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Alumni: Salamanca’s Krantz Gets New Coaching Life Tonight

Barking instructions out to defenders from throughout the Southern Tier on Salamanca’s Veterans’ Park field, Chris Krantz seems right back at home.

Krantz hasn’t coached scholastic football in more than a decade. He left Southwestern High School before the 2003 season, turning the keys to a soon-to-be powerhouse over to his then-assistant Jay Sirianni.

Sirianni said it didn’t take much convincing to get Krantz back on the sideline for another game at the Don Raabe Big 30 Charities Classic.

“He’s pretty geared up about it,” Sirianni said. “When I asked him to help coach, he started telling me about the 1983 game.”

That’s when Krantz represented Salamanca as a Big 30 all-star after helping lead the Warriors to a perfect season and Section 6 championship. Krantz peps up when talking about the game, as he did after a recent practice in Salamanca.

“IT’S SYNONYMOUS with summer in the Big 30. It’s also synonymous with New York vs. Pennsylvania, and it’s synonymous with great football. It’s something that not only the players that are involved but the community both in New York and Pennsylvania look forward to.”

Krantz, who also coached the Kensington Lions North/South game in 2000, compared the Big 30 classic on a regional level to baseball’s All-Star Game.

“It’s a classic event,” he said. “It’s the all-star football game for the area, and I think people that don’t ever watch football come out for this game because it’s the best of the best and it’s New York vs. Pennsylvania. It’s always a great rivalry and a great night out for many people.”

Krantz has helped Kevin Salisbury, another former assistant of his at Southwestern, coach the New York defense.

“IT’S BEEN AWESOME. Chris hired me at Southwestern 15 years ago,” Salisbury said. “I have so much respect for him and it’s so much fun to be back with him with the energy that he brings and the excitement that he brings. I know that his heart’s been in football for so long and (with) his career path he’s been out of it, so I know how much this means to him.”

Krantz moved on to work as high school principal in Elmira for the last 11 years. He said the administrative duties rule out coaching for the foreseeable future, so while noting he may return “some day” he’s enjoying the weeks he’s had with the New York all-stars.

“It’s been amazing for me and I thank coach Sirianni and his staff for inviting me,” he said. “It’s been 14 years since I’ve coached high school players and it only took about 10 seconds to get back into the swing of it. It’s been just a joy for me.

“I go to the games (at Elmira). I don’t maybe know the rules. Coach Sirianni was telling me some rule changes here and there and it’s a little more spread open than I remember. But X’s and O’s don’t win the game. It’s still the fundamentals of blocking and tackling and execution, so that part hasn’t changed.”

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