New football coach strives to change program culture

Colin Miller, Staff Writer

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For the past 3 years, Poolesville High School’s football team has gone through three different head coaches. However, the current head coach, Anthony Nazzaro, has made it clear that he is not planning on leaving anytime soon. 

Nazzaro was brought on to change the culture at PHS, which has struggled to keep consistent coaching. Mrs. Regina Grubb, Athletic Director, believes that Nazzaro will be the one to end that struggle. 

“From his interview, when he came in, [Nazzaro] stated that he wants to stay here a while.” Grubb said. “That was a key piece. He was looking to build a program.” 

Nazzaro was not the only one who interviewed for the coaching job. There were multiple people up for the job, but Grubb and the interview panel believed that he was the best fit. Not only did Nazzaro have a lot of qualities that the panel liked, but he also had a lot of experience. This is Nazzaro’s 22nd year as a coach. He has coached at Magruder, Blake, and Sherwood in many different coaching positions, including varsity head coach, assistant coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator. 

“We had a set of questions for all the candidates that we had, and [Nazzaro] had a lot of experience that came through.” Grubb says, “He seemed to be very organized. He gave us a book of everything planned out of summertime, season, offseason, and moving forward.” 

Of course, Nazzaro had his own reasons for applying for the Poolesville job, too. He believes that Poolesville has always had a strong community environment, which is part of what drew him here. 

Although there are many aspects of coaching that Nazzaro enjoys, one of his favorites is building relationships with players outside of the classroom. He believes that it allows him to get to know kids on another level.

Nazzaro’s first year has not been without struggles that any new coach faces. One of Nazzaro’s biggest struggles was his late hiring. Nazzaro wasn’t hired at Poolesville until May 15, 2019, which meant he has had less time to plan out for the season and get to know the players. Although Nazzaro didn’t get to know the players as much as he would’ve liked, he was still able to build strong relationships with them. 

The amount of players on the team has also been an issue, as the team is not very large (Only 25 players).

 “It’s been challenging that the numbers are kind of low.” Nazzaro said. “We’d love to have more kids out there and have more players on the team, but the kids that have been there have worked extremely hard, and have remained committed.” 

 Coach Nazzaro’s first year has come to a close with the team finishing with a record of 2-7. Nazzaro hopes that in future seasons, the team can recruit more players on the team, and turn things around.