Melvin Wells was named the next football coach at East Haven after being unanimously approved by the town’s board of education Tuesday.
Wells moves over from Hyde, a team he led to the Class S state championship in 2009.
Wells takes over an Easties program that went 3-8 this past fall and has suffered through 11 straight losing seasons. East Haven, which snapped a 36-game losing streak in 2006, last had a winning season in 2000, when the Easties finished 7-3.
Wells replaces Jim Vicario at East Haven, which competes in the Southern Connecticut Conference Division II East for football. Vicario served as the Easties’ interim coach for the remainder of last season after head coach Anthony Lucibello resigned for personal reasons in October.
“I really believe it’s a place that has potential and a place I can do some good things at,” Wells said. “I’m really interested to see what we can do in a place that really has a big upswing. It’s a place where I think kids want to play, and hopefully we can get them to want to play for us. It’s a huge opportunity going from a Class S program to a Class M school. I’m really excited by it.”
Wells has been the head coach at Hyde since 2007. He compiled a 59-30 record and reached the state playoffs four times. Hyde was Wells’ first head coaching gig.
“First and foremost, the opportunity to coach at Hyde for (eight) seasons was absolutely tremendous,” Wells said. “It was a wonderful experience.”
The Howling Wolves finished 5-6 in each of the past two seasons. Wells said he will likely bring over some assistant coaches from Hyde to East Haven, but nothing’s been finalized. The opening at Hyde has been posted for qualified candidates.
Wells added that Hyde is in talks with Whitney Tech to play as a co-op program. Hyde will serve as the host school and remain in the Pequot Conference.