Taking the Reins: Chris Carroll New Head Coach of English High Bulldogs Football

Chris Carroll

Chris Carroll

Bleeding maroon and gray may not have been listed as a requirement in the job posting for the new English High football coach, but if it had been Chris Carroll would have checked that box.

English High Principal Thomas Strangie and athletic director Gary Molea announced this week that Carroll, a star quarterback for the Bulldogs who went on to play football at Bentley University, has been hired as the new head coach. He takes over for Peter Holey, who stepped down following the 2014 season after seven years at the helm.

“I think he’s going to be a great addition to the school and the athletic program,” Strangie said. “I think he brings experience with him and a great love for the school … Chris is very excited about doing this. He’s been going to English High School since he was a little kid and was a water boy.”

Carroll was a two-year captain of the English High football and baseball teams and he played hockey. He graduated in 2006 after putting up some lofty football numbers. He threw for more than 3,900 career yards including 1,812 as a senior. He had 15 touchdown passes and ran for four his final year. As a senior, Carroll was the co-MVP of the Northeastern Conference and the Item Player of the Year.

Carroll, 27, went on to have a great career at Bentley. He played cornerback in a couple of games as a freshman before earning the starting job as a sophomore. He played free safety as a junior and senior. He led Northeast-10 in interceptions both years and as a senior, he was third in interceptions in Division 2 nationally. After graduating from Bentley in 2010, he spent several years assisting in the football program, serving in various roles depending on his work commitments at the time.

“I’m really excited to begin,” Carroll said, thanking Strangie and Molea for their confidence in his ability to do the job.

“English has always been important to me,” he said

Carroll is anxious to meet with his players, but Mother Nature isn’t cooperating.

“The snow is throwing some curve balls for sure,” Carroll said. “Once school is back in session, I’ll meet with the team informally to discuss things like off-season conditioning and rules..”

One of the challenges Carroll faces is that he doesn’t work in the schools. He works in finance (he is an assistant controller at Mark Richey Woodworking in Newburyport). Carroll said his employer has been very supportive of his decision to go for the job.

“I can’t say enough about the management and my particular boss,” he said. “They’re allowing me the time I need to fulfill this. They’re a very generous, thoughtful employer. I’m really fortunate to work where I do.”

Molea coached Carroll at English and although Carroll is young and doesn’t have a lot of high school experience, the college coaching experience is a plus.

“He was a character kid when he was here,” Molea said. “At some point you have to give young coaches a chance. I’m excited for him.”

Molea said Carroll’s job now is to figure out how he will attack the job.

“Like I did, you work your way through it. You bring in people who can work with you,” he said. “He’ll have a pretty good nucleus coming back and there are some good, young players.”

Carroll’s degree is in corporate finance and accounting. Education has always been a top priority for him and that’s something he plans to stress as a coach.

“One of the biggest take-aways I got from the student-athlete part (of college) was the importance of maintaining  a good balance, keeping academics as the priority,” he said. “Academics were always a  priority to me and that’s something I want to continue at Lynn English.”

Carroll not only grew up playing sports, but he was exposed to the coaching aspect as well. His father, Steve, graduated from English in 1976. He coached football at English with Molea for a number of years and he was on retired coach Ron Bennett’s basketball staff. He also helped out with baseball and over the years, coached many of the teams Carroll played on as a youngster.

“Seeing my father as a coach definitely influenced me,” Carroll said.

One of Carroll’s most memorable youth sport experiences was playing on the East Lynn Little League team that made it to the state final in 2000. Lynn came out of the winners’ bracket, setting up a scenario where Pittsfield needed to win two to advance. Pittsfield ended up winning.

Carroll’s mom is Anne Carroll. His brother, Steve, graduated from St. Mary’s where he played football and baseball and his sister, Tracie, basketball at English. Steve works at the Gregg House in Lynn and Tracie works in human resources for a law firm in Boston.

“They’re both doing well,” Carroll said.

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