Mistretta named Livonia coach

Advocate file photo by HEATHER McCLELLAND -- Guy Mistretta will coach Livonia this season. Show caption
Advocate file photo by HEATHER McCLELLAND -- Guy Mistretta will coach Livonia this season.

When Guy Mistretta resigned as head football coach/director of football operations late last year he had no immediate plans to become a head coach again.

That changed when his friend and former Redemptorist colleague David Brewerton left Livonia to become head football coach at Zachary last month. Livonia introduced the former Redemptorist and Dunham coach as its new head football coach Tuesday afternoon.

“The plan was for me to go be a coordinator some place for two or three years and then maybe look for a head job,” Mistretta said. “When this job opened up, I talked about it with my wife. It’s the kind of job I’d want, and I thought what if I waited and a chance like this wasn’t there. So I went for it.”

Mistretta succeeds Brewerton, who led the Wildcats to a Class 3A runner-up finish last fall, along with semifinal (2012) and quarterfinal (2011) appearances before that.

Mistretta coached Redemptorist to the Class 3A state title in 2005. He spent the past two seasons at Dunham.

Mistretta has a career record of 85-35. Dunham was 6-4 last fall, including a berth in the Division III playoffs.

“Through my friendship with Dave I knew what Livonia was about,” Mistretta said. “We talked on a regular basis.

“The foundation he put in place was similar to the same one we used at Redemptorist. And it’s the same things I used at Dunham.”

Livonia Principal Stacy Gueho said there were 30 applicants for the job and 10 finalists were interviewed.

“We had some good candidates,” Livonia Principal Stacy Gueho said. “We (Livonia search committee) felt like coach Mistretta was the best fit for our program.”

Mistretta said the hiring process moved quickly, noting he was interviewed by Gueho and the search committee Friday.

A 1987 Redemptorist graduate, Mistretta spent 18 years coaching at his alma mater. He served as defensive coordinator under current Central coach Sid Edwards when the Wolves won state titles in Class 3A in 2002 and 4A in 2003.

Mistretta later succeeded Edwards, spending seven years as the Wolves head coach, compiling a 70-18 mark. Brewerton also was an RHS assistant on Edwards’ staff.

“I just got out of a meeting with the coaches,” Mistretta said. “The ideals we had at Redemptorist, emphasizing grades and a positive attitude were plastered on the walls. Everything has a familiar feel.”