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Penn Football Coach Ray Priore Takes On Second Job as Pizza Delivery Driver


Photo by Alex Fisher / The Daily Pennsylvanian

In celebration of the new partnership between Penn Athletics and Papa John's Pizza, it was announced Sunday that Penn football coach Ray Priore will take on a full-time role in the delivery of pizzas to the Penn community.

Priore already has experience with the food delivery process from his "Pizzas with Priore" campaign, during which he arrived at the houses of unsuspecting students with seemingly fresh pizza, so he was a natural choice to serve as a new employee.

"We're pretty limited in what we can do as a team right now, so I figured this was a good way to spend my free time. Catch me here Mondays through Saturdays, 4 p.m. until 12 a.m.," Priore said from his car window in between deliveries. "Plus, now I qualify for Phase 1B in the vaccine rollout as a food distribution worker."

Since the team's last season was canceled, Priore has tried his luck at a number of other jobs that start with P — plumber, paramedic, even pirate — but pizza deliverer was the one that just felt the most right.

One wholesome highlight of his trips has been being able to see his players in person for the first time since last March, when COVID-19 made regular practices and gym sessions impossible.

"We just ordered pizzas last night, and we were shocked when Coach Priore showed up like 20 minutes later," senior linebacker Brian O'Neill said. "We always talked about bringing the 'juice' on the field, and when he showed up with some apple juice, that was a nice touch."

"It felt like a prank at first, but then we all got fired up seeing him again," junior wide receiver Ryan Cragun added. "I wish we had more than a few minutes to talk, though, because he had to rush to make his next delivery."

Despite his success in the new position, Priore's days with Papa John's may be numbered. With the return of spring sports last week — after more than a year off — and with millions of vaccines being administered nationwide, it's looking likely that Penn football will return to Franklin Field for the fall season.

Priore will have a difficult decision: return to the program he's been a part of since 1987, or see how far this exciting career pivot will take him.

"I can't commit one way or another at this point," Priore said on his way home after a particularly busy weekend. "On one hand, I want to Puck Frinceton more than ever before, but there's something about giving back in the form of pizza delivery that just feels like it's where I belong."

Despite the recent hot water in which Papa John's has found itself embroiled, it remains to be seen if Priore will stick with the large chain over other smaller establishments. In a recruiting twist, Priore is rumored to be the hiring target of local favorites Allegro Pizza and Zesto Pizza. The two restaurants could not immediately be reached for comment.