Citing a desire to spend more time with his young family while also concentrating on his duties as the school’s athletic director, Scott Connolly stepped down as the head football coach at Salem High School yesterday.
The 40-year-old Connolly had been the Witches’ head coach for the last 10 seasons. Only coaching legends Ken Perrone (22 years) and Bill Broderick (21 years) manned the Salem sidelines longer than Connolly.
“There’s never a good time to get out. There’s always another group of seniors you want to coach, another class of great kids coming up through the program,” Connolly said last night. “In some ways, you feel like you’re letting them down. And being from Salem myself, I have a deep connection with all the students-athletes here and have been in their shoes.
“But it’s time. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about since our daughter (Avery) was born (7 months old). We’ve got four kids now and my wife (Rene) has a full-time job, and I have plenty to do as the school’s athletic director. Plus, with the things I want to do with my career, this was the right move for me.”
Connolly is the third North Shore football coach to leave his post this month, joining ex-coaches Sean Rogers (Danvers High) and Jim O’Leary (St. John’s Prep).
Recently accepted into a program geared towards eventually becoming certified to become a principal or assistant principal made Connolly’s decision to retire from football a bit easier, he said.
“To be honest, I think it was hardest on my three sons (10-year-old Jake, 8-year-old Luke and 5-year-old Tyler). But once I told them they could still be on the sidelines during football games, they were fine with it,” Connolly laughed.