Proposal seeks to honor former coach

Former Naugatuck High School boys soccer coach Art Nunes is all smiles after the team won the NVL title in 2014.  –FILE PHOTO

Former Naugatuck High School boys soccer coach Art Nunes is all smiles after the team won the NVL title in 2014. –FILE PHOTO

NAUGATUCK — The Board of Education is considering a request to rename a field at Naugatuck High School after former soccer coach Art Nunes.

Naugatuck High Dean of Students Tom Pompei, who resigned as athletic director last week, brought the proposal to the board Feb. 10. Under the proposal the multi-purpose turf field, which is currently called Veterans Field, would be renamed Veterans Field in the Arthur V. Nunes Soccer Complex.

“A huge portion of [our community] is a soccer community. Art Nunes is the founder and the man that has driven that,” Pompei said. “If you were to create the Mount Rushmore of Naugatuck athletics, you would be remiss not to include him among the greats.”

Pompei said Nunes, who coached boys soccer at Naugatuck High for 21 years and retired after this past season, was a role model in the community. Nunes was also an extremely successful coach, Pompei added.

“His success is unprecedented: 331 wins in 21 years. That’s a 21-year average of 15.8 wins a season. We play a 16-game schedule,” Pompei said.

Nunes also won 14 Naugatuck Valley League championships and two state titles over his coaching career.

Board of Education member Jason Celozzi voiced concern about the name since the field is used for more than just soccer, including football and track.

“I don’t want to pigeonhole it to representing just [soccer]. That’s one of my concerns,” Celozzi said.

Celozzi said he would also like to have input from the community before he votes on changing the name.

The board tabled action on the proposal to its meeting in March.