Steve Trivisonno had a goal when he graduated from Mentor in 1981.
“I knew when I left that someday I wanted to come back and help make this a great football
program,” Trivisonno said.
Thirty-five years later, he is still striving to keep the scarlet and gray among the elite of all programs
in the state of Ohio.
Along with success, innovation and consistency, Trivisonno has been a shining example of longevity
in a business that does not always show patience.
The man in charge of Mentor’s consistent and successful football program will lead his team on to
the field for the season opener Aug. 25 at Massillon Washington.
It will be the 21th time he has done so. In this his 21th season as head coach at his alma mater, Trivisonno is as passionate about the
game as when he played in the late 70s and early 80s at Mentor, and when he was a young up-and-coming assistant with the
Cardinals in the 90s.
“We’ve been lucky to have great kids, great coaches to work with,” Trivisonno said. “I can’t believe it has been 20 years. It seems like
Trivisonno left Mentor after graduation and went on to play defensive back at Bowling Green. After graduating from BG in 1985,
Trivisonno went to Madison for two years before returning to Mentor. He was an assistant under Dick Kirschbaum and eventually took
over for Mike Pavlansky prior to the 1997 season.
Trivisonno has 166 career victories, three Division I state runner-up finishes, he has coached two Mr. Football winners in the state of
Ohio and he has seen several of his players go on to earn D-I college scholarships.
A state title remains the goal and is always motivation, but Trivisonno says it does not define the program or his legacy.
“We want to be a consistent, successful football team and I think we have done that. And of course we want to bust our butts to win a
state title. That’s why you play. That’s why you work hard in January to get to play in December,” Trivisonno said.
“A state title is always the goal, but it isn’t the end-all if we ever win it or not. We work hard not only for ourselves but for all the guys
who came before us.”
Trivisonno has earned several individual honors during his tenure at Mentor and recently reached the 150-win milestone. As for what
starting his 21th season as head coach of the Cardinals means to him, Trivisonno didn’t take long to answer.
“It means I’m old,” he said with a smile.