He retired as an 8th Grade Social Studies teacher at East Haven Middle School in December 2008, "The Coach" resides in North Branford with his wife Brenda. He has 2 sons, Matthew and his wife Debbie and their daughter Rebecca living in Old Saybrook, and Jeffrey, who lives in Wallingford with his wife Cory and sons Samuel and Nathan. The Coach received the Gold Bat Award from the West Haven Twilight League in 2005
On September 27, 2007, "The Coach" was inducted into the New Haven Gridiron Club's Hall of Fame. In March of 2008, he was honored by the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors with the Distinguished Service Award - Outside the Field of Athletic Administration.
On March 13,2009, the Coach will receive the Alumni Appreciation Award from SCSU and on March 29th, he received the Chapter Merit Award from the Gene Casey/New Haven Chapter National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.
Also, on November 3, 2008, Coach was honored by the March of Dimes as an Elm City Legend at the Omni Hotel in New Haven.
Banner Championship Games at the Ingalls
All 3 Championship Games this year at the Ingalls Rink were fantastic. All 3 were exciting from start to finish. Great goaltending, pinpoint passing, phenomenal scoring plays highlighted the games, PLUS the crowds were huge and intense. The games had to be moved this year because Yale was home during the ECAC Hockey Tournament, Instead of playing games on Friday and Saturday, the games were played on 3 different days. Saturday afternoon's Div. 3 Champoionship started things off and this one was a dandy. Newington/Berlin/Manchester won the game 1-0 but was exciting from start to finish. Division 3 hockey has come a long way and I like the wide open style of play, plus the crowd was the biggest one for a D3 Championship to date.
The Division 1 Game came next and the Ingalls was sold out - usually is for this game - and this year it was the 4th meeting between the 2 teams - and the same team had won the first 3 - make it 4 as Fairfield Prep won the Title again.
And finally it was time for the Division 2 Game - I mean playing this game after the D1 game - who would come or who would care. But the parents and students did come - a huge crowd and they were treated to a Classic. The 2 teams left it all on the ice. Again the wide open style of play made for yet another exciting game. The game was tied as the final seconds ticked off. Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe was buzzing around the net. The Mustangs thought they had scored the game winner but the goal was waved off after a discussion by the officials as time had expired before the puck went in. The call was indeed correct as the green light came on which meant time had expired. The red light, which indicates a goal, cannot come on if the green light goes on. So all was well.
But in the OT, Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe came out flying, buzzing around the net, and then after a scramble in front, it happened! The official awarded a Penalty Shot because someone covered up the puck with their glove in the crease.
So the D2 Championship came down to 1 shot! Warde/Ludlowe, the 13th seed, scored the game winning goal on a Penalty Shot.
I wonder if the CIAC might think to play the Championships on separate days again.
It Just Doesn't Get Old
The CIAC State Hockey Tournament comes to the Ingalls Rink at Yale once again, and for my mind, it just doesn't get old. The High School Hockey world will descend on Ingalls Rink for some great hockey games, Many times the Semifinals are even better than the Championship Games. Teams leaving it all on the ice trying to get to the Big Dance. The atmosphere is electric, the play on the ice intense and it shouldn't be any other way. Just to get to the Ingalls is quite an accomplishment for these teams. I applaud them all. If you get a chance, check out the Whale in New Haven, where High School Hockey will be alive and well as 3 Hockey Champions will be crowned.
My Favorite Holiday
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It has been my favorite one since I was a young boy. No, it's not just the great food that I eat(although it doesn't hurt) but it's the fact that I can spend the day with my family after of course broadcasting a high school football game and going out to breakfast with all my colleagues discussing the games of the day.
High School Football and Thanksgiving Day go hand in hand. Years ago it marked the end of the season. Today, Thanksgiving Day means teams trying to make the Playoffs, getting into the 2nd season.
The football season now has been extended into December, much to the dismay of the winter coaches who now may have to wait for some players still on the gridiron.
This year, 20 teams have secured playoff spots leaving 12. Some teams control their own destiny - win and get in - while others must win and will need help from other teams.
By early Thursday afternoon, 32 spots will be filled, Their 2nd season will begin the Tuesday after and who knows what can happen then.
So enjoy Thanksgiving Week, high school football, great food, but most important - your family and be thankful you have them. I know I will.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Let the Football Season Begin
Another High School Football season is about to begin. Scrimmages have been taking place all over the state and now it is time to begin the season. Every team starts the year 0-0. But that ends quickly.
