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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mutiny at Masuk? Discord among program's ranks prompts meeting (updated)

David Brennan
A number of players and parents within the Masuk's football program appear to be in rebellion against new head coach, David Brennan.

Concerned about widespread changes, ineptitude in scrimmages and feelings of despair over the state of the program, multiple sources have described incidents of players skipping practices and requesting private meetings with school athletic director John DeGennaro and principal Joseph Kobza.

On Thursday night, team parents and players are scheduled to meet with Brennan, Kobza and DeGennaro to address their grievances. Monroe Public Schools superintendent James Agostine and Monroe Board of Education chairman Darrell Trump have also been invited to attend.

To at least one football parent, the solution is simple:

"We want him out," David DeGirolamo said of Brennan. "He's just been God-awful. He has no organizational skills and is way over his head."

Brennan, a Monroe public schools teacher, was hired from Ridgefield to replace John Murphy. Murphy resigned in December after winning three state championships and nearly 200 games in 15 years.

But just two weeks into the preseason, detractors -- most of whom declined to use their names on the record -- have described underwhelming performances at scrimmages and unwelcome changes Brennan has made within the program.

Earlier this week, eight of the team's seniors skipped a practice to speak with DeGennaro and Kobza, according to DeGirolamo and several sources.

On Sunday, approximately 20 players skipped another practice. Assistant coach Justin Scarpatti quit on Saturday, but returned after a few days.

On Wednesday night, detractors say the team didn't perform well vs. Holy Cross and Shelton in a three-way scrimmage, which has only added to the internal strife. "We probably got three first downs the whole night," DeGirolamo said.

With Masuk's anticipated Week 1 game vs. former coach Murphy and New Milford two weeks away, DeGirolamo said he and other parents are praying the administration makes a change.

"It's a mess," DeGirolamo said. "A monster mess."

DeGennaro and Kobza were not immediately available for comment. Neither returned separate phone messages as of early Thursday afternoon.

Brennan also did not return a phone message seeking comment Thursday afternoon.

"I loved Murphy, but he's gone," DeGirolamo said. "We knew going in our numbers would be down. But we only have 40 kids on varsity now. I don't even know if we're going to field a (junior varsity) team. Does it have to be this far away (from the past)? The kids don't look at any game film, they're not prepared, they've lost all respect for (Brennan)."

"My kid's not a quitter, but if he came to me tomorrow and said, 'Dad, I'm not playing,' I'd be fine with it. A lot of parents feel the same way," he said. "I don't know what's going to happen (at the meeting). We just want to keep up the tradition of Masuk football. That's all we're looking for."

UPDATE: The Masuk administration reaffirmed its commitment to Brennan at the meeting and promised to address issues, according to a source.

A call to athletic director John DeGennaro for confirmation not returned Thursday night.

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49 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Masuk was completly outplayed by both Shelton and Holy Cross.

August 29, 2013 at 3:09 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Change is difficult, not every coach can sit all day with no responsibility and plan for football like JM. The School Board and School Administration hired this guy so lets go see what he can do. Maybe Coach Murphy saw the writing on the wall, who knows. Scrimmages mean nothing, week one against New Milford matters. Maybe the players should PLAY THE GAME and make believers out of everyone.

August 29, 2013 at 3:32 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What did they think they were gonna get a coach to do everything the same as the last guy. No prssible people...wake up

August 29, 2013 at 3:46 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe they were outplayed because 20 players were skipping practice. What are you teaching your kids? What happenes when they dont like a teacher or a boss? What happens if they want to play in college and do not like the coach?

August 29, 2013 at 4:09 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To put my intake on this I would have to say that not just Masuk football, but the Monroe Football program in general has had a tremendous record of wins throughout the year, and the kids on the Masuk football team have been doing this since they were 5/6 years old and have been working their butts off to be where they are today and coach Brennan is blocking all of that hard work, time, and effort that they put into football throughout the years. John Murphy took the time out of his day to eat, breath, and sleep Masuk Football, he took into consideration the teams concerns and made changes for the better of the team, while coach Brennan is ignorant and ignores the problems and continues to work those boys to nothing. Having practice everyday 6/7 hours a day including the weekends is just insane, and parents and guardians are getting sick of it. They go to Brennan about their concerns, and he completely ignores them and continues what he is doing, which is making Masuk football worse. The seniors this year deserve to have their one last good year in Masuk Football and so far it has been an absolute nightmare. Between coaches leaving, kids puking from being in the hot for hours a day, kids that have been doing football their entire lives not wanting anything to do with football anymore is just crazy. I'm not saying Coach Brennan is a bad person, but he is an awful coach. He has absolutely no idea what he is doing, and he tries to overpower the assistant coaches jobs. It is not fair for those boys to be enduring what they are going through, and the stress isn't just effecting the boys, it's effecting everyone that's hearing about it. Masuk/ Monroe football has worked too hard to get as many state championships as we have, and we need to continue getting more, but having him as a coach is setting the Masuk football career down.

