YORK, Pa .– Football coach Bruce Arians at York Catholic High School still remembers when the Arians walked past the track team and stopped near the high jump zone as they ‘he was on his way to baseball practice.

“These guys were struggling at 5ft 8in, 6ft and Bruce walks by, puts on his glove, still had his spikes,” said Paul Borsa, now 81 and long retired. “He came forward, followed the basics of a high jump approach, jumped over 6 feet with no problem, came back, took his glove and went to practice.”

The Arians also remembered that moment – Borsa “might have given me an extra foot,” he said. This was the first year that York Catholic had a track team, so he thought to himself: Why not give it a try?

York, two hours west of Philadelphia, is where Bruce grew up, where he met Chris – his wife of 50 years – in their sophomore year, where he ended up as a youngster. athlete and where he was first inspired to become a coach.

“You never forget where you’re from,” he said earlier this month, a week after his 69th birthday. “I like to come home when I can.”

Arians was born in Paterson, NJ, and briefly lived in West Virginia before moving with his family to York at the age of 8. This is where Lambert and Catherine Arians raised their five children: Dennis (two years older than Bruce), Bruce, Sister Kathy, and younger brothers Bert and John. Lambert worked as a machinist while Catherine had all kinds of jobs, from telephone operator to lineman in a candy factory to manager in a toy store.

Bruce and Denny, closer in age, were like “Mutt and Jeff,” the old comic.

“I was following my big brother all the time,” Bruce said. “I was very shy and he was talking to everyone.”

But on the playgrounds of York, Bruce has discovered his element.

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