Following an outstanding playing career at URI and a few stints as an assistant coach, Matt Durgin became a head coach 15 years ago. His first job was at Lynn Classical.
“It was a very humbling experience – we were 1-10,” recalled Durgin. But the 6-foot-4-inch head coach was just setting the foundation to what has become a great coaching career.
Last year Durgin led the St. Mary’s High School football to a 10-1 record after previously turning Classical into a perennial contender in the Northeastern Conference.
Saturday night at Manning Field Durgin won his 100th game as a head coach as St. Mary’s opened its 2011 season with a powerful 35-0 victory over Cambridge in a non-league game.
Cory Donahue scored three touchdowns to lead the St. Mary’s ground game. Todd Collier also scored a touchdown and rushed for 163 yards. Fullbacks Xavier Gonzales and Sammy Scranton and the Spartans’ offensive line did an effective job blocking in the game.
Durgin had kept the approaching 100-win milestone a secret during the preseason. He talked about the win and its significance after the game.
“I just want to thank all the players I ever coached,” said Durgin. “The kids win football games for you – and talent. I’ve been fortunate to be able to coach a lot of good football players and I’ve worked with a lot of good assistant coaches.”
Durgin thanked his current staff at St. Mary’s including Derek Dana, Tom Donahue, Harold Watler, Jeffrey Newhall, Brian Mulvey, Wilson Perjuste, and Sean Donahue. During said Robert Johnson worked with him for several years at Classical.
Newhall, director of athletics at St. Mary’s High School, congratulated Durgin on his coaching milestone.
“Getting to that number of wins in a sport that you only play 10 or 11 games a year is obviously a significant achievement,” said Newhall. “I think it speaks volumes to the success he has had as a head coach and to all the players who have played for him.”