August 29, 2013 at 4:12 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Masuk lost to Shelton and Holy Cross only because they didn't go to films or practice all week, so if Holy Cross and Shelton are taking this to heart, they shouldn't. Masuk will always be the better football team, for this generation and the incoming generations. Masuk will come back bigger and better

August 29, 2013 at 4:21 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The seniors this year deserve..."

"It is not fair..."

"the stress isn't just effecting the boys, it's effecting everyone that's hearing about it."

Now I see where the practice-skipping, complaining seniors get their sense of entitlement from.

August 29, 2013 at 4:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Now I see where the practice-skipping, complaining seniors get their sense of entitlement from." These boys deserve entitlement after everything they worked hard for. We don't need illogical naive morons like you to judge our football team. When these boys go to states this year you are going to be eating your words.

August 29, 2013 at 4:37 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We don't need illogical naive morons like you to judge our football team. When these boys go to states this year you are going to be eating your words."

I won't be eating my words because I never offered an opinion of how good Masuk would be this year.

You, on the other hand, said:

"coach Brennan is ignorant and ignores the problems "

and

"continues what he is doing, which is making Masuk football worse"

and

"he is an awful coach"

and

"He has absolutely no idea what he is doing"

And yet, inexplicably, you then say:

"When these boys go to states this year you are going to be eating your words."

So who's illogical again?

August 29, 2013 at 5:10 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Masuk obliterated Shelton and Holy Cross get your facts straight

August 29, 2013 at 5:14 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im a Junior in college, and had the chance to play for Brennan. Hes a good coach, and he knows the game of football. There has to be more to the story that we are not getting, because I can tell you first hand the man knows football.

August 29, 2013 at 6:17 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we've been practicing all summer, having 2 practices a day 3 hours each, so don't even talk about that we aren't practicing

August 29, 2013 at 6:32 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To have a coach put other coaches and students against each other is wrong. It is not about change, its about respecting one another and he does not do that. The kids that skipped practice were upset about their coach leaving. When they first met with management they were told not to go to practice. These kids are having so many mixed emotions and that isn't real life. Its a joke! This man comes in and wants to change everything - why not try to make the team unite instead of tearing them apart!!!!! If it was just the kids that were upset that is one thing they can suck it up and learn to deal with it, but when you have all of the other coaches complaining then that says something totally different. By the way, the writing on the wall is this...these boys want to play and play hard. When your coach takes that away and doesn't even prepare them that is so wrong!

August 29, 2013 at 6:42 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Masuk parents need to accept the fact that the talent level just isn't there this season. The numbers are down 40 players instead of 80. Maybe JM saw this coming.

August 29, 2013 at 6:46 PM 
Blogger Sean Patrick Bowley said...

Ugh. Not digging the wave of 'anonymous' user names. At least give yourself an identity, huh?

August 29, 2013 at 6:48 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People are acting as if Brennan has been there forever and we owe so much to him. The coaches that are there have been with this program for a long time and we should be looking as to what they are saying and respect and trust them. Monroe should stand by those who have been there for them all this time. This guy hasn't even been there for 6 months! If Masuk's own coaches are saying he is doing wrong by the kids, why is there any question at all!

August 29, 2013 at 6:48 PM 
Anonymous The Boss said...

Masuk didn't "obliterate" anyone Mr. Anonymous. It was the other way around.

August 29, 2013 at 6:57 PM 
Anonymous dave k said...

Masuk is having a hard time accepting the fact that Shelton might be pretty good this year

August 29, 2013 at 7:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think masuk football players should take this to heart and go out there and so everyone how much talent they have and show coach Murphy what it is like to lose a season opener

August 29, 2013 at 7:04 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't this technology great. We can now teach our kids about public execution and character assasination and be anonymous. Shame on the New Haven Register for providing this forum. My advise to Coach Brennan, use this to teach your team about hanging tough.

August 29, 2013 at 7:35 PM 
Blogger Sean Patrick Bowley said...

Yea, not digging 'anonymous' selections across the board. I'm not in love with this blog set up, but it's what we got until we get new ones built.

However, these threads ARE being read and moderated. As long as comments don't cross a line (ie, name-calling or personal), I think we can manage until the new format is devised.