WELI will begin coverage of High School Football on Thursday, September 13 when Hillhouse visits Foran in Milford and on Friday night, it's a battle of Indians when Guilford takes on North Haven at Vanacore Field in North Haven.
Scores will be rolling in from all over the state. Which teams get off to a good start and which teams will be 0-1 and searching for answers. The fun and excitement begins and goes all the way to the championships in December.
Which teams will make the "Big Dance" and stand tall in the end. Let the fun begin!
OK, Let's Get Ready for the Fall
Alright, I guess Summer is almost over and it's time to get ready for the Fall. That means school will start up again and another year of high school sports will get underway. Soccer, Cross-Country, Field Hockey and yes Football all will begin. Teams have already begun practicing and scrimmages will begin soon. It is an exciting time, it always is, when a new season gets underway. The anticipation of the first game breeds excitement - one that never gets old and one that gets me all the time. So get the fields ready, the equipment checked, and the schedules posted - Fall is coming and so are High School Sports - Football coverage begins on 960WELI, 960WELI.com and iheart radio on Thursday, September 13 and will go right through to the Championships in December. And so it begins!
Don't Rush the Summer
A lot of people I talk to bring up football - can't wait for the high school season to start - hey I love it too and I can't wait until it starts, but please, don't rush my summer - there are still some big baseball games to be played at all levels, from Little League to American Legion. There are several Connecticut teams with chances to make the World Series at their level. The American Legion regular season is over and the State Tournament is underway. In fact all the regular seasons are over, including Little League.
It's Tournament Time - seems too early to talk about All Stars,but that's the way it is nowadays - thank goodness there are some Little League Administrators who run tournaments for the non All Star players - baseball fields should be flooded everyday with boys and girls throughout the summer.
So let's not rush away the warm weather and the baseball games. They'll go by fast enough. The football season will be here soon enough.
For now, for me, it's baseball, softball, warm weather, hot dogs, hamburgers etc., and oh yes - vacation and lobsters.
Summer is here and I love it. I really don't mind the hot weather at all. I used to love playing baseball and then softball all summer long. As a young boy, I played baseball all day long, took a break for lunch, and then played more baseball, couldn't get enough. When I was growing up, there was no travel baseball. You played in your leagues, had the playoffs, limited All-Stars and that was it. But I relished every minute. Now there are travel teams, all-star teams, non-all star teams, you name it - there's a team or league for it. Boys and girls today have so many more opportunities and they should take advantage of them , provided they want to pursue their sport.
So another summer is upon us. Little League Playoffs are underway - the roads to the State, Regional and World Series games are open. Could one of our Conn. teams make it to the Big Dance?
American Legion baseball is going strong. The new rule now says a team must be 3 games over .500 at the end of the season to qualify for the tournament. I think this new rule will drastically cut down the number of teams qualifying - but maybe that's their intention. It's still great baseball.
So let the summer and hot weather begin. I love it. Remember, you don't have to shovel rain.
Bring on the American Legion and Little League Seasons
The High School Baseball and Softball sesons came to an end this past weekend. Congrats go out to Amity, Rockville, Rocky Hill and Coginchaug for winning State Titles in Softball. Rocky Hill finished as the #1 team in the Final NH Register Softball Poll. I can't argue with this choice at all. As a matter of fact, I voted them as my number 1 team.
Congrats also go out to Shelton, Fitch, Plainville and Cromwell for winning State Baseball Titles. It was a great yet unpredictable season in baseball as well as softball, which made it that much more exciting.
Now it's time for American Legion Baseball. This is great baseball and I look forward to covering it. It's a short season. Teams play so many games in such a short time. If you get any rain, teams will have to play everyday or play doubleheaders. But I love it and so should the players.
The Little League season is well underway. As a matter of fact, the regular season is basically over in most cities and the league playoffs are underway. You know why that is. The All Star Season will be starting soon. I look forward to covering that as well. Could this be the year for an area team to make the World Series in baseball or softball? We'll see.
The High School Football season officially begins Wednesday when Seymour takes on O'Brien Tech in Derby(isn't it ironic the game is there since O'Brien used to co-op with Derby) and then Thursday, there are a handful of games and obviously Friday and Saturday a slew of games. I'll start my coverage in Milford Thursday when Sheehan visits Jonathan Law and Friday it will be Amity at West Haven. The Road to the State Championships commences. We'll have scores of other games as well throughout the season.
One week during the season, the listeners will have a chance to pick the featured game of the week by voting on our website and facebook.
So who will make it to Rentschler Field in December? We start to find out this week. 960WELI, 960WELI.com, 101.3FMHD3 and iheart radio - your home for HS Football.