Erik Becker, the former offensive coordinator at Hand who spent last year at Choate, has accepted the head coaching job at Coginchaug he confirmed Tuesday.
“Honestly, this is a place I’ve always wanted to be,” Becker said Tuesday after finalizing the hire with the Coginchaug administration. “I probably had my eye on this job for years.
“It’s a great town with great kids who work really hard and they’re really pass about foortball and I’m just so grateful for this opportunity.”
Becker, who has been teacher and part time administrator at Westbrook High School since 2012, will be the fourth coach at Coginchaug in as many years.
He takes over for Steve Croce, who resigned after one season to take a coaching job at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Mass. Croce was hired to replace Nick D’Angelo, who resigned in protest midway through the 2015 season.
John Bozzi was the last long term Coginchaug coach. His tenure was ended in 2014 after the the Blue Devils reached the Class S quarterfinals.
Coginchaug has won five games over the last two seasons, including a 1-9 last year.
“I really believe in the power of football to impact positive life lessons on young men,” Becker said. “To me it is the ultimate game for that reason.
“My No. 1 goal here is to serve the student athletes, the parents, the administration and give them the most positive high school experience that I can.”
Becker, 39, has spent seventeen years as a football coach, a majority of that time spent as an assistant coach at Hand, his alma mater.
He was a freshman coach for six years and later became offensive coordinator in his final six years. He helped coach the Tigers to two Class L state championships in 2011 and 2012. Hand 56 games during his tenure and set numerous school records for offense. Hand had four all-state quarterbacks and six all-state wide receivers under his tutelage.
Last season, Becker joined Madison native and Hand graduate L.J. Spinnato at Choate. Becker coached quarterbacks and was the pass game coordinator. The Wild Boars went 9-0 and won the NEPSAC Class A championship for the third-consecutive year.
Becker is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts with masters degrees in teaching from Eastern Connecticut State and Southern Connecticut State.
Becker said current defensive coordinator Peter Ladas, who came over from Berlin to coach alongside Croce, will remain on staff as “my right-hand man.” Ladas has been working with the program throughout the offseason. “He’s done unbelievable work with the team over this last year,” Becker said. “He’s been working with the kids throughout the summer.”
“There’s obviously no such thing as perfect timing,” Becker said of his late hire. “But if the planets line up as they should, I think the future’s really bright.”