High schools

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Right time for Don Herman’s return as Martha’s Vineyard football coach

After two years away from the sideline, all it took was a job listing to lure Don Herman back to the position he commandeered for 28 years as varsity football coach at Martha’s Vineyard Regional.

MV recently announced that the 59-year-old Herman would be returning after the resignation of Ryan Kent, the program’s second coach in two years.

Herman admitted that although he had never lost his passion for coaching, the timing of Kent’s resignation, late in the year, was also a key factor.

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“I didn’t think there would be enough time to go out and find a good coach that could also teach in the building,” said Herman.

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“That list would be very narrow.”

So after interviewing five candidates in a four-hour session, MVRHS unanimously concluded that Herman right person for the position. He has an impressive resume.

In his 28-year run, Herman went 229-90 with five Super Bowl victories. Herman, and the school, are hoping his reputation is something that can fix a glaring issue in the last few years: participation.

The Vineyarders’ went from fielding a program of 75 players in 2008 to a total of 38 in 2015. The 2017 team forfeited its last two games last fall because of a lack of numbers.

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Herman speculates that a switch to a stronger conference in 2009 and the rise of concussion issues have contributed to the decline in participation

At least one of those issues will be solved in 2018. The Vineyarders left the Eastern Athletic Conference and will play an independent schedule in hopes of re-joining the Cape and Islands league in the following year.

“I want to be competitive week in and week out, I want to have an opportunity in every single game we’re in and I want the kids to regain their love and passion for the sport,” said Herman.