Meet the nominees for Daily News high scool football Coach of the Year for 2011
Bradley, Langley, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Louison faced different challenges, but each perseveredComments
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, January 16 2012, 12:00 PM
Abraham Lincoln’s Shawn O'Connor, winner of the Daily News 2010 High School Football Coach of the Year award. Who will take home the honor this year? Watch Daily News Live on SNY at 5 p.m. Tuesday to find out.
Jim Bradley, FARRELL
A former Farrell football player himself, Bradley took over for longtime coach Ben Sarullo and became the fourth coach in school history. The former college assistant was charged with restoring the respectability of a once-proud program. The Lions lost their first three games but managed to qualify for theCHSFL Class AAA playoffs, perhaps a sign of bright days ahead.
Howard Langley, CLINTON
Who saw this coming? The Governors in the PSAL semifinals was one of the surprises of the season, and Langley’s leadership was one of the chief sources that underlay the success. Stuck at 3-3 at midseason, the eighth-year coach kept his poise, stuck to his plan and helped his team reel off five straight wins, knocking off defending-champion Fort Hamilton in the process.
Shawn O’Connor, LINCOLN
Few would argue that Lincoln had a more talented team last season, when a mammoth defense and a multitude of talented offensive players carried the Railsplitters within one win of the city championship. But losing such talent to graduation did not slow O’Connor’s team, which walked off the field at Yankee Stadium as champions on the city, unbeaten at that.
Mike O’Donnell, STEPINAC
Following a 12-0 championship season in the CHSFL’s AA division in 2010, Stepinac made the leap up to the AAA this year and nearly pulled off an even more impressive feat. With nine wins and trip to the title game, where the Crusaders lost to powerhouse St. Anthony’s, O’Donnell sent a message to the rest of the league: No matter where his team plays, it’s ready to take on any challenge.
Marcus Louison, AUGUST MARTIN
Playing for the PSAL Bowl championship? Not bad. Doing it during a season in which they played without a locker room? Most impressive. Louison, a second-year coach, showcased his leadership by helping his team keep its focus. The Falcons trailed Madison by 15 points in the final, but demonstrated their mettle by drawing to within two points, 22-20, before they ran out of time.