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A look at high school football throughout the state

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wilby still in search of coach

Wilby is still seeking a head football coach after Chris Eckert stepped down earlier this year.

There was speculation that former Bloomfield, New Britain and New London coach Jack Cochran was offered the job with the Wildcats. Cochran did apply and interview.

Wilby AD Steve Baldwin, however, said Cochran "pulled his name out of the running" for the job.

Baldwin added that they will probably conduct a second round of interviews soon.

Jack Cochran has won eight state titles as coach with three schools.Cochran's son Casey led Masuk to the Class L state title in 2010 as a junior. As a freshman, Casey Cochran was quarterback at New London when the Whalers captured the Class M state title.

There is also still an opening at Southington, after former UConn standout D.J. Hernandez stepped down after one season to become the quarterbacks coach at Brown.

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Monday, May 2, 2011

NFL agent Joe Linta hired at Hamden Hall

NFL agent Joe Linta has been hired to be the new head football coach at Hamden Hall, the school's headmaster, Bob Izzo, confirmed Monday.

"We hired Joe just the other day," Izzo said.

Linta, a Branford resident, is the founder of JL Sports, a company that represents over 40 NFL players, most notably Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Linta is a graduate of Yale, where he played defensive tackle. He was an assistant coach with the Bulldogs from 1985 to 1991 under then head coach Carm Cozza. Previously, Linta was an assistant at the University of New Haven.

"The reason you do this, the opportunity to spend time at a place like this is very flattering," Linta said. "Football wise, we want to make it a place for the college recruiters to stop because a) we have kids who want to go to college and b) they want to play football at the next level."

In the fall, Hamden Hall returns running back Curtis Antrum, who Linta calls "one of the best running backs in the state".

"It's exicting to build a program," Linta said. "We're going to do a lot of the NFL offense and pressure defense. We're going to build the offense around Curtis but we're going to throw the ball too. The facility is second to none. I was blown away by how nice the place is. The kids have to see it to appreciate it."

Linta replaces Rob Carbone, who stepped down after four seasons with the program.

"Ron and I talked about it before the season and he told me (2010) was going to be his last year," Izzo said.

Izzo said they interviewed several applicants but thought Linta was the most qualified candidate.

"We think he's going to do a tremendous job," Izzo said. "I'm comfortable with his background. He's a natural with the kids. He's smart, hard-working and driven."

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