By BUBBA KAPRAL
Times Leader Managing Editor
He is only 30 years of age, but Matt Nardo has scripted a football coaching resume that belies his youthfulness.
The former St. John Central two-sport standout has landed another new college grid assignment, continuing to work up the coaching ladder. Nardo was named a defensive assistant at the University of Pikeville. The Kentucky-based NAIA institution is located about 90 minutes from Charleston (W. Va.).
Nardo, a 2005 graduate of Ohio University, comes to Pikeville after serving as wide receivers coach for the Marietta College Pioneers the past two years.
"It is nice now to be able to offer scholarship money to recruits, instead of just relying on financial aid packages," Nardo said. "I enjoyed my time at Marietta but I am moving up to a higher level of college coaching."
Pikeville brought its football program back 12 years ago. The Bears are members of the Mid-South Conference, which includes Georgetown, Cumberland, Bluefield (Va,), Kentucky Christian and Lindsay-Wilson.
"In addition to hands-on coaching, I will be heavily involved in recruiting," Nardo said. "Ohio, Florida and the western portion for Kentucky will be my responsibilities."
Prior to Marietta, Nardo spent three seasons as a coach at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School in Spring Hill, Fla.
During his tenure, he spent the first two seasons as the defensive coordinator before being promoted to head coach in 2010. Nardo coached five all-conference performers and the first 1,000-yard rusher in school history during his time with the Hurricanes.
Nardo was a graduate assistant coach with Muskingum University from 2005-2008. While with the Muskies, he coached two All-OAC defensive linemen and the 2006 OAC linebacker of the year.
He began his collegiate coaching career with a three-year stint at Ohio University where he served as a student assistant coach.
Nardo earned a Bachelors of Science in Sports Science from Ohio University. He then received his Masters of Arts in Adult Education from Muskingum University in 2007.
Nardo enjoyed a stellar playing career at St. John's. He was a starter as a junior for the 9-1 Irish of Mike Rose in 1999. It remains the only Green grid squad to make the playoffs.
He was also a standout baseball player for SJC.
Nardo sees Pikeville as another step up the collegiate coaching ladder.
"I will keep paying my coaching dues, Nardo said. "I hope it leads to be coming a coordinator and eventually a college head coach."
Matt's brother, Bryan, is co-defensive coordinator at Emporia State. Their dad, Perry, is assistant baseball coach at Shadyside High.
Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader online.com