STAMFORD — And now, the grand experiment begins.
The Trinity Catholic/Wright Tech co-op football team took its first official steps on the artificial turf of Gaglio Field Monday.
First-year head coach Thomas Broschardt is excited for the challenge that lies ahead.
“We participated in Grip It and Rip It earlier this summer. And the participation in our offseason weight training program was solid,” Broschardt said. “The bottom line is our kids are very happy to have a football team this season. We have two schools with different team chemistry. My job is to mold them into one tough football team.”
At this point, Broschardt’s expectation is for a overall roster of 45 players with between 15 and 20 coming from Wright Tech. Unfortunately, Trinity Catholic/Wright Tech won’t have enough players to field a full-time junior varsity squad where teaching can be the paramount concern.
The process is still ongoing, as far as the addition of a liaison coach from Wright Tech is concerned. But getting the Wright Tech football contingent to Trinity Catholic and back won’t be a problem.
Broschardt played quarterback and wide receiver at Sacred Heart University before graduating in May of 2013. He has been an assistant coach at Western Connecticut State University, SUNY Maritime, Union College in Kentucky and most recently at Pace University where he earned his master’s degree last May.
So Broschardt is familiar with the challenge facing Trinity Catholic/Wright Tech in the FCIAC. He will have veteran assistants Billy DeVito, Eric Stephens and Teggy Steele working on the defensive side to lean on.
Former Trinity Catholic and Bryant University standout Thomas Costigan had planned on doing some coaching with the Crusaders. However, he signed last week with the San Diego Chargers (and had one tackle from the defensive end position last Sunday against the New Orleans Saints).
“As a quarterback and wide receiver, I’ve always been an offensive guy. So I’ll be the offensive coordinator this season,” Broschardt said. “I will be very involved in the special teams play as well. I’m very fortunate to have guys like Billy and Eric who have been doing this a long time.”
Like most first-time head coaches, Broschardt will incorporate lessons and ideas gleaned from many spots on his coaching journey.
“My main influence on Xs and Os came from Joe Loth at Western Connecticut,” Broschardt said. “At Pace, Andy Roudeau has taken the program to 7-3 in five seasons. So I learned a lot about building a program’s culture there.”
The timing of coming to Trinity Catholic was good for Broschardt as he and former Trinity Catholic graduate and softball standout Kelly Anderson married last June.
“I’ve learned how special Trinity Catholic High School is. And how important it is to the community,” Broschardt said. “The other FCIAC coaches in Stamford (Stamford High’s Jamar Greene, Westhill’s Joe DeVellis) have told me the battle for the Stamford City Football Championship would not mean as much without Trinity Catholic.
“Trinity Catholic has so much history,” Broschardt continued. “The chance to be the head coach of the FCIAC’s first football co-op at age 28 means the world to me.”
The Crusaders were 1-9, 1-8 FCIAC in 2018. They were 2-8, 2-7 in 2017 and 6-4, 6-4 in 2016.
“I know it will take time. But I find passion for the task,” Broschardt said. “I know about hard work. And that’s what I ask from the players. I want to turn them into men. Get them ready for college. And win some games.”