Connecticut High School Football

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Masuk to begin football interviews this week

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Masuk will begin interviewing its candidates to replace recently departed John Murphy as football coach, two sources confirmed this week.

Sources have said the candidates are Ridgefield assistant coach Dave Brennan, who works at Masuk as a special education teacher; Darien defensive coordinator and former Ludlowe/Fairfield High coach Mike Forget; Monroe Lions coach Steve Christy, who has previously coached at Masuk and Stratford and whose son, Scott, was an all-state linebacker and current assistant at Masuk; and Weston coach Joe Lato, who also has previous experience at Masuk and Newtown.

One source said a decision could come as soon as the end of the week.

Masuk is coming off a 10-2, Class L semifinal season. Murphy stepped down in December after 15 years and three state titles.

Sean Patrick Bowley

78 Responses

  1. WHAT says:

    Sounds like a short list for a pretty big job. Lato built a good thing is Weston and teaches there. Not sure how it would work or why he would want to leave. Mike Forget did not work out in Fairfield and has been jumping around coaching for some time now. Brennan I think he is a teacher at the middle school, not Masuk to top it all off a youth coach, who might be the best of the bunch. Can you say two man race…

  2. Jim says:

    Brennan is at the high school. I think all of these are weak despite Lato.

  3. Amazed says:

    How can they even entertain the idea of a youth coach for this program? Are they really going to have all Murphy’s efforts in building a successful program go out the door. This just proves the AD should only be an AD, not a head coach of a sport in the same school. His number one interest is basketball, I doubt he loves the idea of a program succeeding when is program is terrible. The only choice is Lato for the position. Hope they do the right thing.

  4. Jim says:

    Dont be surprised also this week to see Murph sign somewhere

  5. BHS FAN says:

    Lato.

  6. Not Sure says:

    Lato is the obovious choice BUT it seems like they want everyone to think that. I would love to see all of the applicants, was this really it?

  7. Not Sure says:

    Weston football $6,800 – $8,800
    Masuk football $6,800 – $7,100

    Weston has a teaching job – Masuk does not…Weston to Masuk 40 minutes, Weston gets out at 2:30 Masuk at 2:00. That means Lato gets to Masuk at 3:10. The players have no head coach until 3:10 – better have assistants in the building.

  8. mr fciac says:

    bring that losing record to Monroe the swc will love you

  9. Jim says:

    @Notsure why dont you get your facts straight before you present them? The only one you have right in the school times. Doesnt take a rocket scientist to log on and check the bells.

  10. Not Sure says:

    Get my facts straight…read for yourself. Salaries below and bell times listed on each school site and mapquest gave me the miles…

    http://www.westonps.org/uploaded/Human_Resources/WTA_CONTRACT_12-15.pdf

    http://www.monroeps.org/contracts.aspx

  11. FBFan says:

    Wow..some people have a lot of time on their hands. Lato is the obvious choice here.

  12. Not Sure says:

    I agree with that…that was my point short list, one choice.

  13. mr fciac says:

    fbfan why? because he had one winning season

  14. FBFan says:

    He has taken a team from a complete loss to a viable, contending team. You need to look at the big picture mr fciac. Some of these other fly by nights just go with the flow and jump when they realize they can’t achieve success. Success is defined in many aspects, not just winning the game. Lato stuck with this program and transformed it into something great. Not too many coaches can say the same.

  15. Not Sure says:

    Out of the four candidates that we know of who would you pick and why. May all be for nothing rumor has it announcement coming soon.

  16. mr fciac says:

    Fbfan the guy he’s replacing has put together as many winning seasons
    as your guy has losing seasons. and to say he had a great season
    i would say it was lucky.I hope he goes to Monroe i think it will
    change the landscape in the SWC

  17. FBFan says:

    Mr Fciac-not doubting Murphy’s abilties, if you read what I said, I said not too many coaches could do the same. You can’t compare the two. If you saw the sidelines at the Weston/Masuk game, it was a sea of red compared to the size of Weston. If Lato did what he did with what he had to work with at Weston, imagine what he could do in Monroe.

