Dunmore’s Vic Fangio Named New Head Coach of Denver Broncos

By Steve Svetovich

Patience and long hours of hard work pay off. Dunmore’s Victor Fangio, 60, is living proof. And for the 1976 Dunmore High School graduate it took 40 years.

That’s 40 years of coaching experience that finally took him to the top of the helm.

Son of Alice and the late Victor, Sr., Fangio, the former Dunmore High School safety-wide receiver was named head football coach of the NFL Denver Broncos last month (January 10).

His mom, the former Alice Kozlowski, 92 and very spry, continues to reside in Dunmore. And her reaction?

“Well, I was thrilled for him,” she said. “He was finally recognized. He can do the job. And the Denver Broncos recognize it.”

Fangio, who played football at Dunmore under the legendary Jack Henzes, is known as a man of stature but of few words.

So it is not surprising to hear how he provided the news to his mom. “He called me after the word got out,” she said. “He said he got the appointment. And that was about it. He does not show any emotion. He is not that type.

“A lot of people in Dunmore called with their congratulations.

“I am just sorry his father was not here to see this. It has been a long road.”

The mother of the new Denver Broncos head football coach has four sons, one daughter, 20 grandchildren and two on the way.

One of Fangio’s brothers, Tony, is retired and lives in Colorado Springs just one hour from Denver, Colorado. “He will be close enough to see Vic a lot. I hope to get there to a game myself during the warmer weather.”

Fangio returns to Dunmore occasionally in the off season and gathers with friends often at Ragnacci’s Restaurant in the borough, said his mom.

“His friends are proud of him. He has many of the same friends he always had in Dunmore. I am getting a lot of calls from them.”

Former Dunmore Councilman Paul Nardozzi roots for the New York Giants, but is a huge football fan who knows Fangio and follows his career. “I’ve known him for many years and he is so deserving of that position,” he said. “It took a lot of years of hard work and perserverance. Being from Dunmore, he truly displays Dunmore pride. I am very happy for Vic.”

bucksAfter playing football and graduating from Dunmore in 1976, Fangio was a defensive coordinator and linebackers coach under Henzes at his alma mater from 1979 to 1981.

He took on a position as defensive coordinator at Milford Academy in Connecticut in 1982.

In 1984, he was defensive assistant for the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars of the USFL.

He received a big break in the NFL coaching ranks when he was named linebackers coach for the New Orleans Saints in 1986, holding the position through 1994.

He was the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator from 1995 to 1998.

Fangio was the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2001.

He became the Houston Texans defensive coordinator from 2002 to 2005.

Fangio became special assistant to the head coach and defensive assistant for the Baltimore Ravens from 2006 to 2008.

He became the Ravens linebackers coach in 2009.

He became defensive coordinator under Jim Harbaugh at Stanford University in 2010.

He followed Harbaugh to the San Francisco 49ers in 2011 when Harbaugh became head coach there. Fangio served as defensive coordinator under Harbaugh from 2011 to 2014.

The 49ers under the coaching of Harbaugh and Fangio, led the NFL in forced turnovers (36) in 2011.

Vic Fangio with BearsFangio was released from his contract shortly after Harbaugh was let go by the 49ers in January of 2015.

Fangio then took over as defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears from 2015 to 2018.

Fangio’s coaching helped the Bears lead the NFL in forced turnovers and interceptions this past year. The Bears were second defensively in yards per play, first in scoring defense and third in total defense.

Fangio, who was interviewed last year for the Bears head coaching position, received much of the credit for Chicago’s defensive resurgence this past season.

He was honored last month by the Pro Football Writers Association as the NFL Assistant Coach of the Year.

And now off to Denver as he continues making his mom and Dunmore proud.

Dunmoreans of the Month: Patti and Bob Montalbano

patti and bob. maltabanojpgThe Scranton Chapter UNICO National has announced that Patti and Bob Montalbano of Dunmore will be honored as the UNICANS of the Year for 2018 at the organization’s annual Charity Ball to be held Saturday, Feb. 23, at Genetti’s Manor, Dickson City.

Melanie Naro, chapter president, made the announcement, saying, “The Montalbano’s have been a terrific volunteer team since they joined.” Ms. Naro said. “We are thrilled to honor them for their contributions.”  

Mary Marrara, Charity Ball chairperson, added, “We are thrilled to honor them for their contributions.” She notes that the event is open to the public. Reservations are required and may be made by calling (570) 499-1534, or contacting Ms. Naro, Chris DiMattio or any Scranton UNICO member.

Patti Montalbano was born in Scranton, daughter of Alfonso Giambrone,  and the late Lucy Coviello Giambrone. She graduated from St. Anthony of Padua Grade School, Dunmore; St. Paul’s High School, Scranton, and received her Registered Nurse diploma from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, Scranton, University of Scranton and a bachelor of science degree from Trinity University.

Certified by the National Nurse Certification Association, Patti’s hospital nursing career was spent in Obstetrics, Newborn Nurseries, and the Neonatal ICU.   She then moved on to Community Health Nursing at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. She was a member of several health-related networking groups in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.  She also was a part-time Hospital Clinical Instructor in Newborn Care at Penn State University’s Scranton Campus. Patti retired from the Pennsylvania Department of Health as the School Health Consultant (covering 59 school districts) following 25 years of service.

