After 10 years as the football coach at his alma mater, Salem High athletic director Scott Connolly wanted to make sure his replacement would bleed Black-and-Red the same way he does.
The obvious choice to do that was Matt Bouchard.
A Salem High graduate and captain of the 1995 Witches, Bouchard was officially named the team’s head coach yesterday.
While he’s been both a head football coach and assistant on the North Shore for over a decade, Bouchard is thrilled to be returning to the Witch city.
“It’s great to be home,” said Bouchard, who most recently was one of the offensive coordinators at Bishop Fenwick the last three years. “The Salem job is one of those jobs I’ve always aspired to go for, and the opportunity presented itself. I’m very excited to be back.”
Bouchard, who was previously the head coach at Georgetown High, interviewed for the position and Connolly immediately saw someone who not only understands the sport, but also the Salem community as well.
“His knowledge of the game and what he’s done at Georgetown and Fenwick, helping lead them to a state championship, is fantastic,” said Connolly. “He came in for the interview with some ideas and had a real good grip on Salem High and the Salem community, being from Salem and a former captain.”
The 33-year-old also spent time coaching lacrosse at both Georgetown and Masconomet Regional (under head coach Tom Cobb). Coaching in both small (Fenwick, Georgetown) and large school (Masconomet) environments has helped Bouchard in his approach.
“If you meld the mentality of a big school and small school together, you come out with these philosophies,” said Bouchard. “Blending those experiences together has given me some tools to help be successful.”
Salem football fans should expect to see a lot of shotgun football on offense next fall. But Bouchard said he isn’t pigeonholed to any one specific scheme; he knows that a football team is best tailored to its athletes, not the other way around.