Millett replaced

B y Derek Liebig

The Whitehall Central School varsity football team will have a new coach roaming the sidelines of Ambrose Gilligan Field next fall.

The Board of Education voted Monday night to appoint assistant coach Justin Culligan as its next head coach.

Culligan received five of seven votes (board members Michael Putorti and Theodore LaRose were absent) and will replace long-time head coach John Millett.

Millett and former assistant coach Neil Hughes had both applied for the head coaching job, but the board decided to go with Culligan.

Culligan, 36, teaches social studies, economics and government at Whitehall and has been an assistant football coach at Whitehall for six years, as well as head coach of the Railroaders’ successful outdoor track program.

“He’s been a diligent assistant for a number of years, he has head coaching experience from track, he mentored under John, and we feel he’s ready for the job,” Superintendent James Watson said.

Last month, Watson recommended to the board they replace Millett with Culligan, citing a 2009 agreement between Watson and the two coaches that Millett would coach two more years, then step down allowing Culligan an opportunity to take over as head coach.

At the time Watson was quoted as saying “I am very appreciative of what John did. He volunteered to step in and give us two years to right the ship when the program was struggling, and he did just that. Now we need to be fair to Justin.”

Millett, however, didn’t recall such an agreement.

“There was no agreement,” he said.

Millett, who has coached three generations of Whitehall football players, and has won 195 games, expressed displeasure with the board’s decision.

“It’s disappointing. I’ve been here since 1965,” he said.

Despite Millett’s departure, fans won’t notice much of a chance of the field.

 “I hope to continue what John has built here. He did a great job of getting us back on track. He’s a legend and I’ve got some big shoes to fill.” Culligan said. “I’m very excited about the opportunity.”  

Culligan has been an assistant coach for the last 19 years, starting at Queensbury a few months after graduating from the school in 1993. He went on to coach at South Glens Falls, Fort Edward and Saratoga Catholic, in addition to his time at Whitehall.

He feels those experiences should help him as he moves forward.

“I’ve tried to take little from all the coaches I’ve worked with,” Culligan said.

Joining him on the sidelines will be assistant coaches Bob Diekel, Neil Hughes, Richard Gould, Tom Egan and Jason Hoagland, all of whom return from last season.

“With the entire coaching staff returning, it should be a fairly easy transition. I feel like we’re ahead of the game,” Culligan said.

The Railroaders first games will be on Sept. 3 in Salem before returning home the following Friday for their first home game of the season against Lake George.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , ,

North Country Freepress – 06/15/18

freepress 6-15-18.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 06/15/18

lakes_6_15_18.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 06/14/18

518 Wheels 6-15-18.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 06/08/18

freepress 6-8-18.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 06/07/18

518 Wheels 6-8-18.pdf-web.pdf

Woman, 74, surrenders for January hit-and-run

hit run

By Krystle S. Morey More than five months after a man was hit by a vehicle and left seriously injured […]

Community argues against abolishing police to cut costs

Whitehall PD meeting

By Matthew Saari Whitehall village residents have spoken – they want their police department. More than 50 people turned out […]

Inaugural Sasquatch half-marathon Saturday

squatch2

By Matthew Saari Runners near and far will converge on Whitehall for the first-ever Sasquatch half-marathon and 5K race this […]

Whitehall wins first trap season

Whitehall trap

By Matthew Saari Four thousand three hundred fifty targets, 87 participants, 12 schools and one champion. The fledgling Whitehall trap […]

Hartford reenactors appear in TV episode

Mary and Mike 1

By Keith Harrington A pair of Hartford High School graduates parlayed their passion for Revolutionary War reenactment and acting into […]