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Spirited Pirate: New head coach brings passion for football to Palisades sideline


If you come to a Palisades football game this fall, it will be easy to spot new head coach Ramie Moussa on the sidelines.

He easily will be the most ardent, intense and enthusiastic coach. It’s easy to say that Moussa wears his emotions on his sleeve.

“I always have been very competitive since I was little,” said Moussa. “Most of it stems from having an older brother (Larry) and we were battling about everything.

“But it is the only way I know how to be. I can’t stand to lose at a game of cards. I want to get the most out of every situation and also from my players.”

The 30-year-old Moussa was selected to take over the program in late spring after he spent the previous eight seasons as the offensive line coach at Whitehall, where he played. It was also there where he developed a relationship with former head coach and current Palisades Athletic Director Brian Gilbert, but the connection between the two goes back even further.

“I first met Brian when I was a senior at Whitehall and he was the coach at Palisades,” recalled Moussa. “It was at a linemen skill competition in Lansdale and he introduced himself. A few years later, I was coaching for him.”

Moussa went on to attend Penn State University, but he didn’t play football there. When he graduated in 2011, Moussa accepted a job as a line coach at his alma mater under then coach Tony Tricia and continued on when Gilbert took over the following season.

Gilbert knew Moussa would be a good fit.

“He is a passionate football coach that wants to continue to improve every day,” said Gilbert about his hire. “He’s demanding, but he has seen what success has looked like. As a player and coach, he has seen what it takes to win. He won’t be outworked.”

Moussa also sees a strong connection between the two.

“When the job opened up, Brian gave me a call,” said Moussa. “It was an easy choice for me. Brian was very intense as a coach and that rubbed off on me.”

Palisades defensive coordinator Dan Caffrey, who coached with Moussa at Whitehall, has known him since they were both 5 years old. He knows Moussa’s intensity level and how to tone it down.

“We were good friends all through school and we coached the offensive line together at Whitehall,” said Caffrey. “I’ve seen him at his peak level, and I’ve told him to reel it in. That’s when he needs to regroup himself.

“He’s that type of guy. He puts all of his time and energy into everything he does. He tells it like it is, and he loves what he does.”

Moussa appreciates Caffrey’s guidance.

“We have known each other since kindergarten,” said Moussa. “He can keep me in line. He lets me know if I have to tone it down.”

Moussa admits that he doesn’t have any escapes from football. When he isn’t coaching, Moussa works as a supervisor for the Samuel Adams Brewery just outside of Allentown.

“When I am not at work, I am working on football,” he stated. “That’s it. I know I should step back once in a while, but I haven’t figured how yet.”

Needless to say, Moussa is anxious to take his first test Friday when the Pirates host Palmerton.

“I can’t wait to get going,” he said. “We believe we have had a good summer and the kids have been very responsive.

“We all want to work to be at our best every Friday night.”

The result may not always match the work behind it for the Pirates, but few can doubt the efforts of their new coach.