renoTo better understand what happened in Steubenville, it is best to understand the man at the center of the Football program known as Big Red. That man is Coach Reno¬† Saccoccia well known as “Coach Reno.”

From the team website comes this brief biography of Coach Reno


Coach Saccoccia was born on August 18th, 1949, in Steubenville, and is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Rinaldo Saccoccia. He attended St. Anthony’s elementary and Catholic Central High School. After high school Reno headed to the University of Akron to pursue a degree in Education. Upon graduating from UA in 1971 he was hired on as an assistant at United Local by Sam Fornsaglio. He returned to Steubenville in 1977 to join the staff of Coach Bill Bohren. In 1978 Coach Sac took over the reins of Harding Junior High and quickly put his stamp of toughness and discipline to the young Bulldogs. In 1981 Coach Robert Hedmond was given the task of rebuilding the Mighty Big Red, and brought Reno back to the Varsity staff.

In 2007 the Harding Stadium field was named in Reno’s honor, thus it became Reno Field at Harding Stadium.

At the close of the 2011 season, Reno’s record is 302 victories and 53 defeats, 22 playoff appearences, 13 regional titles, 3 state runner-ups, and 3 state titles.

Coach Reno was inducted into the Ohio High School Athletic Association Hall Of Fame in the spring of 2009.

Coach Saccoccia is married to the former Patricia McGinnis, has 3 children, and 8 grandchildren.


It would appear that Coach Reno is something of a local hero, a local superstar. This indicates that he would be a hero to the team and the staff that works under him. He is a man that commands a lot of power and respect. The question, therefore has to be, why did the rape happen and is there something Coach Failed to do that contributed to it?

The next question that needs to be asked is How well is Coach Reno handling the aftereffects of the rape and is he doing anything to prevent something like this from happening again?

In my next segment I am going to attempt to examine what makes this man tick and answer the questions regarding his actions when dealing with the rape and what may happen to him as a result.

Stay tuned



  • REDACTED is a hot mess says:

    Agree I do feel that more should be done for the students on his team! But before he knew about the alleged rape who are we to say if those involved didn’t mention a word to him! Why would they, I know how mean coaches are an maybe no one said a word about the party hell just cause he is the coach doesn’t mean he knew thy even was parting. Now after he heard the news, he didn’t bench those involved also he actions would helpful as a coach those team mates look up to him as a father figure! He needs to have something a class on respect for girls an whats the definition of rape an if they see it report it! Easier said than done of course! Many say he should of been charged or resign I disagree he has a creditable record he has done alot for teen boys help he can’t be held accountable for 2 boys ! Out of all the hundreds of boys he has helped he can’t be in the lives 24/7 I’m sure he isn’t happy at all! But to hang every single person the moms n dads of the boys. When I was a teen my parents never knew I partied are we forgetting we lied to our parents! An who to say when e heard I don’t know the timeline when he found out. Was it after the game! I don’t know. Point we all just want the truth an justice for those who r wrong to pay for there actions an those who joked about it, sadly it’s not against the law. I keep seeing those deserve to pay arrest them! For what? Talking in camera that not a crime! I don’t agree I feel it should be but as of right now it not! If their so willing to hang everyone.if ppl want the law to change a bill will have to be passed

    • What I intend to examine as I continue discussing Coach Reno is what kind of ethics if any did he instill in his players. Junior and High School sports are part of a student’s education. He should be learning both team work and sportsmanship. There is also a certain set of morals that can be taught. Respect for your peers, and in this case, your peers of the opposite gender as well. My purpose is not to hang the coach or anyone else but to try and understand what caused the circumstances that led to the alleged rape and how the Coaching staff, the school and the citizens of Steubenville are handling the fallout.
      Out of a bad situation can come a good outcome. It is up to those who have the power to do so to work toward that end.


    • Tom says:

      I disagree with the comment about the coach not “knowing” or being accountable for his players. Look at Joe Paterno he died a “dishonored” man… He too had a life time of achievements (like Reno does) the fact of the matter is, it happened on HIS watch. And like Joe Paterno, Reno must have the same punishment. Did Joe Pa rape those boys? No Jerry Sandusky did. However because it was on Joe Pas watch, the field named for him and all his wins as coach were stripped and he was fired! Reno deserves nothing but that same treatment. He told his boys to delete evidence, he then told the principal that the boys would not be punished because “they feel they didn’t do anything wrong” well that to me shows first hand he should also be brough up on criminal charges!

      And FYI if you don’t know this coach you might want to google his past “character testimonies” given to his players! You will be surprised what turns up. The rape crew isn’t his first criminal he has gotten off by a testimony. Murder, armed robbery, etc… See for your self. Start with 2 college students from Fransican University being murdered…. Renos name comes up a bit???

