The progress made in four years by New Milford coach Larry Badaracco is no more evidenced by how the Green Wave signed off the 2017 season — a 37-0 win over New Fairfield to reclaim the Candlewood Cup and finish the season 4-6.
It turns out that’ll be Badaracco’s parting gift to the program.
Badaracco resigned after four years with the Green Wave, informing his players during a meeting Wednesday. Badaracco went 16-25 during the spell, including 13-17 the last three seasons.
Badaracco — who teaches and will continue to do so at the school despite the decision — left the program to spend more time with his family, he said.
“I think it’s time for me to move on from New Milford,” Badaracco said by phone Wednesday. “I think we did a lot of good things the last few years, and established a good program. For me, I just need to be there more for my family, my kids are getting a little older.”
New Milford’s youth setup is consisted of two programs — the Green Wave and the Bulls — the lack of cohesion from the top down was another factor in the decision to step back, albeit a minor one Badaracco reiterated.
The 2006 Western Connecticut State University graduate hopped right into coaching with the Colonials before moving on to the high school ranks. He joined New Milford in 2013 as an assistant and took over the head coaching role when John Murphy abruptly resigned in 2014.
He moved quickly to apply his fingerprint on the program, which included a high-octane offense that refused to punt regardless of the situation. Onside kicks were as common as deep shots down the field, too.
New Milford went 4-6 this season, which included its first win over a team with a winning record (Weston) since 2006. Turnovers in a few close losses is all that separated the Green Wave from their first winning season since 2008.
“Offensively we scored a ton of points and defense finally came together,” Badaracco said. “The best memory was probably the last game we played against New Fairfield; that was our first win in November and our first shutout as a team.”
Badaracco said he hoped to return to coaching in the future.
“Those kids they very hard are eager to be successful,” Badaracco said. “I’ll still be here for the seniors in terms of recruiting. It’s not easy to do something for four years, to put all your effort in and walk away.”