Saia takes a 'break' from coaching

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Benny Saia won 110 games and four district championships in his 15 years at Dutchtown. Photo by DKMoon Photography.

When Dutchtown High School created their football program, they put their trust in Benny Saia to lead it.

Saia quickly made sure the school wouldn’t regret its decision as he built the program brick by brick until it became one of the most consistent football teams in the area.

From producing multiple college and professional athletes, to completing regular seasons undefeated, to winning multiple district titles, to making deep playoff runs, it all happened on Saia’s watch.

Now, after 15 years of leading the Griffins, he’s ready to hand the keys over to someone new.

“I feel extremely blessed and honored to have worked at Dutchtown for the last 15 years with great people and a great program,” Saia said. “I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world, but I also believe this is an opportunity for someone else to bring new ideas to the Griffins program.”

Saia decided on Monday to step down as Dutchtown’s head football coach and athletic director. Although, he said that he’ll still be around.

“I’m still going to teach. I’m going to see how I feel being away from coaching for a while,” Saia said. “Who knows? Maybe I’ll be miserable by next week. And if that’s the case, I’ll come back to coaching sooner, rather than later. Maybe I won’t be miserable, so I might decide not to come back.

“I’ll just have to see how I feel after being away for a while. I just felt that I needed some time away. After coaching for 31 years, I thought it was time for a break.”

In his 15 seasons, he compiled an overall record of 110-55. This included four district titles, a streak of 11 straight playoff appearances and three trips to the state quarterfinals.

Saia has had the pleasure of coaching some amazing players. Fifty-six of them have gone on to play college football.

Three have gone on to become Pro Bowlers in the NFL. These three standouts are 49ers defensive back Eric Reid, Giants defensive back Landon Collins and Packers running back Eddie Lacy.