  18. CREED says:

    MR Fciac- He’s had 3 winning seasons with a program that has little to no athletic prowess. Lato was on the Masuk staff for more than half of those winning seasons as a defensive coordinator. Thats when Masuk actually played Defense. How about giving credit where credits due whether he takes the Job or not, he’s the best coach in the state.. Outside of your boy Marce

  19. mr swc says:

    mr fciac is looking to get a reaction. mr fciac’s name is silly and his interest in the SWC is even sillier. Come on buddy, grow up. Lato is an excellent coach.

  20. dogzzfan says:

    Best coach in the state is Jack Cochran. Look what he did with Bloomfield / New Britain / New London / and Masuk. You all can talk about the bad stuff, but it did’nt stop Masuk from bringing him in.

  21. swc future says:

    really, Lato is an excellent coach because he was able to beat the immacualates, stratfords, NM, ND Fairfield, etc. Give me a break, until a coach can go undefeated in the very weak SWC and then win a game or two in states, stay off the excellent coach stuff. I think we can say Bruno and Murphy are the only two coaches in the last 10 years you can say are excellent coaches from the SWC. You cant about anybody else.

  22. tp says:

    Lato is a a very good football coach and he would be great for Masuk BUT there are other factors at play as to why he may not end up there. All of which were pointed out by “not sure”.

    Plenty of coaches that are excellent that may not have winning records year in and year out….you need the talent to win too. Whoever takes the Masuk job will have a tough road ahead as the talent in Monroe appears to be hitting a bit of a dry spell. They may have a couple of down years ahead (not awful but less than what is expected at Masuk). Coaches always know when to leave…see Spoony at Seymour.

    Also, there are more than Murphy and Bruno I would but on the list of excellent coaches…Steve George belongs in that group. Look at Newtown’s record since he has been there…better than Bruno over the same time period.

  23. CTFB12 says:

    Not to mention Chuck Drury when he was at Pomperaug, excellent coach

  24. mr fciac says:

    my man swc future gets it soft league and getting softer

  25. mr fciac says:

    newtown in the fciac where they belong wouldn’t win two games

  26. another fan says:

    Ansonia has a 3-1 record against Cockran teams is there any other school that has a better record than that? just curious, I do think he is a great coach though.

  27. WHAT says:

    LOL have you seen the Fairfield teams – Newtown would do just fine – top 20 % of the league. two games LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

  28. Yea. I don’t think FCIAC folk should be waving pom poms

  29. FutureV says:

    My tidbits of insight:

    If they really are announcing the head coach this week, I sincerely doubt it will be Lato.

    Jack Cochran has been coaching a ‘Team Connecticut’ at a “passing league” for the past few Sundays that I have gone.

    A serious inside source has told me that Coach Murphy will indeed be taking his edition of the spread offense to New Milford.

  30. tp says:

    Future V – it is the same version New Milford has already run for a few years now…I’m sure Murphy would bring his own wrinkles but its the same system.

  31. BoggerGetaLife says:

    Lato got the job on Friday. He’ll do well at Masuk as he’s agreat football coach. Christy would have done just as good as he is as good of an X’s and O’s guy then anyone in high school. His 7th grade team runs the spread better then most HS teams. Maybe they should combine forces (take a Christy as OC). Either way, Masuk will be fine.

  32. Shawn_mcvener says:

    Sean, I’m hearing there may be an announcement? Lato? Brennan? ….
    Why such a delay? Very important job so I guess that’s the reason?
    Have you spoken with joe?

  33. Bobby Don says:

    Murphy will be bringing his DVD’s to new milford.

  34. mr fciac says:

    lato to masuk insider says

  35. Not Sure says:

    I heard the same thing…Lato will be great and I hope they treat him as a HC should be treated. I also hope they improve their facilities.

  36. OK, everyone. I’ve been on top of this for the last few weeks: This is not a confirmed fact yet. There are still chances it won’t happen.

  37. mr fciac says:

    SPB murphy to new milford is real too

  38. SJ Alum says:

    SPB, word is that Murph is definately heading to NM and maybe taking some assistants with him. any truth to this?

