FBy Robert Paradiso ’16
For the past 13 years, Coach Stephen Boyd has enthusiastically served the Chaminade Family as a varsity football coach and physical education teacher. A professional in every sense of the word, he brought his six years of linebacking experience with the Detroit Lions to his career at Chaminade High School. When he earned the head coaching position in 2010, he set high expectations for the program and subsequently delivered one of the greatest football games in Flyers’ history, upsetting the St. Anthony’s Friars 17-16 in the CHSFL Class AAA championship in 2012. Several weeks ago, Coach Boyd announced he was vacating his head coaching position, though he will remain full time at Chaminade in the physical education department and as strength and conditioning coach.
On Friday, March 11, Chaminade High School proudly announced that Mr. Kevin Dolan ’85 will serve as the new head football coach, with Mr. Michael Dolce ’99 serving as his assistant head coach.
Coach Dolan is no stranger to football or to Chaminade’s athletic programs. As a student at Chaminade, he played four years of both lacrosse and football, captaining the football team as a senior. After graduating from Chaminade in 1985, he attended the State University of New York College at Cortland, where he also played football for four years and remained on campus for a fifth as a graduate assistant.
After college, Coach Dolan began his career as a teacher and coach in the public school system. He started teaching at Lynbrook High School, where he also coached the football team to a Long Island championship and the lacrosse team to three state crowns. He then transitioned to New Hyde Park Memorial High School. Currently in his 27th year of service, he teaches physical education, serves as the Dean of Students, and coaches both the junior varsity lacrosse team and the varsity football team.
As soon as I found out, my heart grew about ten sizes, and a list of 120 things popped in my head.
– Coach Kevin Dolan ’85
One aspect of the Marianist experience that has never left Coach Dolan is his faith. At New Hyde Park Memorial, he moderates a club called the Christian Seekers, an associate of Christian Athletes. The New Hyde Park chapter has 196 members, many of whom are first-generation Indian or Pakistani students. Each Friday meeting sees around 50-60 members participate in a brief worship service and a community service project.
“The club gives kids of different groups time to talk and come together through Christian themes,” Coach Dolan said. “Most of the kids there do not play football, either, so it gives me the chance to meet and connect with different [people].”
Coach Dolan not only involved himself in his school’s athletics and activities, but also in football at the county and state level, which reconnected him with Coach Boyd.
“As soon as I heard that Coach Boyd, a man I have known for 20 years starting when I coached him in the Nassau all-star game, was stepping-down, I gave him a call,” said Coach Dolan. “First, I checked to see if what I heard was true, and when he told me that it was, I asked about earning the job for myself. He told me to start by sending my resume to the school.”
Coach Dolan did exactly that, getting his resume to Mr. Scarola’s office in January. The process took off from there, and Coach Dolan was informed last week that he was, in fact, going to be named the varsity football head coach.
“As soon as I found out, my heart grew about ten sizes, and a list of 120 things popped up in my head,” he joked. “The first thing on that list is to start forging a relationship with the staff and players and begin to understand each other. There is anxiety not only for me, but also for the staff and players, and forging a relationship as quickly as possible will ease those feelings.”
Among the other points on Coach Dolan’s list are the plans for next season: deciding roles, getting organized, presenting a schedule and goals for the next five months leading up to the beginning of next season, and making sure everyone is on the same page.
There is a shortage of outstanding people in the world, but [Coach Dolce] is one of the few. He is professional, spiritual, and a workhorse, and I am excited that he and I and the others on the staff get to do this together.
– Coach Kevin Dolan ’85
“No one wants to kid themselves; our ultimate goal is to win all our games. It is why you compete,” Coach Dolan admitted. “We will have no shortage of players who want to work hard and tap into their talent in order to achieve our goal.”
As for the operation of the team as a whole, he notes, “Even though we will be coming off of a difficult season, I will not be doing much differently. I might change some of the x’s and o’s and a little bit of the practice, but the enthusiasm previously brought by Coaches Boyd and Horan that has worked so well will not change. Coach Boyd is an outstanding role model, not only for kids, but for adults and coaches like me.”
