Licata hired as AD and football coach at Timon – Buffalo News

Bishop Timon-St. Jude announced late Friday night that former Williamsville South and University at Buffalo star quarterback Joe Licata has been hired as athletic director and football coach.

Licata takes over the positions vacated by Charlie Comerford, who stepped down as coach and AD three weeks ago because he was unhappy with the school’s decision not to retain Michele Battin as principal.

“I am honored to join the historic and strong athletic tradition of competitive toughness that Timon is known for,” Licata said in release. “I appreciate the significance of the Athletic Director position at Timon and that I will be following in the footsteps of legendary Timon Athletic Directors such as Mel Palano, Jim Palano and Charlie Comerford.”

Licata, 24, graduated from Williamsville South in 2011 owning the Western New York career passing yards record (6,671), a mark broken last season by St. Francis’ Jerry Hickson. Licata still holds the WNY record for career passing touchdowns (87).

He went from wearing the blue and white of the Billies to the same colors with the University at Buffalo – where he set program records for passing yards and touchdowns. He helped the Bulls reach a bowl game in 2013.

“We’re very excited to have him,” said Ted Overdorf, a former chairman of the board at Timon who was part of the search committee headed by board vice chairman Dr. Steven Hietanen. “He’s a terrific young man. He presents himself very well.”

Timon hopes to reap the benefit of Licata’s personality and enthusiasm since this will be his first job not only as an administrator but also as coach of a team.

While that seems daunting, it’s not something foreign to the Licata family. Licata’s father, Gil — who is currently the principal at Starpoint, was in his 20s when he was hired as athletic director and basketball coach during the 1980s at Turner/Carroll.

“I’m very lucky I have a great support system with people willing to help me,” Licata said Saturday morning. “I’m not doing this alone. I know I have people in my corner who want to see Timon succeed.”

Licata had a tryout with the Buffalo Bills in 2016 during a rookie minicamp before hooking up as undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals. He was released by the Bengals on Aug. 29.

Licata recently served as a radio co-host of the Tim Graham Show. Licata also started his own business, Joe Licata Football Inc., to help “improve the level of football in Western New York” and to help athletes reach their full potential.

According to the press release, Licata has “already hit the ground running” and plans to reach out to parents and athletes at the school to chart a course for the football team and the Tigers’ sports programs.

The plan won’t include a trip to Odessa, Texas, as Timon’s Week Four contest against Permian has been canceled. Licata also confirmed that the season-opening road game at national power Buford (Ga.) and the Week Two contest at Toledo’s Central Catholic have also been canceled. He declined to give a reason.

Two of Timon’s top players from last year also won’t be back with the program.

Two-time All-Western New York first team lineman Jeremiah Sanders — considered the best at his position in the area — has transferred back to South Park for his senior year. He helped the Sparks win a state title back in 2015.  Junior wide receiver Juston Johnson also plans to transfer, according to his older brother Des Randall.

That move is mostly due to Randall’s decision to step down as Timon’s basketball coach earlier Friday, but the uncertaintly surrounding the football program prior to Licata’s hire also played a role in Johnson’s decision, according to Randall.

Then there’s the status of quarterback, Connolly Cup finalist and first team All-Western New York selection Matt Myers, who recently verbally committed to attend University at Buffalo — Licata’s alma mater. Will Myers return to Timon or transfer to his home school district in West Seneca?

Licata declined to comment on the roster because he still hasn’t met members of the team, something he plans to do Monday during his first day in his office at the McKinley Parkway school.  But …

“I love Matt,” Licata said. “I think he’s the best quarterback in Western New York. I would love to work with him but he has to do what’s best for him and his family.”