There will be a host of new faces in new places when Connecticut’s first sanctioned high school football season in two years begins with practices in August.
Here’s an overview of all of the state’s coaching moves that we could pin down since adjourning way back in December 2019.
Overall, there have been at least 35 coaching changes statewide (both CIAC and prep schools). At least seven were head coaches getting new jobs. Six were high school assistants getting head coaching jobs elsewhere. Fifteen were assistants promoted to head coach. Two came from the college ranks. Three return to the head coaching ranks after several years off. Two returned to an old job. One has his third job in three years.
About half of these moves were made last year, during the lost 2020 COVID-19 season, which means the upcoming season will be their second year but first actual season.
Links refer to various news stories if available. If there’s a move or two missing, let us know.
List updated on Friday, Aug. 6
New: CHRIS PACE (from Bullard-Havens, hired March 2020)
Old: RICH HOLMES (Retired after 2019 season).
New: THOMAS BROSCHARDT (former Trinity Catholic coach hired July)
Old: DERRICK LEWIS (resigned after 2019 season; Christon Gill took over briefly in 2020)
New: PAUL CONSTANTINI (former assistant coach hired Spring 2020)
Old: CHRIS PACE (to Abbott Tech/Immaculate after 2019 season)
Coginchaug/Hale Ray/East Hampton
New: MIKE EAGLE (hired spring 2020; former asst. at Berlin, HC at Guilford, Morgan)
Old: ERIK BECKER (resigned after 2019 season to take H-K job)
New: CHRIS KENNEDY (17-year assistant at St. Paul, was HC during the covid year).
Old: MARTIN MANSON JR. (hired in 2020, resigned early 2021)
New: MIKE FORGET (former defensive coordinator, was interim HC in 2020; tag removed 2021)
Old: ROB TRIFONE (resigned after 2019 season)
New: STEVE BAINER (volunteer assistant at Woodland hired after 2019; is also Derby’s baseball coach)
Old: GEORGE FRENCH (resigned after 2019 season)
New: TOMMY SEAVER (former Rocky Hill all-stater, 24-year old assistant hired May 2020)
Old: STEVE CALANDE
New: KEITH TAUTKUS (program founder and former coach returns after 8-years as an assistant at WCSU, Rockville; in 2019 concluded 22-year as baseball coach)
Old: SEAN BYRNE
New: TYLER WILCOX (alumnus and assistant under last several coaches hired spring 2021).
Old: ERIK BECKER (resigned after just one season after taking over for Mike Baklik in 2020).
New: ERIK BECKER (former assistant coach/player returns as head coach in 2021 after short stints at H-K and Coginchaug)
Old: STEVE FILIPPONE (hired and resigned after one caretaker season after previous coach Dave Mastroianni resigned early 2020).
New: CHRIS HALEY (promoted from defensive coordinator and interim head coach Jan. 2020)
Old: ERIK LARKA (resigned after 2019)
New:MIKE SERRICCHIO (assistant coach at Springfield College hired April 2020; King School-Stamford alumnus)
Old: CLAY KILLINGSWORTH
New: STEVE CHRISTY (former asst. coach; Monroe Lions pop warner coach; Hired July 12)
Old: JOE LATO (took head coaching job at Woodland in June)
New: KEVIN SULLIVAN (Newington co-offensive coordinator hired in June; Played for Holy Cross’ 2006 state championship team)
Old: PETER NYE (resigned 2021)
New: CHRIS ANDERSON (Former two-time Woodland coach named head coach May 2021)
Old: DAVE SOLLAZZO (resigned June 2020; Ollie Gray served as interim in 2020).
New: ISAIAH BODDIE (alumnus and assistant promoted to head coach in March 2020)
Old: TEBUCKY JONES (resigned Jan 2020)
New: JENNIFER GARZONE (former Wolcott Tech/Housatonic/Wamogo co-op coach takes over a new Nonnewaug/Wolcott Tech/Wamogo co-op program).
New: PAT MILLER (hired Jan 2020, was offensive coordinator at Sheehan)
Old: SEAN IRELAND (resigned after 2019 season)
New: ZACH MIHALY (Former Nonnewaug HC hired March 2020, also as the school’s baseball coach).
Old: TIM NIXON (Coached the 2019 season)
New: DAKOTA FLEMING (Assistant coach promoted in 2020; former state champ wrestler at Windham)
Old: MIKE MASSE (interim coach for 2019 season)
New: MIKE DEFELICE (longtime OC promoted to job early 2020)
Old: JEFF ROY (resigned after 2019 season)
New: JOE CIANCIOLO (assistant since 2015, elevated to head coach in July)
Old: CHRIS KENNEDY (to CREC in June after spending 2020 season as HC, replacing Jude Kelly)
New: NATHAN TYLER (SCSU assistant hired May 20; Former Northwest Catholic All-State player)
Old: JACK PETION (resigned after 2020 season; now assistant principal)
New: CRAIG SYLVESTER
Old: DARIN JONES (coached previous three seasons)
New: MITCHELL EGAZARIAN (defensive coordinator at Sheehan; hired May 2020)
Old: SCOTT CADY (died 2020 after battle with cancer)
Valley Regional/Old Lyme
New: HILL GBUNBLEE (assistant under King last five seasons; North Carolina native).
Old: TIM KING (resigned early June after 26 years as head coach and three decades as a teacher at the school. Won state title in 2014).
New: ZETH NOLDA (assistant promoted March 15)
Old: JOHN STRECKER (resigned after six seasons)
New: SHAWN STANCO (hired in 2020; has been assistant for last 3 coaches)
Old: LUIGI VELARDI (took job at a proposed Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech/Nonnewaug co-op for 2020 until Sacred Heart’s closure this past year).
New: ALLAND JOSEPH (defensive coordinator promoted March 24)
Old: JOE DEVELLIS (resigned after three years; was former DC)
New: PRESTON SOEPRASETYO (Thomaston business teacher, played football at Lehigh).
Old: LAMAR KENNEDY (resigned late August 2020 to take job in Bridgeport; is also Harding’s boys basketball coach)
New: JOE LATO (hired to his hometown team from Masuk on June 10)
Old: CHRIS MOFFO (resigned Spring 2021)
Avon Old Farms
New: KEVIN DRISCOLL (former longtime coach from 1985-2013 returns on an interim basis after spending the last six years working as a dean in the school’s development office.
Old: PIERCE BRENNAN (coach for previous two seasons).
Greenwich Country Day
New: KEVIN AVERY (former Greenwich offensive coordinator, hired Feb. 2021 to lead new varsity program which will begin first official varsity season 2021.
Old: JAMES GUSSIS (head coach for first two seasons, returns to coach the GCD middle school).
St. Thomas More
New: ERNEST ANDERSON (Assistant coach elevated to HC May 25. Formerly at Stamford)
Old: JASON MANSON (Coach and Dean of Students from 2019-20; Took job as director of player development at Iowa, where he played in the mid 2000s).
Capital Prep Harbor
New: WYNTON BORDERS (offensive coordinator, promoted; Hartford native)
Old: KHAMARR SMITH (relieved early 2021, now at St. Thomas More).
This post has been updated Monday, Aug. 2 with Avon Old Farms’ coaching change.