School board welcomes new football coach

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Naugatuck High School’s new head football coach Craig Bruno, right, addresses the Board of Education Feb. 14 as board members, Scott Slauson, left, and Mayor Robert Mezzo listen. -LUKE MARSHALL
Naugatuck High School’s new head football coach Craig Bruno, right, addresses the Board of Education Feb. 14 as board members, Scott Slauson, left, and Mayor Robert Mezzo listen. -LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck High School’s newest coach was officially welcomed to the borough.

The Board of Education welcomed Naugatuck High’s new head football coach Craig Bruno last week during its regular meeting.

“We wanted to welcome you and we’re looking forward to an undefeated season,” Chairman David Heller joked.

Bruno told the board that he was very excited to be part of the Naugatuck football program and that he was looking forward to the season starting.

“I definitely understand the responsibility and I’m excited to deal with the young men I’m going to be working with soon. I promise all you I will work as hard as I possibly can every day to get us to where we all want to go,” Bruno said.

Bruno filled the position left vacant by former coach Robert Plasky, who resigned last August amid recruiting violations. Bruno, an Oxford resident who lives 10 minutes away from Naugatuck High, has coached for the past 12 years at Bunnell High, his alma mater. He was offered the job at Naugatuck High in January.

Tom Pompei, Naugatuck High athletic director, told the board he was excited to have Bruno on board.

“He’s a two-time state championship coach. He’s the reining coach of the year in the state of Connecticut from Bunnell in Stratford, where he coaches currently, until tonight. We’re thrilled to have him,” Pompei said.

Pompei said that, going into the interviews, he had a candidate that he preferred. However, Bruno changed his mind.

“We had about 20 candidates, four that we brought forward that were very, very strong candidates. Craig Bruno … really won us over,” Pompei said.