Three weeks before he was to be inducted into the Pennsylvania Football Coaches Hall of Fame and the Metropolitan Erie Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, legendary coach Mina George has passed away at age 63, reportedly dying from a massive heart attack.
“Mina had a great impact on me as well as other coaches in the Erie area,” admitted Corry coach Homer DeLattre. “In 2003, my second year as head coach, Mina approached me after beating us 35-0 and told me to keep doing what I believe, continuing to work hard and be patient and things work out for me.
“That meant a lot to me as a young head coach, something like that I will never forget,” he recalled.. “This winter, I had the opportunity to nominate Mina to the State Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He was selected, and is going to be inducted at the Big 33 game June 19
“Girard and Corry has developed a great non-region rivalry and talking with Mina before and after the game has always been my favorite,” said DeLattre. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mina George and what he has done for football in this area.”
Coaching at Saint John Kanty Prep, then at Cathedral Prep and Girard, he had a reputation for producing tough, hard-nosed football teams, George's teams went a combined 230-126-2, including seven straight District 10 championships and a PIAA runner-up finish at Cathedral Prep in 1991, when he was named Pennsylvania Big School Coach of the Year.
After going 131-44-1 in 16 seasons at Cathedral Prep, George left for Girard in 1996 and turned one of District 10's lower-level programs into a winner. George led the YellowJackets to six playoff appearances and won or shared three Erie County League titles.
Born in Erie in 1946, George played football, water polo and baseball, swam and competed in track at East High School, graduating in 1964. He played baseball for his father, Ivan, at Gannon University, where he earned a B.A. in social studies in 1974.
His father, Ivan George, was a legendary area sports figure who died in 2005 at age 86.