- Post by: mcalibrary
- January 3, 2024
- Comments off
Being able to adjust and make changes is a quality all of us would like to have. No one was able to use this ability as well as Rob Varano. Robbie came on to the Mount Carmel athletics scene as a sophomore and broke into the starting lineup as a defensive back for coach Jazz Diminick. Later that season, he became the first sophomore to ever win the Mike Terry Award for his play against Shikellamy.
At the start of the 1983 season, the Tornadoes were in need of a defensive end. Up stepped Varano and over the next two seasons was responsible for 24 quarterback sacks. The 24 sacks established a new career record at MCA while his 13.5 sacks during the 84 season marked a new season high. His 218 career tackles were good enough for 5th place on the all time list at the time. As a captain during the 84 campaign, Rob led the Tornadoes into the Eastern Conference playoffs for the second consecutive year and won the Terry Award for the second time in 84, this time as a defensive end.
Varano also competed in baseball and basketball while at Mount Carmel Area and served as captain of each sport while earning 10 varsity letters. His versatility and excellence in the classroom earned him a scholarship to Lehigh University.
At Lehigh, the coaches considered using him as a linebacker, defensive back or tight end as a freshman but he was considered too small to play the position. Rob then adjusted to the situation by improving his speed and earned the starting job as a wide receiver in his junior season. Rob established Lehigh records for receptions in a single game (14) and in a season (78). His totals, along with 1,131 yards receiving were good enough for second in the nation in Div. 1AA in 1989. At the time, his 152 career receptions was a Patriot League record and his 2, 388 yards in receptions ranks 2nd all time at Lehigh. His play allowed him to be named a 2nd team All American by Sports Network and 3rd team by the Associated Press. He was named a GTE Academic All American second team performer and was named the Patriot League’s Scholar Athlete of the Year. Following graduation, Rob was invited as a free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL.
Rob then returned home and began work at the Varano Agency in Mount Carmel, but soon realized that a law degree was in his future. He attended Widener University and has since established his own office in Mount Carmel. Rob has continued to teach as a member of the Mount Carmel Area coaching staff and has been responsible for the receivers since 1994 and was instrumental to the 81 and 15 record enjoyed by MCA over the past 7 seasons.
Today, Rob joins his father Robert – a 1994 inductee into the hall of fame – as a member of the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. He also joins high school classmates Mike Diminick and Maria Fantanarosa as members of the hall. Rob is married to the former Lisa Balitchik and is the father of 3 children; Robbie, Allison and Nicole.