By Mike Kern
MIKE PETTINE, simply put, was the best. For over three decades, his Central Bucks West football program was the measuring stick. Not just in this area but well beyond.
His record was 326-42-4 in 33 seasons, which included four PIAA state titles. Before playoffs, he had several teams that were considered mythical state champions. He won the last 45 games of his career before stepping down after the 1999 season. In the 1980s, the Bucks put together a 55-game unbeaten streak.
Friday morning, Pettine, 76, suffered a fatal heart attack while playing golf with friends near his winter home north of Tampa, Fla.
“It’s just devastating,” said Mike Carey, who played for Pettine in the 1970s and was his longtime righthand man before succeeding him for one season. “I’m just numb. It doesn’t make any sense. We talked all the time. He was much more than a great coach. He was a true friend and mentor.”