HARRISBURG, Pa. – Terry Henry, Jim Kelly’s high school football coach, is being inducted into the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches (PSFCA) Hall of Fame Saturday, June 17, at the Red Lion Hotel in Harrisburg.
(Photo: Terry Henry (left) with his most famous player, Jim Kelly)
Henry spent two different stints as the head coach of the Bulldogs leading them from 1973-79 and 1982-83 for a total of nine season going 69-16-3, including 65-11-3 in his final eight seasons, with four straight Little 12 Conference titles (1976-79 with the 1976 and 1979 games ending in a tie). His East Brady squads also won Western Division Little 12 titles seven times – 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982 and 1983. He coached at the school prior to District 9 or the PIAA adding playoffs.
Henry, the Little 12 Coach of the Year five times (1975, 1976, 1977, 1982, 1983) led East Brady to a perfect 10-0 record in 1977 and a 9-0-1 mark in 1976.
After the 1983 season, Henry took his coaching skills to Seneca Valley High School where he spent 12 years at the Raiders head man going 84-48-4 with three WPIAL playoff appearance (1989, 1991, 1995) including a trip to the WPIAL Class 3A title game in 1989 where they lost to Aliquippa.
Overall, in 21 seasons as a head coach, Henry amassed a 143-64-7 record.
Henry joins another former East Brady coach in the PFSCA Hall of Fame, as Bernie McQuown, who also coached at Indiana and Kane as well as at IUP, was inducted in 1993.
Additional coaches who coached at Little 7-12/KSAC schools to be inducted into the PFSCA Hall of Fame include Harry Clark (Class of 1986), who coached at Reynoldsville and Reynoldsville-Sykesville as well as Central-Martinsburg, Charles Zoffuto (Class of 1989), who coached at Brockway, Rich Viduns (Class of 2003), who coached at Union, Clyde Conti (Class of 2005), who coached at Clarion-Limestone as well as Slippery Rock, Butler, Clarion University and Slippery Rock University, Larry Wiser (Class of 2011), who is still the head coach at Clarion having recently won his 200th game, Ray Reckner (Class of 2013), who coached at Brockway and Norm Zwald (Class of 2013), who coached at both Clarion and Ridgway.
Two additional coaches who coached at Clarion County schools before the conference was formed are also in the Hall of Fame including Robert Moore (Class of 1988), who coached at Clarion, Coudersport, Franklin and Philipsburg-Osceola) and Bob Pflug (Class of 1987), who coached at Keystone and Bradford.
“It’s a pleasure being inducted into the Hall of Fame with other coaches from the Little 12,” Henry recently told ClarionSportsZone.com. We had great games with Clarion and Clarion-Limestone through the years when I was coaching at East Brady.”
Henry will be presented for induction at that Hall of Fame by another Hall of Famer, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, his prized pupil, Jim Kelly.
Kelly is a 1978 graduate of East Brady High School where he threw for 3,915 career yards and 44 touchdowns and also scored over 1,000 career points in basketball while averaging 23 points and 20 rebounds as a senior. He went to college at Miami (Fla.) and then played in both the USFL for the Houston Gamblers and in the NFL for the Buffalo Bill. He led the Bills to four straight AFC Championships and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
“Having Jim present me makes my day even brighter,” Henry told ClarionSportsZone. “Through the years, we have become very good friends. If Jim could teach a class it would be titled ‘How to Treat Your Family and Friends’. Scott Berchtolder (former Vice President for Communication for the Buffalo Bills and now a special assistant with the team), just told me this past weekend ‘I don’t think there is any other player in the NFL that has a player/coach relationship like Jim and I.’”
Wiser, Clarion’s long-time defensive-minded coach, praised Henry for being ahead of his time with an offensive game plan.
“Terry Henry’s teams ranked as one of the Top 3 offensives I’ve ever coached against,” Wiser told ClarionSportsZone. “Terry coached when tendencies were more predictable than they are today. But, he would throw on running downs and run on throwing downs. When we met in the (Little 12) playoffs and his teams crossed the 50-yard line, he wouldn’t throw. But he would throw from his own end zone.”
Conti, the long-time C-L coach who helped put that program on the map during his two tenures at the school, first met Henry in 1973.
“He was 24 and I was 22,” Conti recalled to ClarionSportsZone. “The following year, our teams met in the Little 12 Championship game at Union High School. His teams were so well coached. The Kelly boys that Terry coached: Ray, Jim, Dan & Kevin were obviously outstanding athletes. There was a mystique to playing at Brady. Bud Stanley carried on the tradition when Terry left for Seneca Valley, but I missed playing the kids from Brady when they left District 9 (when the school closed). I’m so happy that he is finally receiving this long deserved recognition.”
Ray Reckner, whose Brockway teams were in the Little 12 and KSAC up through 1998, was coaching junior high for the Rovers when Kelly was playing for East Brady.
“When Jim Kelly was a senior, I saw East Brady play more than Brockway because of scouting,” Reckner related to ClarionSportsZone. “I returned with the same report, stop the Kelly brothers and we have a chance to win. Brockway lost only two games that year both to East Brady.
“I did work for six years with Terry at Jim Kelly’s football camp. He is an excellent coach and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I congratulate him.”
Kelly, himself, wrote a letter of support for Henry to be inducted into the PFSCA Hall of Fame.
In part of the letter, Kelly said “There is no doubt a winning record is what gets the conversation going as to who is eligible for any sports Hall of Fame induction. However, what’s equally as important is the devotion and sacrifice that is required to impact players lives. That is exactly what Terry Henry has done for me.
“Coach Henry has meant a great deal to me throughout the years, not only during my football career but my entire life.
“I have been around a lot of coaches throughout my career, and Terry is definitely one of the best. He exemplifies the definition of being a great coach, not just by talking X’s and O’s but by building relationships and always pushing his team to do their very best. He has enriched the lives of so many student-athletes through the game of football. I remember those tough days at practice and coach being on my case about work ethic, telling me to make sure I hang out with the right group of guys, and all those things that a young athlete may not WANT to hear, but NEEDS to hear. And because he earned the respect of his players, they paid attention. This is a message I continue to pass along at my annual football camp for kids.”
Henry is one of two coaches with District 9 ties being inducted into the PFSCA Hall of Fame this year. Bill Elder, who was the head coach at Williams Valley and Mount Pleasant, got his start as an assistant at Brookville.
In addition to Henry and Elder, the rest of the 2017 Class includes Walt Nottingham from Cambridge Springs, who was also an assistant at Venango Catholic when the school was in District 10, Ernie Fetzer of Westmont Hilltop, Somerset and Penn Cambria and Stan Kucharski of Scranton Prep, Mid Valley and Wallenpaupak.
The Hall of Fame induction is held in conjunction with the Big 33 Classic (Pennsylvania vs Maryland), which will be played Saturday at Landis Field, in Harrisburg, home to Central Dauphin and Central Dauphin East High Schools. The inductees will be introduced at halftime. Clearfield’s Ryan Lezzer was scheduled to play in the game.
The PFSCA Hall of Fame induction will be the fourth Hall of Fame Henry is inducted in. He is also a member of the Seneca Valley Sports Hall of Fame (Class of 2014), the Butler County Hall of Fame (Class of 2014) and the Heinz History Center’s Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame (Class of 2016).
Special thanks to ClarionSportsZone and Dave McClaine for allowing us to use parts of this story.