True to the less-is-more aesthetic that’s defined his run as one of the most accomplished high school football coaches in Massachusetts history, it wasn’t so much how long John DiBiaso spoke at his introductory press conference Thursday afternoon as the new head coach at Catholic Memorial.
It was what he said in those two and a half minutes that resonated ever so loudly.
After guiding Everett to an 11-0 season and an unprecedented 12th MIAA state championship in 20 seasons, DiBiaso stood on the field at Gillette Stadium following a 35-10 victory over Xaverian and told a group of reporters, “I’m on the 18th green, looking at the clubhouse.”
Thursday, before dozens of CM students and faculty gathered in the Ron Perry Gymnasium, the former Everett coach opened things up by calling his new gig, “The final destination in my career in coaching.”
But he also made it succinctly clear he was in it for the long haul.
“I hope to coach until I’m 80,” DiBiaso told reporters following his introductory press conference, where at CM he will also serve as associate athletic director in addition to his head coaching duties.“I’m only 61, so is 19-20 years a long time? Maybe if I keep taking my vitamins, I can coach until I’m 90.”
DiBiaso had officially announced his retirement after 26 years as Everett’s coach and athletic director less than a week after the Crimson Tide beat rival Xaverian for the Division 1 state title on Dec. 2.
In three decades of coaching between St. Patrick’s of Watertown, Weston and Everett, DiBiaso amassed a 304-75-1 record, one of only a few coaches to reach the 300-win plateau.
With an enrollment of more than 500 boys, CM is the smallest high school competing in Massachusetts’ highest division, a point DiBiaso conceded was a big factor in his decision.
Staring directly at the two dozen students seated on the right side of the crowd, DiBiaso commended them for playing in the highest division and not trying to opt out to a lower division. He later joked to reporters, “ ‘David-against-Goliath,’ that’s going to be our motto.”
“This school has fought its way through its history staying [in] Division 1 and playing the best of the best,” DiBiaso told the players. “And I promise you, I will give you everything in my tank — 110 percent — to bring a state championship here. We are going to compete with the best of the best, I guarantee that.”
Back at Everett, the news of DiBiaso’s defection hasn’t been easy to deal with. But, DiBiaso insisted,his move to CM wasn’t the result of anything Everett did.
“I just say that, personally and professionally, I felt that I was becoming a little stale, and I needed a change,” DiBiaso said. “It was not Everett, by any means, [or] anything Everett did, it was just something John DiBiaso needed for himself.”
After his son had taken an assistant coaching job with the Knights this season, speculation became rampant DiBiaso would likely join Jonathan at CM.
DiBiaso says he took a call from athletic director Craig Najarian after announcing his retirement in early December. But things came to a head quickly on Monday, when DiBiaso met with school president Dr. Peter Folan.
“I’m not gonna lie to you, [I] had other opportunities, things going on,” DiBiaso said. “But I felt very comfortable here, with the people and the community and area. It was love at first sight.”