Overtime

Dave Ruden offers news, commentary and analysis on the FCIAC and local sports

Jamar Greene named Stamford High football coach

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Jamar Greene

In a somewhat surprising move with historical implications, Jamar Greene was named the new head football coach at Stamford High School on Thursday morning.

The appointment came after Greene had a final interview with the school’s principal, Dr. Donna Valentine, and athletic director, Jim Moriarty.

Greene is not well known outside of Stamford. He was the offensive coordinator at Westhill last season, which would have had its first winning season in 26 years if not for forfeiting its first four victories for using an ineligible player.

Greene is also the first black head football coach ever at Stamford, Westhill or Trinity Catholic, the city’s three FCIAC members.

“That really means a lot to me,” said the 36-year-old Greene, who teaches language arts at Cloonan Middle School and was a wide receiver and cornerback for the Black Knights before graduating in 1995. “I know outside of Stamford people are going to say “Who is he?” But I’ve had a lot of support from the community and I am ready to accept the challenge.”

After a 2-0 start, Stamford lost its final eight games last year and was 15-14 in three seasons under Bryan Hocter, who resigned in December.

Hocter was one of many people who wrote letters of recommendation on behalf of Greene, who was selected by a six-person committee from a field that started with over 20 applicants and was whittled down to seven who received interviews and then three finalists, including two current FCIAC assistant coaches.

Greene spent the two seasons prior to Westhill as the freshmen coach at Stamford High School, where he had a record of 17-2. In a statistic telling of the state of the Black Knights’ program, Greene said 53 of those players, who will be seniors and juniors next year, are no longer with the team, for a majority of reasons, including substandard grades.

Hocter said he started last season with 61 players and lost 19 by the time of the season-ending game against Westhill.

“I hope to get a majority of them back into the program to be successful the next few years,” Greene said. “One of the first priorities is to see the kids back on the playing fields. I want kids to take pride not just in football, but with their education.

Moriarty, who is in his first year as athletic director after over three decades as the school’s boys basketball coach, said at the time of Hocter’s resignation that returning Stamford football to its glory days of four decades ago was a self-imposed mandate.

“He’s a graduate of the program and he is a teacher,” Moriarty said of Greene. “I know he is going to put a terrific program in place for football and academics. He was very, very impressive during the interviews, and to be honest it wasn’t an easy choice because the other two people had a lot of experience. The process was rigorous.”

Moriarty is aware this could be the most important hiring move he will have to make, and wanted someone who will provide the team with stability and consistency from the top.

“We are looking at someone to be involved with the program for a number of years,” Moriarty said.

Prior to his stint as a Stamford assistant, Greene was a head coach for both the Rippowam and Dolan Middle School teams, which serves as feeder programs for the high school. Greene is hoping to cultivate his relationships to develop a self-perpetuating system.

“For me, being a pillar in the community, I have a lot of ties to the players and people in the community,” Greene said. “I have a history with kids, and one of the things that is going to motivate me is to get into the hallways and get the kids to come out.”

Greene said he plans to hold a team meeting on Monday and to start putting together a coaching staff, which he said could include several of Hocter’s former assistants.

“I want to surround myself with the best possible people,” Greene said. “I’m going to approach some people from the previous regime about returning. I think this is going to take some time. It all depends how many kids come out and what shape they are in. That’s the unknown. It is going to take a lot of work but I still think we can surprise some people. But I am looking at long term success as opposed to the immediate.”

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Categories: General

14 Responses

  1. Football Fan says:

    Good Luck to the new coach because he’s going to need it! Hocter was not only a great football coach but a child advocate and a humanitarian that cared about his kids. It’s hard to help kids when the parents and the community don’t support you. He was responsible for bringing the problem of neglect to the community such as poor equipment, a condemned weight room, and the problem of hunger. He raised a great deal of money to make sure his team was fed. Hydration and lack of food were as important to him as winning a game. As far as I’m concerned, coach Hocter was a great man and I hope the new coach can live up to his standards and not let politics get in the way.

  2. footballdad says:

    Justafan,

    I agree with you 100%. I believe Jamar left the program for the very negative reasons you talked about. He was not happy with the direction the program was going. He coached my son as a freshmen and was excellent! He had very little to no support from the varsity staff. He was left out to dry and wasnt provided with any help. I know this because on many occassions as a parent that coaches middle school football, I assisted him. The freshmen program took a major hit when Jamar bolted for Westhill. There was a major disconnect between the freshmen and varsity programs. My son decided not to play after his freshmen year not because of his grades (his grades are good) but because he didn’t feel like getting yelled at and disrepected on a daily basis. I am confident that Jamar will make the necessary changes.

  3. justafan says:

    what defines a successful freshmen coach, a winning record? freshmen football is about preparing kids to be part of the future of the program. it seems to me the biggest success of jamars freshmen program was jamar getting promoted. how many players are no longer part of the team due to any number of things? Is it grades, lack of playing time on a freshmen team when wins and losses should not matter, overall lack of motivation from the entire program, not wanting to play for a losing team, standing around for 3 hours a day after school watching 5 coaches coach the starting players, coaches that could not got along with each other, coaches that constantly put dowm the players and rarely provided any positive influence, coaches that embarrased the team by cursing at the kids and opponents. the program has been a total lack of class the past few years. good luck jamar, hopefully you can turn it around. THE KIDS DESERVE IT!

  4. Paul S says:

    Very happy to hear Jamar is going to be the coach! Congrats!

  5. Ken Richards Sr. says:

    Jamar; Good Luck!

  6. justafan says:

    the hire makes no sense to me but good luck

  7. Bill says:

    Stingford, Greene went 10 and 0 his first year as freshmen coach and 7 and 2 the second year. How is that unsuccessful. Bottom line is he knows how to win and the kids love playing for him. It won’t happen over night but he will turn that program around. The offense will be better and more kids will come out and play. This was a great hire!

  8. Stingford says:

    Hard to say this is an excellent hire – no play calling experience, and 1 year as a Varsity offensive coordinator under one of the worst coaches in the league, and he was an unsuccessful freshman coach.

    Life is all about proving people wrong though… I’m sure he is a great guy but not the best guy for this job… There was a Staples and New Canaan assistant applying and they didn’t get the job… OR maybe the didn’t take the job?! Anyone know?

  9. anonymous says:

    This is an EXCELLENT hire by Mr. Moriarty and the Black Knights Nation. The kid (Greene) is going to put all his energies and time into this program and for that I applaud this hire. Give this young man a chance he deserves, he has only been a coach his whole life. GREAT MOVE !

  10. Celia Beluk says:

    Best of Luck Jamar! I still remember the “good old” SYF days! Congrats!

  11. LawrenceJ says:

    Good Luck Brother. We all know you can do it!!!

  12. whatever it is Im against it says:

    Good luck young man! I wish you much success.

  13. Dave Ruden says:

    Thanks I caught that reading it again. Bingham was an assistant.

  14. mike says:

    Hocter was the head coach for three years. Wasn’t Sidney Bingham a head coach there?