Desiring a break from the daily grind of managing and coaching a high school football program, Joe Beler has resigned at Notre Dame-Fairfield today.
Beler, a Milford resident and business teacher at Law, coached the Lancers for two seasons compiling a 5-15 record. Injuries and low numbers helped contribute to Notre Dame’s 2-8 record in 2010.
The decision wasn’t easy, Beler said. But it was necessary, mostly for “my own piece of mind.”
He’s working toward his sixth-year teaching degree, taking graduate courses at Southern Connecticut State. The absence of his father, Joe Beler Jr., who died suddenly almost a year ago, still weighs heavily.
“It was a combination of things,” Beler said. “The classes take a great deal of time and when I took this job it was a chance to coach with my old man. So between the classes and the family thing, I just needed to get away.
“It wasn’t an easy decision. I delayed it a bit. But I decided if I couldn’t be there 110 percent for my kids, I couldn’t do it, especially trying to build the program from the bottom-up.”
Previously, Beler had been the head coach at Foran (where he won the 2001 SWC championship) and an assistant coach at Law and Milford Academy.
He said he wouldn’t be coaching anywhere else this season.
“If I’m not coaching my Notre Dame kids, I’m not coaching anybody,” he said. “Notre Dame was nothing but great to me. (Principal Christopher) Cipriano, and (athletic director Rob) Bleggi, have been very supportive. My kids played hard for me. I just need a year away.”
Beler is the third coach in five years to leave the school. Notre Dame has gone 18-33 since going 9-2 and reaching the SWC championship in former coach Jeff Bevino’s final season in 2005.
Bleggi said the search for a new head coach has already begun.
Potential candidates can send letter of interest and resume to Rob Bleggi-Athletic Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.