The day he was not retained for his 12th season as the varsity football coach at Winthrop High, his alma mater, Sean Driscoll said he would consider taking the 2018 season off — unless an opportunity arose.
Less than three weeks later, St. Mary’s of Lynn presented the right opportunity.
On Tuesday, Driscoll was hired as the head coach at St. Mary’s, a perennial Division 7 power that is coming off a 10-1 season and a run to the state semifinals under Matt Durgin, who stepped down in January after 10 years.
“I love coaching football and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to coach at St. Mary’s,” said Driscoll, a close friend of Durgin.
“When I heard that Matt was stepping down, I took a look at the St. Mary’s position, and everyone I talked to had nothing but positive things to say about the academics at the school and the athletic program.”
Driscoll has been on the sideline for 25 years, getting his start as a five-year assistant at Burlington. He returned to Winthrop to assist Tony Fucillo from 1998 to 2006 before taking over as head coach. He led the Vikings to a 10-win season, Northeastern Conference championship, and MIAA Division 4 North final berth in 2014.
“We feel very fortunate to attract a coach the caliber of Sean Driscoll,” said Jeff Newhall, director of athletics at St. Mary’s. “We’re very confident he will carry on the tradition of excellence established by Matt.”
Newhall said there were 27 applicants, including five current or former varsity coaches and a college assistant coach.
“I followed a great coach in 2007 and I’m following a great coach now,” said Driscoll, who is the director of parks and recreation in Winthrop.
“Matt and I have very similar philosophies. Football has been very good to me and it’s a good character builder for kids.”
He will meet the St. Mary’s players on Wednesday.