Time waits for no man – or football coach

The head coaching positions of two local high school football programs have become vacant in the last month, as Danbury High’s Dan Donovan and Pomperaug’s Dave Roach stepped down from their respective posts.

Coincidentally, both men gave the same reason for leaving: there just aren’t enough hours in a day to dedicate sufficient time to work, family and football. Something had to give, and in both their cases, it was football. Both men are educators – Donovan is the Principal of the Freshman Academy at Danbury High School, and Roach teaches Social Studies at Pomperaug High – and the ever-increasing demands of those jobs, coupled with their family commitments, left little time – or energy – to dedicate to their football programs.

It takes time and effort to be a good father and husband; it takes time and effort to be a good teacher; and it takes time and effort to be a good football coach. It’s a delicate balance to try to be all three.

Having interviewed Donovan and Roach following their resignations, I could sense that both men were genuinely disappointed at having to step aside, but at the same time, I could also sense that both men knew they were making the right decisions for themselves and their families.

“Somebody once told me you can always go back to coaching, but you can only watch your kids grow up once,” Roach told me two weeks ago after having stepped down after three seasons at the helm. “I’m being pulled in many different directions, and my number one priority is my family.”

Donovan relayed similar sentiments earlier this week after it was announced he’d be stepping down after five seasons as the Hatters’ head coach.

“This is probably the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life,” Donovan said. “It came down to one thing, and that one thing is time. Between my family, my job as an administrator and my responsibilities as the head football coach, there just wasn’t enough time.”

Neither Roach nor Donovan ruled out a return to coaching somewhere down the line. It’ll happen at the right time.

Or, rather, when there is time.