Warren's Cody Bupp (left). Photo submitted.

Bupp Has Hit the Ground Running as New Warren Football Coach

May 26, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – Cody Bupp bleeds blue and white.

Bupp, who starred on the gridiron and track for Warren Area High School, was recently named the head football coach for the Dragons.

Bupp takes over for Mark Morelli, who went 29-29 in his six seasons, including a 27-21 over the last five campaigns.

“I couldn’t be more proud to be chosen as the next leader of this program,” Bupp said. “The passion I have for the program, the school, I’m just really excited to get this rolling. The community support is incredible and I want to make sure we connect the community with these young student-athletes.”

Bupp served as an assistant under Morelli and is also an assistant with the Dragons’ track and field program.

“I give a lot of credit to coach Morelli,” Bupp said. “He really stabilized the program and got things going in the right direction. We’re going to have a young team this coming season, but the kids are understanding of what the expectations are for the program.”

Bupp has hit the ground running after being approved two months ago.

“We’ve been at it pretty much non-stop, with 20-25 kids in the weight room three days a week,” Bupp said. “We have an after-school session and a later session, and that’s really helped out. We’re also going to have a mini-camp at the end of May, the 30th, 31st, and June 1. We’ll kind of see where we’re at.”

The Warren Dragons stand for the national anthem before a game last season. Photo submitted

So what can fans expect to see from a Bupp-led football program?

“We’re going to be fundamentally sound, a team that doesn’t beat itself,” Bupp said. “The one thing I want to get back to is having an identity. When you play Warren football, you know what it’s going to look like. We’re getting back to running the football. We have some excellent guys coming back in Tommy Nyquist (running back) and Eric Dippold (quarterback) on offense, and after that, a lot of opportunities for kids to step up. We want to play that smash-mouth football.

“Defensively, we’re getting back to assignment football, plugging gaps. And I’ve always had a passion for special teams. We’ve had games in the last few years where we’ve won because of special teams and that we’ve lost because of special teams.”

Bupp has coaching in his blood. His father, Mark, was a highly successful softball coach at WAHS, winning multiple District 10 championships. Bupp also credits his time and mentors at Penn State with helping prepare him for this opportunity.

“My dad would be at the top of the list as far as mentors go,” Bupp said. “The passion of wanting to see student-athletes excel was something he passed down to me. You’re either all in or all out. The expectation is that everyone is going to be all in. He had that passion for teaching. Not many people have the opportunity to have a role model in their life like that.

“There’s a lot of people I have to thank along the way. My senior year at Penn State, this was something I knew I had a passion for. Amanda Lehotak and Joe Guthrie (with Penn State softball) opened my eyes to so much and allowed me to see what it takes to build a program among alumni and the community.”

All-in-all, the opportunity is something Bupp is grateful and excited for.

“I want to thank Mr. (Jeff) Flickner, Mr. (Jeff) White, and Mr. Josh (Vincent) for helping me through the process,” Bupp said. “I had a couple of conversations with coach (Toby) Shea at the golf course (before he passed), and he asked me what is the one thing that all Warren players have in common. And he pointed to his heart. That’s a proud tradition I want to carry on.”

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