To replace one of the most accomplished sports figures in its history, Bishop Timon-St. Jude has turned to a young man who has already cemented legendary status in Western New York high school sports.
Former Williamsville South and University at Buffalo star quarterback Joe Licata will succeed Charlie Comerford as athletic director and football coach at the South Buffalo private school. Licata takes over the positions vacated three weeks ago by Comerford, who resigned suddenly because he was unhappy with the school’s decision not to retain Michele Battin as principal.
In Licata – who set passing records both at Will South and UB – Timon replaced a big name with another. Licata said officials from the school reached out to him last week to see if he’d be interested in the positions.
They apparently left an impression on him, and vice versa, as the school announced the hire at 11:40 p.m. Friday night.
“All it took was one sit-down” with Timon’s search committee “to be all in,” said Licata, a history major with a minor in education who at this time last summer was preparing for his first NFL training camp with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent.
“It’s too good an opportunity to pass up,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to have an impact on kids, coach football and have an impact on sports (at the school).”
Licata, 24, graduated from Williamsville South in 2011 owning the Western New York career passing yards record (6,671). That mark was broken last season by St. Francis’ Jerry Hickson, but Licata still holds the WNY record for career passing touchdowns (87).
Licata went from wearing the blue and white of the Billies to the same colors with the University at Buffalo – where he set program records for passing yards and touchdowns.
Licata had a tryout with the Buffalo Bills in 2016 during a rookie minicamp before hooking up as undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals. He was released by the Bengals last Aug. 29.
Licata started his own…