It wasn’t an easy decision for Tim Swaller to leave his alma mater after a decade of coaching, but in the end, it made sense to move on and coach in the same town he worked in.
Swaller, 38, left Foran after 10 season to become Stratford’s head coach. The appointment was made official Friday morning.
“It was a tremendous experience being at Foran. Mr. (Anthony) Vitelli ( Foran’s athletic director) and the Foran administration has always been extremely supportive of me,” said Swaller, a physical education teacher at Bunnell and a teacher in the system for 15 years. “When the job was posted at Stratford, it made sense (to apply), but it wasn’t an easy decision by any means.”
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Swaller becomes the third coach from the Southern Connecticut Conference to leave in the last month, after Cheshire’s Dan Lee and Hand’s Frank Rossi, neither of whom went on to other jobs.
Swaller is a Milford resident.
“We had over 30 applicants for the job and all of our finalists would have been a good fit. Ultimately, Tim’s lengthy head coaching experience and his knowledge of our community were decisive factors in his selection,” Stratford principal Jack Dellapiano said in a release put out by Stratford Friday.
Nowhere in the release did it mention the man Swaller is replacing. Paul Dudzinski, who resigned abruptly in February during his 19th season at the helm, won two state championships with the Red Devils’ program.
“Stratford has a great basketball tradition. The program has been extremely successful over the years,” Swaller said. “I hope to continue to build upon that success in the years to come.”
Not only does Swaller move to the South-West Conference, but he also gets to face his former mentor. Swaller coached with Pat Yerina at Bunnell before coming to Foran.