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St. Anne’s-Belfield School names Joe Sandoe new head football coach

Joe Sandoe
Joe Sandoe. Photo courtesy St. Anne’s-Belfield School.

St. Anne’s-Belfield School has announced former Pace Academy assistant Joe Sandoe as its next head football coach.

Sandoe will succeed John Blake, who stepped down this year after a 25-year run in which the program had a 175-75 record, won six state titles and had three alumni go on to play in the NFL.

Sandoe coached at Pace Academy under Chris Slade, a former first-team All-American at UVA who went on to a nine-year NFL career, and is now back at his alma mater as an assistant coach on the staff of new head coach Tony Elliott.

Sandoe had most recently served as assistant head coach, passing game coordinator, and wide receiver coach at Greater Atlanta Christian School, where he played a critical role in four region championships and three state semifinal appearances, helping guide the Spartans to 49 wins in the last five seasons.

“I am honored and extremely excited to lead the football program at St. Anne’s-Belfield School,” Sandoe said. “Not only does the school have an excellent tradition of strong academics and athletics, but my family and I felt an overwhelming sense of community while on campus. I am humbled to follow John Blake, who has successfully led the program for the last 25 years. His success is evidenced by the character his teams have shown and how they have competed with class. I am excited to bring my own style, energy, and values, and I hope to use St. Anne’s-Belfield football as a tool for developing our athletes, unifying our school community, and engaging the local city of Charlottesville.”

Sandoe served as a running back and wide receiver coach at Pace Academy under Slade from 2014-2017. During their tenure, the football team won the 2015 state championship, and had a player, Trey Blount, go on to play at Georgia.

“Joe was a great addition to my staff, always dependable, worked extremely hard and very knowledgeable about the game in all three phases,” Slade said. “But most importantly he is an honest man who cares about the well being of the student-athlete. Looking forward to watching him do big things at STAB.”

Sandoe is an alum of Dickinson College, where he was a four-year member and three-year starter in the football program. He earned his master’s in science education from Lebanon Valley College, and is expected to complete his coursework toward an Ed.D. in organizational leadership from Concordia University Chicago this summer.

“I am thrilled to welcome Coach Sandoe and his family to our Saints community. He has shown that championship level character development and championship level football are not only achievable, but complimentary. I look forward to the energy, hard work and commitment that Joe will bring to our program every day,” STAB Athletics Director Seth Kushkin said.

Story by Chris Graham


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