D’Agostino balances life as teacher, coach & dad


Drew D’Agostino

by Michaela Brining

Mr. Drew D’Agostino is more than just a Phys. Ed. teacher at Shaler Area High School. He is a loving father, a husband, a coach, an art collector, a fisherman, a car enthusiast, a Jack Black look alike, an intellectual and an overall great guy.
Growing up, D’Agostino was very involved in many activities. He played the saxophone, studied hard and got involved in wrestling. In the high school, D’agostino was an All-American athlete and was recruited by Slippery RockUniversity.
Originally D’Agostino is from New York. He grew up on the border of New York and New Jersey, which explains his unique accent. After high school, he moved to Pennsylvania to attend Slippery Rock.
After attending Slippery Rock, he started working at Shaler Area in 1992 as a wrestling coach and was hired in 1998 as a teacher.
Prior to his employment here, D’Agostino was a Division One wrestling coach at Central Connecticut State University. When his father became ill, he moved back to Pennsylvania to finish his degree.
When D’Agostino moved here, he had many interesting jobs while still trying to finish school.
“I was a bike messenger. They don’t have those anymore. I’d pick up packages and bring them from one company to another. I didn’t have a driver’s license until I was 30, so I rode my bike everywhere,” he said.
After years of working at many different places, D’Agostino was eventually hired as a wrestling coach at Shaler Area.
“I was a freshman at Slippery Rock in ‘85. I busted my neck wrestling my senior year, so I went back to Jersey for an MRI and found out I had a break in my neck. That’s what ended my wrestling career and why I started coaching. I was in New York for a year then I went to Connecticut for two years,”  D’Agostino said.
While at college, D’Agostino took a long time figuring out what path he wanted to take.
“I started off majoring in Pre-Med/Sport Medicine. It took too much time and I just wasn’t able to do all of it with wrestling. Also, I was an art major for a year, but I just didn’t have any, you know, talent. I just wasn’t the best student, the first time. The second time I graduated with a 4.0.”
Due to neck injuries, D’Agostino eventually left Slippery Rock before finishing his degree. However, he returned multiple years later and decided to acquire a degree in Education. His father was a teacher, along with many of his other relatives, so he figured education would be the degree to pursue.
While D’Agostino attended class at Slippery Rock, he was also hired as the wrestling coach at Shaler. Once he finished his degree, he was eventually hired as a physical education teacher. However, after years of coaching for the district, D’Agostino decided it was time to stop this year.
“I started having some issues with my neck again this summer and I thought I was going to have to get surgery. Since wrestling is a hands on sport, I didn’t know if I could keep doing it with coaching. I’m also the head coach of the Pennsylvania State Wrestling team and I travel a lot through that, especially during the summer. I’m trying to do some international stuff as well. It just became too much.”
Although D’Agostino’s coaching career might have ended at SA, he still keeps busy with many activities such as camping, fishing, kayaking, collecting art and fancy cars and going to his camp in Pymatuning. However, he devotes most of his time to what is most important to him: being a good father.
“I’ve been married to my wife for 22 years and I have two sons, AJ and Andrew who both went to Shaler…I don’t believe in daughters. Don’t put that down. But I do have a canine daughter, Rosy. My dog is trained in jujitsu,” he said.
Many teachers never have the opportunity to teach their own kids, but D’Agostino had both of his sons in class.
“It was cool having my sons in class. It wasn’t weird at all. I would mess with my son AJ, who has autism, by calling him Anthony everyday and he would always think it was funny.”
D’Agostino has enjoyed his time working at Shaler Area, saying he appreciates how connected the school is and how amazing all of the students are. One of D’Agostino’s biggest accomplishments is being a “semi-good teacher at Shaler”, however, D’Agostino believes the relationship with his family is what he is most proud of.
“My biggest accomplishment in life is my sons,” he said. “I’m proud of my boys. Having a healthy relationship with my wife for the past twenty two years is a good accomplishment. And, like I said, being a semi-successful coach and educator here is also one of my biggest accomplishments.”