  39. (grr) … I wish I could just throw out unconfirmed rumors.

  40. SJ Alum says:

    i will believe that murph will join a doormat of the SWC who gets no support from the AD when i see it….

  41. mr fciac says:

    lato is confirmed by a higher up your just not in the loop yet
    its not necessary to reveal the source

  42. whatever says:

    mr fciac..you’re obviously not in the loop either because you are WRONG!!!

  43. The last person with knowledge of info from a “hire up” said Phipps would get the job over Bruno at Naugatuck.

  44. mr fciac says:

    yes sir lets see how it shacks out my scc friend

  45. mr fciac says:

    whatever WHATEVER!!

  46. FutureV says:

    mr fciac has a serious grudge against the SWC and Weston in particular. hilarious. really curious to see if Lato leaves Weston.

  47. whatever says:

    What a joke this guy is!

  48. whatever says:

    If he accepted the job, where is the announcement?? Get a new source mr fciac! And P.S., you are WRONG!

  49. scc follower says:

    why don’t you guys grow up……post something that is useful and not bicker like two old men…..everyone is entitled to their opinion, be it right or wrong, and they can express that here. To take anything that anyone says here as gospel is a bit much……it is what it is….and once its known it will be announced

  50. fciac 2014 says:

    Keeping Murphy in the swc is a good move for that league as they have enough issues with competition and coaches who run gimmick offenses and defenses that never work against the superior leagues. I don’t think Murph will turn around NM anytime soon, but he may make them a little competitive instead of your typical swc push over.

    Then again, it will not take much to go .750 in the swc so if anyone can do it in one year, this guy can.

  51. Not Sure says:

    Coach M tells team he is leaving to spend time with family…now he lands in NM which will result in more time away. Not even a lateral move football wise – seems odd.

  52. CTFB12 says:

    @SPB, Phipps had the job in Naugy until they lied to him about being a teacher in the building. They strung him along with the notion that he’d get a teaching job there until they couldn’t come through with it, hence the offer to Bruno. He(Bruno) doesn’t need to be a teacher there and probably won’t either. Why would he leave an administration job as AD to be a phys ed teacher ?

  53. fciacfan says:

    Better question — how can he fulfill his duties as an AD when he coaches a team in a different conference close to 45 minutes away?

  54. Not Sure says:

    53 – great question in most school AD’s are at all home athletic events…There were football openings in Bridgeport right?

  55. masukparent says:

    Murphy did’nt leave Masuk for his family needs, can’t believe anything he says over the years. Good riddance, new coach will do fine, when talent is there that Murphy had.

  56. tp says:

    @fciac 2014 – The only coach in the SWC who ran gimmick offense/defense is Bruno and he is now in the NVL so what are you talking about?

  57. BHSfan1456 says:

    Mr Fciac or should I call you Barlow boy get your facts straightened out before you talk about something

  58. Ctfootballer says:

    The reason that Weston football lacks talent in not because it does not have access to top athletes, but because it drives them off. Around half of the incoming freshman quite each year, resulting in senior classes of around 8 players. Its teams are very incomplete, with its starters consisting of some great players, and the rest marginal players. In other sports, Weston has great athletes, however Lato has driven off many highly athletic, but uncommitted, players.

  59. tp says:

    @Ctfootballer – If they were uncommitted then its not Lato’s fault they quit…boy you painted a picture of a bunch of rich kids that needs to be stroked and coddled…

  60. swcinsider says:

    Ctfootballer somebody knows what there talking about the hidden little secret when in doubt say we have no players

  61. swcinsider says:

    lato up next the youth coach had a little trouble in the scheme
    segment of the interview

  62. swcinsider says:

    ctfootballer the kids sometimes have to skip out of town to get the quality
    programs if i where to tell you 40% of the football programs still have half ass lifting programs in the 2013 sometimes these coaches want what they don’t give. what sets Murphy apart is hes no nonsense or excuses hes putting together a program in NM nothing like they have ever seen.
    an for the rich kid bs stop by New Canaan they got a few more bucks then Weston and they will kick your butt up and down the field. ps
    and if Staples stop bye lock the doors

  63. Ctfootballer says:

    How his players view him, in one kid’s words: “Dude is an a**hole who cares more about winning than treating players well, he preaches his bs but his actions show who he really is”

  64. FutureV says:

    @tp – seems about right. tough stereotype to label kids though. be kind, they are still high school students managing life.

    really damn curious now. I mean Lato had just installed a youth program in Weston….and now he could be headed to a ship with no direction (Masuk).

