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Saints name Bears assistant Ladyga head coach

St. Bernard Saints - 2009 Season
Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2009 by Coach Ladyga
 It was never something he envisioned while playing football at Montville High School; being the head coach at the Indians’ biggest rival across town, St. Bernard.

That’s what happened to Sean Ladyga on Sunday as St. Bernard Athletic Director Bill Buscetto announced that Ladyga  will replace Marc Romano as head football coach of the Saints.

“We had some great candidates, but Sean just stood out,” Buscetto said. “He’s a leader, a motivator and he has a great track record in the Eastern Connecticut Conference.”

Ladyga may not have thought of St. Bernard as a coaching destination when he was younger, but coaching football has always been a priority. He saved most of the literature that his high school football coach, Dave Pesapane, gave him. The 29-year-old never played college football, but came back to work with the Montville program from 1998 through 2003 before he left for Ledyard for one year to work with Bill Mignault’s staff. He then made the jump to Stonington when A.J. Massengale offered him the defensive coordinator position and has been there until he accepted the St. Bernard job.

“I’m very excited,” Ladyga said of the opportunity to take over his own program. “It’s all part of the process, working under different head coaches, then becoming a coordinator. This has been a goal of mine and it was not a matter of if, it was a matter of when.”

“He came in with a plan for his defense and a plan for his offense and his priorities in order. Academics are first, family is next and football is after that, he’s going to be a great role model for us,” Buscetto said of why Ladyga stood out among the 22 applicants, most of them current assistants who were interested in the job.

Ladyga is not taking over a program in trouble, if anything, it’s quite the opposite.

The Saints have won three of the last four ECC Small Division titles, and made the state playoffs in 2006.

“There’s pressure whether there’s been success or lack there of,” Ladyga said. “Marc Romano set the bar high and my first goal is to defend the ECC (Small Division) title.”

To accomplish that, Ladyga plans to bring his own innovation, a 3-5 defense that he devised at Stonington, with him to St. Bernard. Offensively, the Saints may look a lot different than a year ago as quarterback Ryan Brahm and running back Jordan Rando as well as several other key players such as Joey Cyr and Lucas Bowman, will have graduated.

“It’s a bit of a new start, but other coaches have spoken highly of the younger kids who played in the froshmore program at St. Bernard,” Ladyga said. “It will be a new start with a new philosophy.”

It also ended speculation that former New London football coach Jack Cochran was going to find a new home in Uncasville.

“Sean is the best fit for our program right now and we’re really excited to have him,” Buscetto said. “We’re going to retain some of our assistants from Marc’s program and it’s going to be a smooth transition.”

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