Gateway Sports Hall of Fame | Walter 'Pete' Antimarino Biography
|(L) Coach Antimarino takes in the Aug. 14, 2004 Butler Scrimmage. (C) Coach Antimarino circa 1987. (R) Coach Antimarino watches the Gators take on Ringgold on Oct. 31, 2003.|
Pete Antimarino was born in Pitcairn PA, and graduated from Pitcairn High School in 1943. Pete participated in football and baseball during his high school years. One of the highlights of Pete's scholastic career was co-captaining the 1943 undefeated football squad coached by J.C. Allen. Pete was the starting fullback on that memorable team, excelling in blocking and hard running.
In 1943, with our country involved in World War II, Pete entered the U.S. Air Force where he served his country for 2 years. Upon returning to Pitcairn after the war, he joined the legendary "Pitcairn Mohawks." During the 1946 and 1947 seasons, Pete quarterbacked the formidable Mohawks to two consecutive undefeated campaigns under the direction of Joe "Nozzle" Borovick.
In 1948 Pete followed his high school coach J.C. Allen to the deserts of New Mexico to attend Highlands University (now known as New Mexico State University) where Allen had become coach. Pete became an all conference quarterback at Highlands while earning his degree in education. After college, Pete decided that he wanted to focus his energy on coaching.
"It's the greatest thing that ever happened to me' said Pete, upon accepting a teaching and coaching position in his hometown in 1952. He coached at Pitcairn for two years as an assistant under Chuck Klausing, and when Klausing left for Braddock High, Pete moved into the head coaching slot. From 1954 through 1957 his Pitcairn teams were a solid 20-13-1.
When Pitcairn and Monroeville merged to form Gateway School District in 1958, Pete became Gateway's first football coach. In that inaugural year, the Gateway Gators were 7-1-1, a sign of good things to come.Under Pete's leadership the Gators football team accomplished many milestones in Gateway High School's first 32 years including:
After 38 years of teaching and coaching, Pete announced his retirement from Gateway High School on January 17, 1990 after compiling a 36-year head coaching career record of 256 wins and 93 losses, and 13 ties. But Pete did not stay retired for long. In April of 1990, Pete received a call from England to coach the Walsall Titans. He and Katy spent five years coaching football, American Football that is, and sight seeing across England and enjoying British hospitality. Katy often remarked that the "Brits" played their best football at the "Pub" after the game!
Upon returning to the states, Pete took on another coaching position as an assistant at Carnegie Mellon University for a two-year stint. Pete found Carnegie Mellon to be a perfect way to wind down a long, successful coaching career and satisfy a desire he always had to coach at a college level.
Pete credits his "hometown folks" for much of his success since it was they who provided him with his start in teaching and coaching at Pitcairn High School way back in 1952. Pete loves to bump into old teammates, coaches, players and fans and reminisce about the great Mohawk and Gator teams and get reacquainted with old friends. Today Pete spends much of his time serving at St. Michael's Parish in Pitcairn, relaxing with his wife, his children and their families, gardening, participating in alumni activities and golfing. After a long and distinguished coaching career, Pete is finding retirement off the field as rewarding as his time spent on the gridiron fields of western Pennsylvania.We asked Coach Antimarino his most vivid memory of Gateway High School Athletics:
"Winning the game against Altoona was the best thing that happened to me in my coaching career. This AA Championship crown was a double victory. It gained the AA crown and it elevated our school district to the greatest heights in high school football. This most exciting victory pulled us to the top. It will never be forgotten. It provided confidence for future teams and it was a game, quoted by some, as the greatest high school football game they had ever seen. The score was 22-15 in favor of the "Gators."
"It made believers of many, that we were of this caliber. This great victory convinced many high school fans that Gateway was the new powerhouse in the W.P.I.A.L."