Dan Donovan says he couldn’t see a way to satisfy all of his responsibilities. Something had to give. Unfortunately, that something was football.
Calling it “one of the toughest decisions I ever had to make,” Donovan on Tuesday resigned as Danbury football coach after five seasons.
“It’s time,” said Donovan, who is the principal of the Freshman Academy at Danbury High School. “I had three full-time jobs. My family was my first job, being an administrator was second and the third was being a head football coach.
“I’m not going to give up any more time with my wife and boys, and my administration duties have become more of a demanding job. I’m not going to give that up, because it pays the bills. So I had to give up football. I was either going to be in it 100 percent or not at all as a head coach.”
Donovan replaced Rick Davis in 2009 coached the Hatters for five years. He was 15-35 as head coach. The Hatters’ best season was 5-5 in 2011. They were 3-7 last year.
“This had nothing to do with the players or the program,” he said. “This was all about my administration job. The kids are dedicated and they’ve been great.”
He coached the program through constant heartache. Assistant coach Bo Williams died of a heart attack in the middle of the 2010 season.
Davis, who had remained close to the team following his retirement, died of pancreatic cancer after the 2012 season.
This year, his wife Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s undergoing her final chemotherapy treatments and is doing well, Donovan said.
“That took a toll, I’m not going to lie,” he said.
In the email to the NewsTimes of Danbury, Salvastrini said Donovan had decided to focus on serving as the Freshman Academy’s principal.
“Dan worked very hard with our football program and was an outstanding leader for the many young men he coached over the last five years,” Salvastrini wrote. “He is highly respected by his peers in the FCIAC and around the state. He will not be an easy head coach to replace.”
The job will be posted this week and will close Feb. 19, Salvastrini said in the email.
I know there’s somebody out there who can give 100 percent commitment,” Donovan said. “He’ll have a good group here and a lot of community support.”