Coaching carousel update: Panapada elevated to head coach at Trinity Catholic

No shock here, Trinity Catholic announced it has elevated assistant Donny Panapada to head coach of its football team.

Panapada is the third consecutive Trinity Catholic alumnus to become head coach. He takes over for Peter Stokes, who stepped down after taking the Crusaders to their first state postseason since 1993.

Panapada played under Rich Albonizio at Trinity Catholic and later coached with him at Greenwich, where he helped develop all-state lineman John Sullivan into a Notre Dame star and an NFL stud with the Minnesota Vikings.

His tenure at Greenwich ended in 2002 however after he tossed and broke the CIAC’s Class LL runner-up trophy after a contentious (and some may say, controversial) 20-13 loss to West Haven at Kennedy Stadium.

Panapada has overcome that ignominy over the last 10 years. He hooked up with his alma mater and became defensive coordinator. He became a personal favorite of Stokes, who spoke of his right-hand man in glowing terms.

“We made a great choice,” Stokes told our own Dave Ruden. “Plain and simple. He’s the best. He’s deserving, educated in the game and knows his Xs and Os.”

Elsewhere: Expect an announcement from Naugatuck soon. Interviews were conducted last week and the four finalists should be hearing back from the school any time now. …New Milford is supposedly in its second round of interviews. …

Sean Patrick Bowley