Gary Sverker, head coach of the Lynn Tech football team for the past 19 seasons, announced his retirement at the breakup banquet last Thursday night at the Tiger’s Den.
“I’m not going to announce captains for next year [because] I’m not going to be here next year,” Sverker told the gathering at the banquet. “I’m retiring – I’m leaving. It’s time to go. It’s been a great ride.”
The players, coaches, cheerleaders and parents responded with applause for the leader of the Tigers’ football program.
“I’ve coached for 37 years,” Sverker continued in his remarks. “I don’t think I missed a day of practice. It’s a way of life but you know something – you have to enjoy the journey as you go through it and there comes a time. I was going to retire last year and I came back because of the senior class and I thought we could do something special and lo and behold we did.”
Sverker and that senior class helped Tech claim the State Vocational Super Bowl championship in a thrilling victory over Southeastern Regional at Memorial Stadium in Quincy.
Sverker then thanked his staff of assistant coaches.
“Ray Donahue has been with me 14 years at Tech and two at North Reading,” said Sverker. “There’s no better friend and no better football guy than my best friend, Ray Donahue.”
He also thanked long-time assistant coach Brad Tilley, who also coached with him at North Reading. He singled out the contributions of assistant coaches Mackenzie Charles and Angel DeLeon, his former players in the Tech program.
Former Tech Director Al Malagrifa attended the banquet. “Al Malgarifa took a lot of heat because he hired me,” said Sverker. “They said I shouldn’t be the coach and Mike Carr, the former athletic director got out of his chair and said, ‘Hey, that’s my guy for the job.’ “And 19 years later, when it came down to it, I did alright.”
Addressing his players, Sverker concluded, “It’s not about me. It’s about you guys celebrating something that a Lynn Tech football team has never done.”
“Gary Sverker gave me the opportunity of a lifetime and I’m grateful for that,” said Charles, a Class of 2004 Tech graduate. “I learned a lot from Gary Sverker.”