Asst. coach named new WHHS head football coach
Asst. coach named new WHHS head football coach
Posted on 06/24/2015
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WEST HAVEN, June 9, 2015 — West Haven High School Assistant Football Coach Richard Boshea has been selected for the football team’s head coach position, following the conclusion of a selection committee’s search process and a Board of Education vote.

Administrators said it was imperative to solidify the selection as soon as possible, since the team practices in the spring and summer and needs to establish a routine with a new coach before the fall season officially begins.

The head coach position opened earlier this spring after Coach Edward McCarthy, the state’s most winningest football coach, submitted his resignation. The selection committee launched a search process as soon as McCarthy’s resignation was approved by the Board of Education and conducted interviews with four candidates.

Boshea, a retired West Haven police officer, has been an assistant coach with the Blue Devils for 30 years and took a job as a security guard at WHHS three years ago to keep a closer eye on the student-athletes and better familiarize himself with their academic needs and opportunities.

His aspirations of being the Blue Devils’ head coach go back to his time as a student at WHHS when he played football for former Coach Thomas Hunt.

“Mr. Hunt said to me I should come back and coach. West Haven was always the only place I ever wanted to coach,” said Boshea, who’s had other offers for coaching positions elsewhere over the years.

He started in 1985 as the WHHS team’s freshman coach and then in 1991 became the offensive line coach, a position he’s continued to hold.

His decades-long commitment to the team, as well as his rapport with current student-athletes, factored into the decision to choose him as the new head coach. However, his pledge to counsel students on career and college plans to ensure they are successful in high school and beyond also struck a chord with the committee and Superintendent of Schools Neil C. Cavallaro.

“I place an emphasis on school work as much as football. I want the kids to know I care about them as more than just a football player,” Boshea said. “There’s no better day than going to watch a former Blue Devil play college football. This year, I saw one playing at WestConn, another at Central, and two going head to head at a game at Merrimack. We have 17 kids playing in college right now.”

Cavallaro said the committee and Boshea acknowledged the WHHS program can be improved and that there is much work to be done. But Boshea had the “best vision for the program and for the kids both on and off the field,” Cavallaro said.

“Rich emerged head and shoulders above the rest throughout the process. A big advantage is that he’s already working in the high school right now,” Cavallaro added.

Since beginning work at WHHS as a security guard, Boshea has learned the Blue Devils’ class schedules, watched for who is on time or late to class, communicated with the student-athletes’ teachers about their performance in the classroom, and learned how to navigate around Power School, the grade-tracking system used by students, parents, staff and coaches.

He says a key to the team’s success is good coaching, knowing the players’ personalities, strengths, weaknesses and backgrounds, and working with former players who visit spring practice sessions.

“These are guys the current players looked up to when they were in eighth-grade. They come back and give the kids feedback and tell them they’re doing a good job, and it means a lot to them and shows how successful you can be if you work hard,” Boshea said.

Cavallaro added that alumni’s continued enthusiasm for the team is evident by their involvement in spring practice and in their interest in the coach selection process.

“Our alumni had opinions on this because they are so passionate about the team, and that speaks volumes on the quality of the program,” Cavallaro said.

WHHS Athletic Director Jon Capone said Boshea has earned the role as head coach and will help to strengthen the program, while giving it a sense of continuity.

“He’s worked hard behind the scenes as an assistant, and it’s important to remember this is a year-round job because of practices and conditioning sessions,” Capone said. “His dedication to the program speaks for itself. He’s ready to lead this program and maintain the excellence that has been established over the years.”