The BandiERA: meet Mayfield’s new head coach


Chris Schmidt

Bandiera (right) is honored and prepared to take the position of his mentor Coach Pinto (left).

Joe DeNardo, Chief Editor

The Mayfield football family was proud to introduce Ross Bandiera as the new head coach on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Bandiera’s hire is a tad bittersweet as it followed the announcement of beloved Larry Pinto’s retirement after 18 seasons at the helm of the program.

Bandiera is prepared to continue steering the ship in the right direction.

“The continuity of our staff had a lot to do with me being appointed to this position,” Bandiera said. “We’ve always done a great job of getting the most out of our kids and that’s only through the hard work of our staff.”

Bandiera’s 12 years working with Pinto made him qualified to step into this new role.

“Coach Pinto’s legacy will always be as the greatest in Mayfield history,” Bandiera said. “If I had to chase that I’d never be able to accomplish what I want for this program. He’s a mentor and a father figure who’s groomed me to take on this job.”

Pinto’s last two seasons brought deep playoff runs but Bandiera isn’t afraid to deal with the high expectations.

“We always lose a core group of seniors, this year especially,” Bandiera said. “It’s important for those underclassmen to step up into that leadership position, and that’s what is going to bring us to success levels of recent years.

“My work with Coach Pinto over the past seven years as basically an assistant head coach has me ready to deal with all the additional issues,” Bandiera said. “The way we’re going to win games is through communication on all levels—our coaching staff, trainers, and players need to be in tune with our mindset.”

The Wildcat football staff is excited about the renewed energy from the hire of Bandiera, including assistant coach Mike Pinto, son of Larry Pinto.  Mike showed great enthusiasm when describing the man chosen to carry on the tradition of winning at Mayfield.

“Ross is the perfect fit as the next head football coach,” he said. “He has been my dad’s right hand man for several years now.  He understands the Mayfield way and has been a crucial member of the coaching staff since 2003.”

Mike Pinto wasn’t quick to conclude his praises for the Bandiera hire.

“Coach Bandiera’s understanding of the game of football, love for the Mayfield community, and his ability to get the best out of his players are attributes that will help him succeed in his new role as head football coach,” he said. “I wouldn’t expect any big changes from the football team as we head into next season.  Coach Bandiera has all the skills to guide this program in the right direction.”

Bandiera’s new job is also very popular among players who will be playing for him next season.

Junior running back Michael Canganelli is very excited about the Bandiera hire and is glad Mayfield chose a coach who cares about the school and community.

“I think it’s a great thing that they chose Bandi to be the next head coach,” Canganelli said. “For me it’s the best possible situation because of how much he’s worked with me for the past two years.”

Canganelli will be the Wildcats go-to offensive option in Bandiera’s first year, and he’s prepared to fight for every yard to help prove that the right move was made.

“He’s a guy I’m willing to lay it on line for,” Canganelli said. “Next year’s my senior year and now I’m more pumped than ever to do my best on Friday nights.”

The excitement lays dormant for the winter but come autumn the stands will be rocking with Wildcat spirit.

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Bandiera said. “I have been and always will be a Wildcat and this is the only place I want to be.”