Mike Forget, who has been the Darien football team’s defensive coordinator for the past eight years, today was promoted to head coach, replacing Rob Trifone, who resigned in January.
Darien athletic director Chris Manfredonia said in a statement that because the interview process was not completed it has been decided to make this a one-year position to allow the process to be fully executed next year. Manfredonia said a full search will take place at the conclusion of this coming season.
Forget learned of his hiring this morning.
“I’m ecstatic,” Forget said. “I’m humbled and honored. It’s a privilege to coach this type of program. Coach Trifone has left it in great hands and I was part of that building process and happy to see it going forward.”
Forget was the head coach of a consolidated Fairfield High School from 2001-04. When the town went back to two schools, Forget was the coach until 2007 at Fairfield Ludlowe, where he currently works as a physical education teacher.
“One of the the things that I told the interview committee is I came here and helped Rob put this program together and we have similar philosophies so if they’re looking for me to change things not a lot of changes will happen because I have been a part of what has gone on over the eight years,” Forget said.
Offseason workouts have been handled by a committee of coaches, Forget said. The players have been working with John Carlozzi, the Blue Wave’s veteran strength and conditioning coach.
Forget said Dante Correnty, a former Darien player who returned to the coaching staff last season after a stint as New Canaan’s offensive coordinator, will hold that position with the Blue Wave. Forget said he will name a new defensive coordinator. He said except for two assistants that have already left he expects the rest of the staff to return.
During 13 seasons Trifone led the Blue Wave to four FCIAC and three state titles, the latter successively in 2015-17.
Darien was 11-2 last year, losing in the Class LL final to Newtown, 13-7, on the final play of the game.
“From the very start I was very biased and felt that Mike was going to be the best candidate for the job simply because No. 1, he’s a great coach with a lot of experience and, No. 2, he understands our program better than anybody,” Trifone said. “He and I have talked extensively and I said, look, everyone has there own personality, their own agenda, but don’t change too much. It’s been very successful. He knows that and he’s been a big part of everything we’ve done.”
Trifone said the continuity and Forget’s attributes will serve the Blue Wave well going forward.
“I think the athletes were afraid of an overhaul, and they’re used to this tradition and that tradition, and is it going to be the same,” Trifone said. “And now I think it will. Mike has a great rapport with the kids, he has a great rapport with the parents as well, which in this day and age is important. He’s a very hard worker and extremely organized, and he will keep the current staff right on task.”
The Blue Wave open the coming season at home against Fairfield Warde.
Forget said he was not upset that the school did not give him a longer commitment.
“I really don’t think the interim year is going to be an issue,” Forget said. “They told me it was because they didn’t have the opportunity to finish out the interview process. Guess what, I am going to be the guy that I’ve been the past eight years with this program. I’m putting my best foot forward and going to make it difficult to say no to me.”