Bill Pinto is no longer the head football coach at Fairfield Prep.
Athletic Director Steve Donahue confirmed Monday the school has dismissed the 40-year old coach, who went 0-10 one season. After a weekend meeting with the school’s administrators, Donahue said he informed Pinto of the school’s decision by phone Sunday evening. Fairfield Prep posted an advertisement seeking head coaching applicants at 11 a.m. Monday morning.
“It was a difficult season, both on the field and off, so we have decided to go in a different direction with the program,” said Donahue, who is in his first year as the school’s AD. “We want to get some new, fresh faces and get back to the strong tradition of football at Fairfield Prep.”
Pinto, a Trumbull graduate who spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at Fairfield Prep, was hired to replace former coach Rich Magdon in February.
The Jesuits, which featured six seniors and two returning starters from a 3-7 team, went 0-10 and were outscored 83-398 in 10 SCC games. It was the second winless season in school history and the first in 66 years.
Two of Magdon’s former staff members had resigned just before the start of the season in what Donahue called a case of “the old guard and new guard not really meshing.” But the tipping point, Donahue said, came when three assistant coaches Pinto had brought to the program resigned just two weeks before the end of the season.
“That certainly was not a good thing and school was not happy with that,” Donahue said. “They didn’t like the fact these coaches would quit on the kids.
“Needless to say that left Billy in a bad spot. To Billy’s credit, he did a good job in the final weeks keeping it together. I don’t think it was handled correctly. So we decided to say was a tough year and we decided to go in a different direction.”
Update: “I’m disappointed in their decision, I wish I had more time to turn the program around, but I am sure there was a lot of pressure on the school to do with they did,” Pinto said. “Who evertakes over wlll inherit a great group of experienced kids who will also have a favorable schedule. They should be successful, I wish the the school and the kids the best of luck with the mission academics and the football program.”
Donahue said the school has some internal candidates, but would be opening the job to anyone. The deadline for applications is December 18. Applicants should send their resumes and “a plan for assistants and JV staff” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We want to get the best possible fit for Fairfield Prep,” Donahue said. “We hope to have a coach and staff in place by January 15, so we can waste no time getting the program back and going strong.”