in Suffolk County public school programs and trails only St. Anthony’s Rich Reichert (266 parochial school wins).
Under Coach Longo, the Colonials have won 13 Suffolk County titles in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020 along with five Long Island Championships in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2012. The Colonials will begin their quest for a 14thSuffolk title and 6th Long Island Championship on Saturday, November 6, at 1 pm, as the No. 2 ranked Colonials taken on No. 7 Brentwood, a team they beat two weeks ago at Brentwood 24-0.
“It comes down to the hard work by the players,” said Longo when asked about his team’s consistent dominance. “We do different things to get better every day. I am lucky to surround myself with great coaches and we always get tremendous support from the parents and school administration. I believe all of that is the recipe for us to be successful.”
There have been many great players that have come and gone throughout Coach Longo’s tenure. High school sports will always have constant player turnover, exemplifying how the William Floyd football program’s consistency has been all the more impressive. “We always look for high character players. They are always the easiest guys to coach and typically emerge as the leaders of the team as they grow into seniors,” said Longo. “I try to monitor them the best as I can and help them off the field.”
A 27-year successful coaching career has created lifelong memories along the way. With so many to choose from, Coach Longo said the 42-game winning streak including three undefeated seasons and three straight Long Island championships stand out. “That was an amazing accomplishment. I have always been very proud of that,” he said.
Coach Longo also reflected on a particular game during the 2010 season against Sachem North. “We had lost 40-6 in the first game of the year and we just kept improving and we were able to upset them in the county finals…that was a game I will never forget.”
A 27-year run and counting for any head coach at any level quite an accomplishment; it also includes induction into the William Floyd Athletic Hall of Fame after the 2019 season. Coach Longo does not see himself hanging it up anytime soon. “I still love it. I love the kids, the parents and everybody in the district and as long as I am healthy and they allow me to keep going – I still have the same enthusiasm and put in the same effort as I did in 1995 – as long as I am able to do that, I would like to go as long as I can.”
As for the Colonials this season, Longo expects his players to step up as they head into the postseason.
“We have lost some All-Long Island type of players and we really need other guys to step up and so far they have been doing that. We have faith in our younger players, we will work with them and look forward to competing for another Suffolk title and hopefully Long Island championship,” he said.
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