  65. BHSfan1456 says:

    tp listen to ctfootballer he is right

  66. Ctfootballer says:

    What I meant is that the kids are freshman, they have no idea whats best for them. But since its such a small program a lot is expected of them and everyone is needed to contribute. Lato is great at building a program his own way, but ultimately its all about him and the players mean nothing.

  67. tp says:

    Sorry but when I hear someone use the term “uncommitted” and then want to blame the coach for being too tough on the players that is BS…

  68. E says:

    If Barlow and Weston could win 9-10 games last year I’m pretty sure Nee Milford could. The league is down. SWC is strong when bunnell, masuk, pompy and newtown are good.

  69. fciac 2014 says:

    66, really swc is strong when 4 teams are good? so what about the other 7 games? I went to a few Masuk games last year and it isn’t even good football to watch. We are talking games against the New Fairfields, Brookfields and Weston! Some people on this board talk about how good these teams are but they were blown out against an avg Masuk team. Tell me this, why would the better teams in the SWC continue to be ok with playing nobodys all year instead of looking to join the FCIAC or SCC, where they would be challenge most weeks? The masuk crowd was disinterested in the game once they got a 2 TD lead and it was just social hour after.

  70. CTdude says:

    #63 That is so true. I have many years of seeing how he operates. He drives kids off. Masuk can have him.

    Also @Tp. There is plenty of commitment from the kids. What is lacking is a sense of fairness by the coach.

  71. swcinsider says:

    BHSfan1456 your a funny guy Does Barlow have a football team

  72. mueller says:

    SWC insider I love comment 63, you hit the nail on the head, some of the wealthiest communities around the state have either had recent or traditionally strong football programs, it is about the commitment of the coaches and developing a model that perpetuates self-motivation from the kids and respect from their parents; look at Greenwich, Staples, NC, Darien (less so recently), Hand, Glastonbury (more so recently) for examples of well-to-do towns with good football

  73. mueller says:

    If you ain’t lifting, you ain’t winning these days, gotta coach em’ up well obviously, but the days of a tough little mother who just comes out in August and kills the kid across from him are in the past

  74. andy says:

    64 i guess you’ve never seen monroe’s youth program, alot more promising then any weston team. Funny how everyone is writing masuk off as dead, year in and year out the rest of the league prays masuk has a down year and then 42-0 later they realize its more the one person or player its a PROGRAM

  75. BHSFAN says:

    Coach Lato is tough and very demanding – don’t be a minute late for an early morning workout. However, there is nothing wrong with that, even today. He instills discipline and good work habits in his players. I don’t foresee him having any problems retaining players at Masuk should be hired.

  76. passme says:

    I am told Murphy had zero to do with the Masuk weightlifting program. Heard Coach Scarpeti ran that entire program.

  77. mike says:

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again head coach’s don’t leave because they want to spend time with their families. They leave for two specific reasons. One, they realize that the talent pool has dried up. Two, they do not see eye to eye with the high schools administration. It’s very simple. The statement of spending more time with the family is the “right” thing to say but as a coach myself we all it is BS.

  78. md says:

    half to 3/4 of you people have no idea what you are talking about. I played for both (as they are part of the newtown coaching tree)….its very simple, practice hard every day (2 parts to that) = you play. And for those saying Lato is out for himself, oh boy do you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Teaches kids how to not only play football, but be young men. I have a feeling that these people who are talking badly about both these coaches are parents of kids or former players who couldn’t cut it…not their fault….remember. And, finally, who the hell is going to put in the hours these guys put in for 5 or 6k or whatever it is….they do it because they are passionate and care……

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