UPDATE: Derrick Lewis confirmed Monday that he’s headed to Milford as the new coach of Jonathan Law’s football program.
Lewis said he pondered over the Law job for a while before deciding that he had accomplished all he could in his three years at Bassick. He said it was a “hard decision, but it was the right decision.”
“I felt like I reached the ceiling for what I could do,” he said.
After registering only win over his first two seasons at Bassick, Lewis guided the Lions to a 3-8 mark last year. It was the most successful stint in over a decade for a program that once held the state’s longest losing streak (62 games, snapped in 2007).
“Even though on paper it doesn’t look much, we turned the corner. … We built the program exponentially,” Lewis said.
The 32-year-old Lewis said his move to Law and the SCC represents a “little bit of a homecoming.” He was an all-state lineman for another SCC program, West Haven, where he graduated in 2001.
ORIGINAL: Derrick Lewis will be coaching next year, but it won’t be at Bassick.
Bridgeport citywide athletic director Neil Kavey confirmed a report Wednesday that Lewis has resigned from Bassick and will take over as head coach at Jonathan Law.
“We knew he was involved with the job up there,” Kavey said. “He’s going to be missed at practice.”
Lewis, 32, went 4-27 in three seasons with the Lions, including 3-8 last year. The Lions closed the year winning two of their final three games.
Lewis has been recognized as a strong leader for his role in the community. He works in the Bridgeport school system as a student behavioral specialist and is an ordained minister at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in the city.
“In our population, a lot of times our coach ends up as a surrogate father. … You just couldn’t pick a better role model,” Kavey said.
A former all-state lineman at West Haven and a two-time All-American at Southern Connecticut State, Lewis is the third Bridgeport football coach to leave in the past two seasons. Dave Cadelina retired from Central after the 2012 season, and it was announced this past Thanksgiving that Jack Cochran had resigned from his position at Harding.
Lewis declined comment Wednesday in a text message.
At Law, he’s taking over a program that went 4-7 last season.
Law athletic director Mike Hoggatt did not answer a call seeking comment.