DANVERS — It didn’t take the St. John’s Prep administration long to find Sean Connolly’s successor. The school’s new basketball coach had been under their noses for the past five years.
At a press conference yesterday afternoon in Xavier Hall on the school’s campus, John Dullea was introduced by St. John’s Principal Keith Crowley, Ph.D. and Athletic Director Jim O’Leary as the program’s new head coach.
Dullea, a Peabody native, spent the past five seasons as the varsity assistant under Connolly.
“We are looking for someone who understands the mission of our school and we feel can live that out with our student-athletes, and understands the role of coach as educator,” Crowley said. “We feel very lucky and blessed to have our next boys basketball be John Dullea.”
Dullea was Connolly’s assistant and the junior varsity coach at Bishop Fenwick High School from 2004-2008 and thrived in the top assistant role at St. John’s Prep, beginning in 2009. The Eagles won a Division 1 state championship in 2011 with Dullea as the assistant, and captured Catholic Conference championships in 2010, 2011 and this past season.
For the past five years, Dullea was linked to several open boys basketball coaching positions on the North Shore, including the Peabody High job a few years ago.
“Everything worked out the best that it could possibly work out for me,” said Dullea, who played college basketball at the University of New Hampshire. “As a school the academics are second to none, and athletics, you can’t get a better place than this.
“For me this is the best situation that could have happened. The past was the past and I don’t hold any grudges to anybody, but this worked out great and I’m just really excited to get going here at St. John’s.”