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NFA football coach Bakoulis steps down

Jason Bakoulis might have done some foreshadowing about his future coaching status one day during the season, talking to reporters with sweat dripping off him after a sausage grinder of a game.

Bakoulis grinned a bit and said something about how as difficult as his team's narrow victory played out, it was still calmer than life at home with three children — including twin sons — under the ages of three.

Bakoulis cited responsibilities as a husband and father for his reasons to step down Monday as Norwich Free Academy's football coach.

"I let the team and Roy (Wentworth, NFA's athletic director) know today that I have made the decision to step down from coaching so I can be a better father and husband," Bakoulis wrote in a text message Monday night. "I am still teaching and very much invested at NFA."

Bakoulis, an assistant at NFA (and previously at New London) assumed the head coaching position with the Wildcats in 2017. He led NFA to two Eastern Connecticut Conference Div. I titles and to a playoff berth in 2019.

The 2019 season was some of Bakoulis' best coaching. He rallied the Wildcats from a 3-3 record in midseason, capped by a Senior Night win over Killingly that featured a hook and ladder on the game's final play.

Perhaps no other coach in NFA's history endured — and prevailed — over a tougher schedule. The Bakoulis era has featured games against Darien, Cheshire, Xavier, Fairfield Prep and Shelton, among others.

He succeeded Jemal Davis as the program's head coach.

Bakoulis went out a winner, leading NFA to a 9-8 win over New London on Thanksgiving.

m.dimauro@theday.com

 

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