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    Wednesday, August 10, 2022

    Stonington boys' soccer coach Paul deCastro resigns after two straight state titles

    Stonington High School boys' soccer coach Paul deCastro accepts the championship trophy after the Bears defeated Ellington in the CIAC Class M state championship game Nov. 20 at Dillon Stadium in Hartford. DeCastro, Stonington's coach for the last 14 seasons, announced his resignation Wednesday, leaving with two straight state titles. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

    Here it was, the day Paul deCastro would announce his retirement from the 14-year odyssey of coaching soccer in his hometown. The man who always found the right words to motivate his team couldn’t really find them on the day he left.

    “I thought I’d go in and joke around,” he said, “and instead I got choked up.”

    DeCastro, who led his alma mater to its second straight state boys’ soccer championship late last month, retired from the program Wednesday.

    “When I started, it wasn’t the greatest program. I knew I had to start with the youth program and work from here,” deCastro said. “My son (Billy, a senior on the 2021 team) was playing. I put a lot of time into those kids. I knew it would be a special group. We accomplished what we wanted to this year. Leaving with them was a big part of it.”

    The 2021 Bears won their last 21 games, including the Piver Cup, Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I regular season and tournament titles and the school’s second straight Class M state title.

    “My wife has been super patient with me through this,” deCastro said. “Lots of stress this year. A lot of times, I didn’t get to watch my daughter play. I feel pretty good about the staff that will probably be in place. I’ll always bleed brown.”

    Stonington athletic director Bryan Morrone said deCastro began coaching a team and left running a program.

    “From the first day we started working together, I knew he was the right person for the job,” Morrone wrote in a statement. “His dedication to the team, hardworking nature and knowledge of the game was shown in how the team performed on and off the field. His passion for Stonington and the game of soccer permeated through our other SHS teams and our community soccer programming. It created a longevity and positive culture beyond his time on our sidelines.”

    m.dimauro@theday.com

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