Former Northwest Catholic All-State linebacker Nathan Tyler has been named the coach of the Stratford football program.
“It’s a great fit and a place I wanted to apply,” Tyler said. “It has a really great football tradition.”
Tyler said he wants to do the best job he can, and continue to grow the pride the community has in the program.
“I am really looking forward to working with the players and getting to know them better,” he said. “Building upon the pride and tradition that has already been there.”
He has yet to meet the team, but said he is scheduling a meeting and wants to get the players in the weight room as soon as he can.
Stratford last appeared in a state title game in 2006 and last won a state championship in 1988.
Tyler graduated from Northwest Catholic in 2008, then played at Southern Connecticut State University. After his playing career, he coached at Northwest Catholic, under his father Mike Tyler.
He then joined the collegiate ranks, coaching at Curry College, St. Anselm College and returned to coach at SCSU. Tyler coached the linebackers and then tight ends. He was also the recruiting coordinator.
He got a job at The Academy in Milford as a school counselor this fall and thought it was the perfect time to look into applying for head coaching jobs.
Tyler replaces Jack Petion, another Southern Connecticut alum, who was hired in 2017. The two are friends and were teammates at SCSU. They coached together at Northwest Catholic and SCSU. Petion is an assistant principal at Stratford High School.
“I’m following him around it seems like,” Tyler said. “He talked to me about his experience with the team. (About how) they’re really good kids, who are going to work hard.”
He credits his dad Mike and mom Karen Tyler — who coached him in youth sports — for getting him into coaching.
“(They were) big influences and had a positive impact on my career,” Tyler said. “Whenever I finished playing, I knew I always wanted to coach.”
He said he learned from his dad how to be a person-centered coach.
“(He taught me about) being more than just a coach on the field,” Tyler said. “Being a coach off the field with academics and social life.
“It is something I have tried to bring to my coaching.”
Tyler said his dad won’t be coming out of retirement to join his staff, but his dad and two brothers, Lucas and Owen Tyler, are asking him how they can help.
“They have asked about when are you getting film and when are we breaking it down?” Tyler said with a laugh.