Western Wayne officials have announced that McDonough will succeed Allen "Butch" Keller in Varden

On Tuesday evening at their regularly scheduled school board meeting, Western Wayne officials voted to hire Don McDonough as the new varsity football coach.

The district's veteran tech specialist and longtime grid assistant, McDonough will have the unenviable task of succeeding Hall of Famer Allen Keller.

"I'm very happy and excited for the opportunity to coach football here at Western Wayne," said McDonough.

"I plan on being here for a long time, so I hope I can bring some stability to the program. I'm going to do whatever I can to help our players succeed."

Keller announced his resignation at the end of the 2012 season. It was Butch's second tour of duty on the Vardens sidelines.

This one lasted five years and helped revive a program that had suffered a District Two record 41 consecutive regular season losses.

Keller's all time record after stints in Honesdale, Bishop O'Hara and Holy Cross stands at 219-179-4.

"I learned a lot from Coach Keller," McDonough said. "He gave me a ton of responsibility and I worked hard to live up to that."

Western Wayne will open up its 2013 Lackawanna Football Conference season with a Week One battle with Susquehanna.

Bit of Background

Donnie McDonough is a 2003 graduate of Western Wayne.

He played four years of football, then headed off to continue his grid career at Mansfield University.

Back then, the Mounties competed in the NCAA's Division II as members of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. They are now dedicated to "Sprint" football, which features smaller players and slightly different rules.

When McDonough attended, though, Mansfield had a long tradition of competitive PSAC action.

He played quarterback for three years at the varsity level, gaining invaluable experience and insight.

"By the time I was a senior, I knew that coaching would be part of my future," he said. "I hoped that one day I could come back to Western Wayne and help improve the program."

Now, nearly seven years since he did return to Varden, McDonough will get the chance to make good on that pledge.

After serving one year under Joe Blaum and five on Butch Keller's staff, Donnie feels he's ready for the biggest challenge of his young career.

"I got to work quite a bit with the defensive backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks," he said. "I think all that experience will definitely help me in the future."

Xs and Os

McDonough will strive to make his teams "tougher to scout" by mixing things up on offense.

As a former quarterback, he hopes to balance things out a bit more between the running and passing game.

"You can expect us to be a little more versatile on offense," McDonough said. "I'm a big believer in adjusting your scheme to the strengths of your players. Overall, though, I think we'll be passing a little bit more."

Defensively, McDonough espouses a philosophy that preaches attack rather than a "read & react" format.

"We'll definitely be more aggressive," McDonough said. "But, we'll also be keeping it simple. I'm huge on fundamentals, so we'll be stressing tackling, blocking and taking care of the ball."

Donnie McDonough and his wife Tiffany have been married for two years. They currently live near South Sterling.