Tom Marcucci made his decision over the summer to retire at season’s end as Notre Dame-West Haven’s head football coach.
“I came to the conclusion it was time,” Marcucci said. “I didn’t want to say anything. I didn’t want to distract the kids. It’s a kids’ game, not my game. We kept it as quiet as possible.”
Marcucci informed his players of his decision the Sunday before the Green Bowl. The Green Knights needed to beat Hamden on Thanksgiving Day to not only extend their season, but now to extend their head coach’s season.
Notre Dame did, then won at New London in the Class L state quarterfinals on Nov. 29. But the season ended Monday with a 20-17 loss to New Canaan in the semifinals. On Wednesday morning, the school announced Marcucci’s retirement after a quarter-century at the helm.
“I loved every minute of coaching. All of my coaches were great,” Marcucci said. “It’s been my whole life. There’s definitely emotion to it, sad in a way, but I’m at peace.”
Marcucci, 68, had two different stints as head coach: 1982-99 and 2009-16. He finishes with a 179-82-6 record and two state championships in 1991 and 2009.
Marcucci stepped down the first time following the 1999 season when he became a school administrator. He was a member of John DeCaprio’s staff, coaching the defensive backs from 2001-06.
All told, Marcucci spent 43 of the past 47 seasons coaching with Notre Dame in some capacity.
“I still could go out there. I still have the energy on the field and during practice. But seriously, coaching now is a 12-month-a-year job,” Marcucci said. “It’s a young man’s profession. But the kids haven’t changed that much. Our kids here, I wouldn’t trade them for anybody.”
Marcucci will remain as athletic director. He said his successor is likely to come from within the current coaching staff.