Bill Paolantonio was the coach of Conestoga from 1955 to 1972. During these eighteen years that “Mr. Pal” was head coach, the Pioneers won 147 games, lost only 34, and tied 7. Bill retired from coaching in 1972 after winning his sixth league crown.
Paolantonio played football at Radnor High School graduating in 1938. Bill then spent four years in the US Army during World War II before enrolling at Elon College in North Carolina. He was a four-year starter graduating in 1947. After college, he played professionally “for a brief period for the Charlotte Clippers and Greensboro Patriots.” He started his coaching career at North Coventry High School before coming to Tredyffrin-Easttown and Conestoga. Bill’s teaching career spanned a total of forty-five years primarily as a social studies teacher and then later as an assistant in the athletic office.
Behind his success stood some old principles-loyalty, trust, dedication, teamwork, and unselfishness. Former, long-time Conestoga Coach John Vogan, who played under Bill, said that Pal would say, “Success has a price, and that price is hard work, execution, and consistency. It’s who blocks better; who tackles better.” For Paolantonio, football was meant to be direct and uncomplicated-unyielding and fundamental. Coach Pal would say that they didn’t have skill positions back then; it was single wing football; and that they had only five or six basic plays and ran them each way.
Along the way, Coach Pal not only made kids into good athletes, but he made them good people by the time they left, teaching them the old principles that would be with them forever.
To honor their father and to give back to Conestoga, the Paolantonio family has donated a scholarship in the name of William Paolantonio o the TE-Conestoga Football Association which will be given annually to a football senior who has demonstrated having these core values. Through this scholarship, the family wants to emphasize the importance of appreciating the past, celebrating the present, and looking forward to the future. Thus the Bill Paolantonio Loyalty Scholarship was created.