      • My purpose in writing about Coach Reno is twofold. The first part has to do with how he coached his players and how he has been handling or not handling the fallout from the rape.
        The second purpose is to provide a place to start a dialog with those that have differing viewpoints on the coach and his part in the rape story as well as for suggestions as to what can be done. I am not here to take sides. I am simply doing what a lot of people are doing. I am asking why this happened and how to prevent it from happening again.


      • Concerned says:

        Interestingly enough I’ve seen that same quote attributed to one of the witnesses. Do you have a source for Reno saying that? If Reno told the boys to delete evidence why wasn’t all the evidence deleted? Why don’t you Google rape crew and let us know when you find something connected to any student and not some half-baked blog or news article putting words in their mouths?

        Both murder suspects got life in prison. Is that your idea of “gotten off”?

        I’m really not getting what your point is about providing character witness testimony. If you were arrested you wouldn’t want people who know you to attest to your character? Or you would rather have the prosecutor whose never met you or spoken to you tell the world what kind of person you are?

    • To the person who commented. I had to redact your username because it is in violation of an agreement I had made not to mention the name of a certain party negative or positive. Someone implied that your name is similar to that party. I am not in favor of such censorship, but my hands are tied. I am bound to this agreement even if others are not. Please abide to the rules of this blog in the future.

      • Tom says:

        Concerned, you are correct the (2) did get life…. The 3rd went on to finish playing football, baseball, and eventually armed robbery to list a few… He was there during the murders, had part in the murders and was an accessory at the LEAST. The point in bringing that up was to show that this instance (rape crew) was not the first time Reno has gotten his boys off.

        Your right again by saying if “I were arrested” I certainly would like someone to provide a statement on my behalf. However the point I was makin is this whole thing could have and probably would have been swept under the rug, if not for the media attention. The media attention was not there during the murders and shows a possible cover up much like this one could have been.

  • Concerned says:

    There was no evidence of any third party being present at the murders. The murderer tried to implicate others but they were cleared by police. How did you determine their “guilt”?

    The boys were arrested in August long before any media was involved. It COULD HAVE been “swept under the rug” but it wasn’t. They spent two months in detention before getting a probable cause hearing, and haven’t even been convicted. Your argument is weak. Much like the story that Reno told them to delete evidence. If he had, there would be no phone pics. Which leads to the next crazy story that everyone there should be charged. If you don’t have any witnesses and no evidence, how can you prosecute? Read the court testimony. BCI was unable to retrieve photos on some phones that boys ADMITTED they had taken. If they were “covering up” they would deny they ever took photos.

    I imagine if you ever get accused of rape, your standard of “proof” will be much higher than a few tweets found online. Using the current logic, there are a few hundred tweeters that should be arrested since they are all talking about it and seem to “know” things that the police don’t know. They were probably there and participated. They are all rapists. See how that works? Are you talking about something you witnessed or are you just talking about something you heard? Think long and hard about that.

    You didn’t answer my question about the “rape crew” lingo. Did you find the evidence of any student calling themselves the “rape crew”?

    • Concerned says:

      I’m giving up on any response now. It’s obvious you have no facts to argue your point.

      • TruthSayer says:

        I just comment on your Mitigating Rape blog saying that I thought you were being told what to say and I come to this blog about Reno and I now and sure that is exactly what is going on. Have you bothered to find out for yourself about Coach Reno, Murt? Have you bothered to Google his name and read all of the good things the man has done? Did you make any phone calls or talk to other on Twitter or Facebook that know him? Do you realize that Reno did nothing wrong with this case? In fact, he did everything right.

        I don’t know who Tom is, but it sounds like has his own personal agenda. Be careful, Murt.

        • The important thing you have to understand here is that I am not a reporter. I am a blogger who writes based on his OPINION and take on a given subject. I had decided to comment on who the coach was based on what I have been able to find on the internet. I also did talk to some sources who came forward through e mails and so forth who also gave me some insights. One of the reasons that I had not continued to go into the subject of Coach Reno is the lack of information in which to use to go over areas I had intended to write about.

          I have an off line life that has been busy of late. This is a small blog with no influence. If I was a major media outlet with a vastly larger audience, I would then be able to do the kind of article you might expect me to do.

  • TruthSayer says:

    It doesn’t matter how big or how small your blog is, some people that read here will believe what you are staying. I have no problem with opinion blogs as long as it’s made clear that it is just an opinion.

    For the record, when all the Steubenville stuff started, I personally read many articles on Coach Reno. He has been honored and seems loved by his football players. I gained respect for the man.

    • I had planned on examining both sides to the story of Coach Reno. At the moment I have been too busy to go further with my articles and have stopped until I can find the time to write the series. There have been cases in the past where a highly respected athletic leader has somehow gone down a path that led to mistakes of one kind or another. What I was trying to do is explore how and why the alleged rape occurred, if the coach and his staff could have done anything to prevent it and if there is something the staff, school and the public can do to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

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