By Phil Stacey
---- — The search for a new varsity head football coach at Danvers High School has begun, and applications are already coming in.
The team’s recent success, which included winning the Northeastern Conference South championship for the first time in eight years last fall with a 5-0 league record, will likely factor in to the number of candidates who apply, said John Sullivan, the school’s athletic director.
Sullivan said three candidates have already sent in applications, and another three have called to express their interest in the position.
Sean Rogers, who coached the team for four years, resigned Tuesday.
Rogers, a health education teacher at Danvers High, said yesterday he was looking for a multi-year contract to remain as the school’s football coach, but did not receive it and chose to step down.
In his four seasons with the Falcons beginning in 2010, Rogers’ teams improved each year, going from 1-9 to 4-7 to 5-6 to an overall record of 7-4 this past fall and qualifying for the playoffs for only the second time in school history.
“I asked for a three-year contract and was hoping I’d get three, but I would have accepted two as a sign of support,” said Rogers, who also spent 2007-09 as an assistant football coach at Danvers High under Sullivan. “I was hoping to keep working together, but wanted some assurances. But I was only offered one (year).”
Sullivan said that every coaching position at Danvers High School is a one-year contract between the coach and school that either does or does not get renewed annually. The last time a football coach received a three-year coaching position, he said, was when the school hired Butch Dzierzak more than two decades ago.
It’s unsure if any of the assistant coaches under Rogers will apply for the head coaching job. When reached last night, Anthony Callahan, who worked as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator last fall, said while he hasn’t made up his mind entirely, it is something he’s considering.
“I love being at Danvers. The Danvers kids are amazing; they have a great work ethic and love for the game,” said Callahan, an elementary education teacher in Saugus. “It’s a great destination for someone.”
The position has been posted on the education job site schoolspring.com. There is also an advertisement for the position on the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s website.
Danvers High is setting up a screening committee to interview candidates for the job; anyone looking to be on the committee should contact Danvers High Principal Sue Ambrozavitch. Sullivan expects there will be a mix of people on the committee, such as a another coach in the Danvers High system; a coach involved with youth football in Danvers; an assistant principal from the high school, some parents from the team, the Falcons’ four football captains-elect for 2014 (Chris Behen, Richie Martino, Nick Andreas and Cris Valles), and Sullivan himself.
After interviewing potential candidates, the screening committee would present two finalists for the Danvers High administration to interview and ultimately choose the next football coach.
“The timetable isn’t set in stone,” Sullivan said, “but we’re looking to close the application process by the end of February, start the interview process in March and have someone in place by the end of March.”
Potential candidates said Sullivan, should apply through schoolspring.com and have a letter of introduction, a resume and three letters of recommendation.