Jonathan Law has begun a search for a football coach.
“The job is now posted on the Milford Board of Education website,” Law Athletic Director V.J. Sarullo said. “We accept online applications and our goal is to begin the interview process the first full week of January. We would like to have someone in place as soon as possible.”
The Lawmen, coming off a 2-8 season, are looking to replace Erik Larka, who took a leave of absence seven games (2-5) into the campaign.
“From my first day at Law, I preached to my players that we were going to break this down to family first,” Larka said. “When a lot of life’s outside stuff, family stuff, happened, I felt I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t take care of it.”
“I thank everyone at Law, beginning with the players. I would like to thank the school administration, especially. V.J.(Sarullo), and the entire Law community. There was never any ill will or conflict, it was something I had to do.”
When asked about coaching in the future, Larka said, “It’s still in my blood, so I definitely see myself coming back when the time is right for everyone involved.”
Larka did have advice for coaching candidates.
“Law is a class act,” he said. “The kids are awesome, the facility is great, and V.J. is there to help the program in any way he can. I parted ways with Law with nothing but love.”
Law opened this season with a win and were 2-2, but it had lost three in a row when Larka took his leave of absence.
Chris Haley, the team’s defensive coordinator, served as interim head coach the last three games rest of the season. The Lawmen finished 2-8.
The school sent a letter, signed by principal Fran Thompson and Sarullo, that thanked Larka, a Law alumnus, for his service to the school: “Words cannot express the gratitude for what he has done for our student-athletes, the football program, the athletic department and overall school community.”
When reached, Sarullo said, “We fully support Erik’s decision. It’s the right thing to do, for both himself and the program.”
Law reached the CIAC playoffs for the first time in 2017, Larka’s second season back at his alma mater, squeaking into the Class M tournament with a 34-28 Thanksgiving win over Foran. The Lawmen lost to Killingly, the eventual champion, in the quarterfinals.
The Lawmen went 7-3 last season but just missed the playoffs.
Larka had been a Law assistant coach a decade earlier — he was on the staff in 2007, the school’s last winning season before 2017 — but became head coach in 2016, coming from Bacon Academy after leading the Bobcats to their first CIAC playoff berth in 11 years.
He had a record of 19-19 at Law. He was 16-15 in three seasons at Bacon Academy.