For the near future, Coach Dolan will focus on his role as varsity football coach. He says it is important for him to finish his educational career in the public school system, but he will surely make the transition over to Chaminade as easily as he can.
“My mom, who is 84, joked, ‘It took your father and I five months to get you to go [to Chaminade] and four years to get you out because you loved it so much.’ And she is right,” said Coach Dolan. “I loved every second of it: the classmates, friendships, and the Marianist system — the one that carries you through tough times and life as a whole.”
With every coach comes a great assistant, and Mr. Dolce will provide that role for the football program in the upcoming years.
“It is an honor to become assistant head football coach,” said Mr. Dolce. “I started off here just as a junior varsity assistant coach, then a linebacker coach for varsity, and finally as the junior varsity head coach, so I am blessed that the administration gave me the opportunity to protect the tradition of the coaches that came before me, like Stephen Boyd and Bill Basel.”
Mr. Dolce also echoed Coach Dolan’s plans for next season and the future of the program as a whole, saying, “Obviously some x’s and o’s might naturally change, but we will keep burning Coach Boyd’s torch of creating not only football players, but young men of character. We want to get off to a strong start next season, especially in our opener versus Kellenberg at Mitchel Field, and the preparation starts with conditioning right after the spring sports season. I have also previously met Kevin Dolan… and I can speak to his integrity and character, which embodies everything Chaminade stands for.”
I loved every second of [Chaminade]: the classmates, friendships, and the Marianist system, the one that carries you through tough times and life as a whole.
– Coach Kevin Dolan ’85
Coach Dolan also praised Mr. Dolce’s service to the Chaminade community.
“We are pretty good acquaintances. We met at the Chaminade lacrosse camp, which I myself have done for 28 years,” noted Coach Dolan. “There is a shortage of outstanding people in the world, but he is one of the few. He is professional, spiritual, and a workhorse, and I am excited that he and I and the others on the staff get to do this together.”
As both look forward in excitement, they also took time to reflect on Coach Boyd’s permanent legacy with the program.
“Let me carefully think about it, because this is important,” Mr. Dolce started. “No one will be able to replace his dynamic personality and innate ability as a leader. Working with him inspired me to be a better coach and a better man. The tradition and legacy he left on Chaminade football will never be forgotten because everything he did, he did the right way.”
Coach Dolan added, “Stephen Boyd has played at the highest levels of football in the United States. You don’t get better than Stephen Boyd. You don’t get recognized more than Stephen Boyd. What separates him from others is that he is an unselfish worker. He understands the importance of goals bigger than himself. We all can be high school coaches, but we need to be educators as well, and that is what makes him special.”
Jack O’Hanlon ’16, a kicker committed to Stony Brook University, said, “Coach Boyd was always a very optimistic and motivational coach. In times of adversity, he would always make sure that we stayed united as a team and kept working to become better. With Coach Dolan stepping up to the position of head coach, I hope that he will continue to lead the team, just as Coach Boyd has for the past few years, and lead our program to a championship in the future.”
I am blessed that the administration gave me the opportunity to protect the tradition of the coaches that came before me like Stephen Boyd and Bill Basel.
– Coach Michael Dolce ’99
Senior Kevin Weis also commented on Coach Boyd’s legacy and his excitement for the future of the Chaminade football program, saying, “Playing for Coach Boyd was an absolute privilege, blessing, and an experience that I will never forget… He certainly has touched the lives of every player who has had the privilege to be coached by him. Coach Boyd’s enthusiasm, passion, and love for not only football, but also all of his players, explains the influential figure he is. The future of Chaminade Flyers football is extremely bright as well, and I am positive the administration and Coach Boyd selected Coach Dolan because of the similar core values they both share. Even though I am graduating this year, I am certainly excited for the future of the program and cannot wait to come back and watch some games. Thank you, Coach Boyd, for the dedication you brought to Chaminade High School.”
The Chaminade Family congratulates Head Coach Dolan and Assistant Head Coach Dolce and wishes Coach Boyd well as he continues in the physical education department and as strength and conditioning coach at Chaminade High School!