BRUNSWICK — Leaving home is never easy, but that’s what Joe Francescangeli will be doing.
The Brunswick boys track and field coach announced Wednesday he will step down to accept a teaching biology and anatomy position at North Royalton High.
“It was tough,” Francescangeli said. “It was an incredible experience to have the opportunity to come back to my alma mater to teach and coach. I couldn’t have asked for a better environment to start my career, but I’m looking forward to what the next challenge I have ahead for me.”
The 30-year-old just completed his fourth season teaching in the Brunswick High science department. He also has spent five years coaching track, along with stints on the football and cross country staffs.
Francescangeli has spent the last two springs as head track coach, guiding the girls squad in 2016 before switching to the boys team this season.
The chance to advance his professional career was enough to pull away the former two-sport athlete at the school.
“I had to do my best to separate my emotions to thinking about my professional development, and I saw this opportunity,” said Francescangeli, who added he would like to coach at North Royalton but has no position at this time. “I saw this as another opportunity to grow and develop into a stronger teacher.”
A 2005 Brunswick graduate, Francescangeli was a two-time All-Gazette running back as well as sprinter for the track team. He played for the College of Wooster, switching to wide receiver and earning team captain in 2008.
He spent three years as an assistant with the Blue Devils’ track team before taking the head girls job, helping the team to a district title and regional runner-up finish. This spring, he guided the boys team to a fourth-place district finish.
While Francescangeli will be trading in his Brunswick attire, it will be tough to take the community out of him.
“It was awesome,” he said of teaching and coaching at the school. “With the coaching staff there, I formed a lot of great relationships and learned a lot from the veteran coaches that have had success. I absorbed a lot and took in as much as I could from the distance program to the sprints and the field.
“To take what it’s been like to be an athlete and then coach at Brunswick, to wear the blue and white and be a Blue Devil, and then to coach kids that had the same mentality — tough, hardworking, good student athlete — it’s been a great experience and I’ve learned a lot.”
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