Mazzola Selected as Medway High’s New Football Coach

KEN HAMWEY, Staff Sports Writer
Anthony Mazzola has been successful in the past and there are plenty of hints  suggesting that Medway’s new coach will be adding to his success.
Issue Date: 
May, 2019
Article Body: 

Anthony Mazzola, who guided Tri County Vocational to three Super Bowl appearances, is Medway High’s new football coach.
The 41-year-old Mazzola was the Cougars head coach for nine years and during that span his teams played in two vocational Super Bowls and was a South Sectional semi-finalist in Division 8. The native of Townsend replaces Chris Baker, who resigned earlier this year and now is the offensive coordinator at Hopkinton High. Last season, Baker led the Mustangs to the Tri Valley League’s Small Division championship.
A resident of Medway for 6½ years, Mazzola says his new position is “a great opportunity’’ and he’s acutely aware he’ll be leading a traditionally strong program in a league that’s very challenging. “My goals are to build on last year’s success, turn out top-notch student-athletes and work with the town’s youth program,’’ Mazzola said. “I won’t be someone I’m not. I’ll be me and do what’s best for the school, the kids and the community. We want to win, but we also want to be a respected program throughout the state.’’
Mazzola, who’s married and has three sons, has been coaching football for 17 years. Before arriving at Tri County, he coached two minor league teams — the Bay State Renegades and the North East Knights. His first coaching job was at his high school alma mater (North Middlesex Regional in Townsend) where he served as offensive coordinator for two years.
Tri County, however, is where Mazzola got results. His Cougars advanced to a pair of vocational super bowls, losing to North Shore Tech and Lynn Tech. Last year in the MIAA Division 8 semifinals, Tri County bowed to West Bridgewater. During his tenure with the Cougars, his teams won six consecutive Mayflower Conference sportsmanship awards and last season he was named the circuit’s coach of the year. “Getting the coach of the year award was an honor,’’ he said. “To be recognized by your peers shows respect.’’
Mazzola firmly believes that to be a high-caliber coach, it’s imperative to be a teacher first.
“My philosophy has always been to be a teacher first,’’ he said. “I’ll strive to develop a winning attitude and focus on the importance of overcoming adversity. We want our players to be positive role models, not only on the field but also in the classroom and in the community. Valuable life lessons can be learned in athletics. And, I enjoy seeing players be disciplined, respectful, unselfish, able to handle adversity and knowing how to persevere.’’
The official announcement of Mazzola’s selection at Medway came on April 10 and a day earlier he met his Tri County players, informing them of his departure. “That was the toughest thing I’ve had to do in my 17 years of coaching,’’ he emphasized. “It was emotional and sad. My greatest thrill at Tri County was the relationship I built with my players.’’
Mazzola, who is a special education teacher and team chair at Tri County, relies on a coaching style that’s analytical, consistent, organized, logical and emotional. “I love breaking down film,’’ he said. “And, when I ask the kids to do something, they’ll know what my reasoning is. I’m also emotional to a point where I care for the kids. I’d like to think I’m a good motivator and that I’m consistent in everything I do.’’
Mazzola played football at North Middlesex Regional and competed for a year at Fitchburg State where he was a running back and safety. He transferred to Westfield State where he graduated in 2001. He earned his master’s degree in special education and has an advanced degree in educational leadership.
At Tri County, Mazzola faced two major challenges in football — no youth program and his players resided in 13 different towns because it’s a regional school. Nevertheless, bonding occurred, fundamentals were learned and games were won.
“We faced challenges at Tri County,’’ Mazzola noted. “Now, they’ll be different challenges. To compete in the Tri Valley League will definitely present some challenges. There were very good coaches in the Mayflower League, and I know there are excellent coaches in the TVL. It’s a league that features speed and physicality. It’s a matter of adapting and adjusting.’’
Medway Athletic Director Jeff Parcells is pleased with the addition of Mazzola. “We’re very excited to have coach Mazzola leading our football program,’’ Parcells said. “He has many years of coaching experience and proven success. Being an educator makes him a great fit for us. He’s a man of sound character and I believe he’ll be a great role model for the young men in his program.’’
Mazzola hopes to assemble a team of quality assistants, and he’ll focus on that priority immediately. He also said he wants his squads to be balanced, but he doesn’t use that term the way other coaches do.
“Being balanced is really about adjusting and adapting when your opponent takes the lead or takes away what you do best,’’ Mazzola noted. “Balance isn’t about throwing 50 percent of the time or running 50 percent of the time. It’s about being resilient.’’