By Cary Shuman
Matt Durgin doesn’t need milestones to affirm his brilliance as a high school football coach so maybe that’s why he deflected the spotlight and put it on his St. Mary’s football players and assistant coaches after an impressive 36-7 victory over Cardinal Spellman Saturday night at Manning Field.
Reigning All-Scholastic running back Abraham Toe scored three touchdowns while emerging Division 1 college prospect Calvin Johnson scored two touchdowns as powerful St. Mary’s raised its record to 6-0 overall.
The victory over Spellman was the 150th of Matt Durgin’s coaching career at Lynn Classical, Malden Catholic, and St. Mary’s.
Spellman coach Ron St. George summed up the universal opinion of coaches statewide, “Coach Durgin is a wonderful coach. He’s been around for a long time and does a great job with these kids, who love playing football for him.”
Outside the triumphant St. Mary’s locker room, reporters asked Durgin about reaching the 150-win milestone.
“I’ve been fortunate to coach a lot of talented kids – and a lot of good kids,” said Durgin, who played football at the University of Rhode Island. “Some of our coaches have been together for 18-19 years and I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to work with.”
Assistant coach Derek Dana praised Durgin for his achievement. “He’s the best line coach around and he’s a great coach. When your line can play the way he’s capable of teaching the kids, you always have a shot. Matt will never give up on a kid. He demands a lot from his players but every day is a new slate. He doesn’t take any nonsense but he’s always their No. 1 fan.”
Director of Athletics Jeff Newhall added, “While we have certainly had great student-athletes and essentially the same staff over the years, the leadership and coaching that Matt has done is evident in his tremendous record of achievement.”