If you want to sum up the football philosophy of new Ipswich High head coach Greg Brotherton, you can do so in one word:
“I love to play fast on offense, defense and special teams,” said Brotherton, an Ipswich native who now returns to coach his alma mater. “I definitely don’t want the players thinking; I want them reacting.”
Brotherton, a former wide receiver and cornerback who won a Super Bowl at Ipswich High as a senior in 1991, replaces Ted Flaherty, who stepped down after eight seasons on the job a week after the 2012 season ended. Brotherton worked as the defensive coordinator for Flaherty’s team in 2006.
The 39-year-old Lynn police officer has spent the last five seasons as the defensive coordinator at Lynn English. He says coming back to Ipswich to be the school’s head coach is “like a dream.”
“I’ve wanted to be part of this program since I was playing. I realized I was 5-foot-8 and not very fast, so I figured to stay in the game I better get into coaching,” he laughed.
Ipswich finished the 2012 season with a 2-9 record. Since winning the Division 3A Super Bowl crown in 2006, the Tigers have won only 10 of 63 contests.
Brotherton plans on installing a spread offense in Ipswich — a school that has run the Delaware Wing-T offense for almost 50 years.
“I was grew up in the Wing-T and was a diehard,” he admits, “but having been involved in the spread at English the last five years, the kids just love it. By being real quick on offense, you simplify the defenses you play against by keeping them in 1 or 2 fronts, coverages and blitzes. By doing that, you can really predict what you’ll see and can get plays out faster.
“It’s just a mindset; you get the ball out there quick and can get it to six different guys right after the snap. By doing so, you’re stretching out the defense horizontally and vertically; they’ve got to cover the entire field against you.”