By Joyce Erekson
The Classical High fall coaching lineup will include some new faces as well as some familiar faces in different places.
Dominick Steadman is the new varsity boys soccer head coach. Bob Burns will coach the varsity girls soccer team and Kevin Fidrych and Allison Gibbs will coach the boys and girls cross country teams, respectively..
Steadman, Fidrych and Gibbs all coach other sports at the school. Steadman, a teacher at St. Mary’s, was the assistant boys soccer coach under Rob Upton, who stepped down this spring. Fidrych coaches the Rams’ freshman baseball team and Gibbs is an assistant coach for the Classical girls spring track team.
Burns is new to the mix. The Medford native has coached in the Woburn Youth Soccer program at various levels for the past 14 years. He’ll take over for Justina Gaeta, who coached the Rams for four years before resigning. Burns wanted to hold off talking about his new coaching opportunity while his youth team is alive in the playoffs,
“Bob is an outstanding soccer instructor who is passionate about the game and the teams he coaches,” Devin said in a statement announcing the new coaching hires. “He is looking to create a culture of family where the players can continue to succeed academically and athletically.”
Steadman comes to the head coaching job after holding assistant coaching positions not only at Classical (the last three years), but at English (under Kerry King) and at Lynn Tech (under former coach Fred Gallo). Steadman, 34, played soccer and baseball at Lynn English. He attended Bridgton Academy in Maine where he played soccer and baseball. He went on to Eastern Connecticut State, where he played baseball. He ended up transfering to Salem State and currently teaches math and engineering at St. Mary’s.
“Being a head coach is something I’ve always dreamed of doing,” Steadman said, adding that he got a taste of it when he filled in for Upton a couple of times.
“At first is was pretty terrifying,” he said. “But it was a good opportunity fo me to get my feet wet … it sparked my intererst in taking over if Rob stepped away.”
Steadman will inherit a team that came up a couple of games short of qualifying for the state tournament last season. The good news is that the numbers are very good. Steadman said they had about 50 players show up for tryouts last year and had to make some cuts.
“Dom has excellent game management skills and already has a working relationship with the returning players,” Devin said. “As an educator he will be a positive influence for our players both on the field and in the classroom.”
Steadman and his wife, Jennifer, have a daughter, Addison, who was born in November.
The boys and girls cross country program (formerly coached by Cori Russo, has a whole new look. Fidrych, who grew up in Florida but is originally from Worcester, was a varsity cross country runner for Bolles College Preparatory School in Jacksonville. He returned to this area to attend graduate school at Northeastern University. He teaches special education history at Fecteau-Leary.
“I’ve always had a passion for running and I love coaching,” Fidrych said. “I enjoy being part of the Lynn Classical community, interacting with the students. I enjoy coaching baseball so I figured I may as well coach in the fall as well.”
Gibbs has the task of bringing up the numbers in Classical girls cross country, which have been low in recent years. She’s hoping by coaching the girls in the spring season she’ll get some to give cross country a try. Gibbs also believes having the same coaches involved all three seasons will provide some consistency in the program.
“I’m hoping to show them that trail running is a little more interesting (than running on a track”,” she said.
Gibbs is a math CIT at Tracy Elementary School. The 29-year-old English High graduate is also an experienced runner having done six marathons, the most recent being in Boston. She’s also a regular at the Wednesday night summer cross country races at Lynn Woods.
“Allison recently ran the Boston Marathon and has run in countless half-marathons, 10k and 5k races.