Schumann steps up to lead Naugatuck cross country


By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News

Kevin Schumann

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck High boys and girls cross country teams likely won’t miss a step under new head coach Kevin Schumann.

Schumann ran cross country at Sacred Heart University. He was an assistant track coach for the past five years at Terryville High School, where he taught social studies and was named teacher of the year.

Schumann now teaches at Naugatuck High, where he did his student-teaching in 2014-15. He became familiar with the Greyhounds during his student-teaching days as a volunteer coach for the cross country team under former head coach Bill Hanley.

“Coach Hanley taught me an awful lot when I was here back in 2014-2015,” Schumann said. “He’s a great guy and an extraordinary coach who has built an incredible program here at Naugatuck.”

The feeling is mutual.

Hanley, who stepped down in August, recommended Schumann when athletic director Brian Mariano asked if he could suggest someone to coach the team.

“I couldn’t say enough good things about Kevin, who was a volunteer coach when he was here student-teaching,” Hanley said. “We spoke over the summer and I showed him the course. I think with (track coach) Ralph’s (Roper) support he has everything he needs to be successful.”

Mariano said Schumann’s education background stood out.

“What we especially liked about Kevin is that he is an excellent educator, being the teacher of the year at Terryville,” Mariano said. “He has also worked with Coach Hanley in the past and I think it will be a good fit.”

Schumann said Mariano has been a great help with the transition.

“At every point, anything that I needed he has stepped up and has been a great source of support at the administrative level,” Schumann said.

“Coach Roper has been a huge supporter, as well,” he added.

Schumann said the expectations for the team won’t change under his watch. The boys won the Naugatuck Valley League championship in 2019. The league meet wasn’t held last season.

“I go into the season with the same high expectations that Coach Hanley had,” Schumann said. “Competing for an NVL title will be the team goal, but individually I would like to see everyone improve throughout the season.”

“My mantra is you are only as strong as your weakest link,” he added. “If we work together and our top five or six runners improve every week that will push the rest of the team to improve, as well.”