Tony Fardella (December 3, 1931 – January, 2012) was a long-time and much-beloved football coach and teacher at Skyline High School.
Fardella was born and raised in San Francisco. He started coaching at Oakland High School in 1963 and then switched Skyline High School in 1969. He retired from coaching after the 1986 season, and retired from teaching in 1992. He led the Skyline football team to multiple OAL championships and several undefeated seasons. 1
"I was the first one in my immediate family to attend college because of Fardella. He was like that to everyone," Brown continued. "He opened doors for a lot of student-athletes." 2
- Theotis Brown, class of 1975. Played in college for UCLA, then the NFL for the St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs.
Fardella died unexpectedly of a stroke in January, 2012. His daughter Tania Fardella started a scholarship fund in his memory in 2014 to support Skyline athletes going to college and to support the Skyline football program. She is writing a book, Hey Star! The Life and Legacy of Coach Tony Fardella, which is due out in 2015.
Oakland blogger Zennie Abraham said: "I fondly remember serving as Coach Fardella's equipment manager while at Skyline High, where I was a member of The Class of 1980. I went out for quarterback and strong safety, but kept altering his defensive coverage plan and loved to draw football plays and wanted to get my ideas in, so Coach Fardella made the job offer. At that point, Coach was known for a rough approach, but I got to know the real man: very nice and compassionate. I discovered that when we went to play Fremont High School, but I completely forgot to bring the footballs! He turned as red as one could imagine but he also understood I was under a lot of pressure beyond what I was able to take at that point. He calmed down real fast. And I did get my play ideas in. One of them was a kind of confined reverse halfback pass out of split backs formation that we ran against Fremont High School,. It went for 36 yards and a touchdown. Coach Fardella knew how to read people—he cared. Coach used to say "ALL AMERICAN AT HOME, referring to the need for a linebacker to not leave his gap early. But the term had a lot of meaning in life, referring to the duties of a man to his family."
Links and References
- www.coachtonyfardella.com website
- Oakland: Scholarship fund named for iconic Skyline High coach Oakland Tribune December 24, 2014