Patti joined the Ladies Auxiliary to the Scranton Chapter UNICO National in 2006 and then the Chapter proper in 2009. Committed to the work of the Auxiliary, Patti, with the help of other dedicated members and support of  the Board of Directors of the Scranton Chapter, was instrumental in the reorganization of the Ladies Auxiliary in 2011-2012. She was president of the Auxiliary, serving for three consecutive years, She then joined the Auxiliary Board of Directors and was chosen again to be president.   

unicoFor her service, Patti received the Al Dante Award in 2012, which recognizes extraordinary volunteerism and service. Assisted by her husband, Patti cochairs the Scranton UNICO Friday Bake Sale at St. Joseph’s Center Summer Festival.   

Bob Maltalbano was also born in Scranton, son of the late Pellegrino and Lucy DeMaio Montalbano. Bob attended Dunmore schools, graduating in 1963 from Dunmore Senior High School. Bob served proudly for four years in the United States Air Force stationed at Bunker Hill Air Force Base, Indiana, where B58 bombers were maintained and training flights were performed during the Vietnam War.  

After discharge, he was employed by Printcraft and Spotless Cleaners, then went on to employment at Emery Worldwide as the Mail/Communications Office Supervisor.  While at Emery, Bob was on the Board of the NE Postal Customer Council.

During this time, Bob organized an annual golf tournament with the proceeds going to St. Francis Kitchen, Scranton and St. Vincent dePaul Kitchen, Wilkes Barre. Bob retired after 33 years at Emery.

Bob joined UNICO in 2004 and quickly became active in working to support fundraising efforts.  After learning from the best, Pat Yanni, Bob took over the organization of cooking the porketta for the Scranton UNICO stand at LaFesta Italiana. He continues to enjoy cooking and slicing with the team of dedicated men and women.  

Bob also served on the Board of Directors for several years.  He received the Chapter’s Presidential Award in 2015. Bob served as a Presidential Aide to Chris DiMattio, during his tenure as UNICO National President in 2010-11, accompanying Chris on his travels to many UNICO National events throughout the year.

Bob and Patti met each other during the winter of 1968 and were married during a snowstorm in November, 1969, in St. Anthony of Padua Church, Dunmore.   The ceremony was performed by Rev. John Turi, then Chaplain of Mercy Hospital. They continue to be parishioners of St. Anthony’s where Bob is a member of the Holy Name of Jesus Society. Patti is a member of the Altar and Rosary  Society and serves as an Extraordinary Minister of Communion at Mass and to the home bound.

Bob and Patti are the proud parents of daughter Lori Montalbano Nozzi and her husband, Michael Nozzi, and grandparents to puppy, Lola. Bob has two brothers Benjamin, John (deceased) and a sister, Santa. Their daughter, Lori, is also an active, dedicated member of Scranton UNICO and the Ladies Auxiliary.

Moriah Murray Making Huge Impact as Freshman

Co-Athlete Moriah MurrayBy Steve Svetovich

With all of the great basketball players in the area, who would ever think the leading scorer in Lackawanna League Girls’ Division III would be a freshman? But she is.

And she is also the leader in free throw percentage (.881) and 3-point shooting (2.8 per game).

Dunmore freshman Moriah Murray leads Lackawanna League Division III with an average of 16.9 points per game.

And it’s a sure bet the local basketball scene will be hearing her name for the next several years.

Daughter of Joseph Murray and Lynn Plotkin, Moriah said she has been playing basketball ever since she remembers learning to walk and run.

Only 15, the talented freshman said she has been playing in AAU travel basketball leagues “all of my life.”

With her team 15-0 (7-0 in the division) at press time, Moriah made an immediate impact on an already strong team under Dunmore veteran coach Ben O’Brien.

“Coach O’Brien taught me to just be myself,” said Moriah. “He told me to never be nervous. Just relax.”

Likewise, the Dunmore freshman guard said her parents teach her the same. “My parents always tell me to be myself and everything will be okay.”

Moriah, who often plays point guard, also averages about four assists per game. A pin point 3-point shooter, she takes pride in excelling at the foul line.

“That comes with practice,” she said.

Moriah currently plays AAU basketball for J.B. Hoops.

“AAU basketball has been a great experience for me,” she said. “But playing for Dunmore on the high school level is a whole different ball game.”

Versatile and hard working, Moriah also is a shortstop-pitcher as a softball player. She has a 91 academic average and is a member of the French Club at Dunmore High School. Her favorite academic subject is math.

Moriah said her freshman year at Dunmore could not be going any better. “I love Dunmore. It has been a great experience so far. I love playing basketball here. Dunmore is such a great community.”

Moriah talked about the success of the team. “We are successful because we trust each other. We have been playing with each other our whole lives. We played three-on-three, biddy basketball and AAU together. Our whole lives we have been together.”

The sharp shooting guard said she enjoys music and would like to see Travis Scott in concert.

Moriah said one of her goals is to play college basketball.

Her immediate goals? “That would be to keep getting better one game at a time. We just want to keep getting better and go as far as we can. We can really get it all together if we do that.”

And the simple reason for her own success as a starting freshman guard on the best girls’ basketball team in the area? 

“Practice a lot.”