The peoole who were frequent visitors of the CTPost blog will know we don't suffer egregious comments. We'll only allow bickering to go so far.

It is hysterical, however that we're getting called out by an anonymous user about anonymous users.

Good times

August 29, 2013 at 7:45 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Masuk didn't obliterate anything ... I was on the field, they had 4 first downs all night. It was evident the entire time that they didn't want to be there, most likely because of the coach.

August 29, 2013 at 7:52 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about an update Sean?

August 29, 2013 at 8:19 PM 
Anonymous NVLGuy said...

Shelton outplayed Masuk? Huh?

August 29, 2013 at 8:33 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Superstars like JM don't come around too often and when they do you have to do everything possible to hold on to them! I can't wait to see the New Milford game against Masuk! The parents and school board at Masuk should've given JM everything he needed to continue his phenomenal run and they didn't! I fully expect to see the Blue Wave face the Green Wave in a year or two!

August 29, 2013 at 8:34 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the man knows football lol just cant teach it I guess

August 29, 2013 at 8:55 PM 
Blogger Sean Patrick Bowley said...

Working on it... you might have to wait a bit

August 29, 2013 at 8:55 PM 
Anonymous Jim from Darien said...

Jim from Darien commented the superstar statement above...wasn't sure how to post my name

August 29, 2013 at 8:56 PM 
Anonymous Masuk Football said...

As a former Masuk player, reading this article made me absolutely sick! They hired this guy to make Masuk football look bad because a lot of people in that school (teachers, coaches, etc.) hated the fact that the football team was able to reload every year and a HUGE staple in that success was the presence of Murph. Say what you want about the guy but he is one of the best football coaches in the state. Degenarro and Kobza should have known from the beginning not to hire this guy who knows nothing about football. The players should not show up to any practices anymore and go on strike for the season until the administrations makes the right move and finds a guy who can get the job done and win football games OR fires Brennan. This new coach better not mess up the tradition and dynasty of Masuk football or he will be run out of town.

Sincerely,

Concerned Alumni
State Champs 2008
#bringmurphback #firebrennan

August 29, 2013 at 9:01 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain for us just when high school football players earned the right to boycott practices and dictate to administrators who should be coaching their team? Those misguided high schoolers who have somehow lost sight of the fact that playing high school football is a privilege are sorely mistaken. And where are the parents? Sure seems some are missing a solid teaching moment on how to work through diversity rather than quit .,, or boycott ... or blame the new coach. How can a parent have encouraged this behavior? A select few are disgracing an amazing legacy in Masuk football.

August 29, 2013 at 11:09 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After listening to some parents this evening, it is clear where some players are getting their brilliant tactics. What's next, unionize high school football?

August 29, 2013 at 11:12 PM 
Blogger Sean Patrick Bowley said...

Fair points.

August 29, 2013 at 11:26 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how could anyone not directly involved speak to what the players and parents should/should not be doing? what if he actually was a bad hire who is destroying things? blindly following a person because of their title is ludacris.

August 30, 2013 at 9:09 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking in from the outside is a terrible way to judge a group of kids that have always worked hard when they felt the support of the coaching staff. This staff has broken down this team. Brennan has not led by example, he disregards his coaches, has no respect for parents and then at the meeting last night, lies to everyone, danced around questions and smirked when administration went to bat for him.
He is a ticking time bomb. Don't judge these players, unless you have been part of this team for the past 6 months. The players and parents have supported him up until now, but this senior class deserves more. Our boys are getting the brunt of this horrible hire. The administration settled instead of taking the hard road and finding the best person for the program. Shame on them. Hopefully his damage is minimal this season and someone with some respect for pride and tradition can come in and bring the program back up to where Masuk Football is known to be. I feel bad for my son and his friends that have been playing together for years. This is a horrible way to end your football career.

August 30, 2013 at 9:32 AM 
Anonymous ctfootballfan said...

It hardly seems appropriate to publicly crucify someone before they've coached a single game - especially when complaints range from "the players are practicing 6 and 7 hours a day, that's too much," to "they're not doing anything to prepare." To paraphrase John Calipari, "John Murphy is not going to walk through that door!" Change is inevitable and it rarely goes smoothly, but kids who want to play ball will adapt and overcome.

August 30, 2013 at 9:50 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not when you pay to play when coaches walk out that been there for over ten years coaches argue on the field kids do have a right to want change it is not just because they dont want the coach its because the disorganized way this guy does thing kids aren't just doing this with no reasons they see things first hand

August 30, 2013 at 9:56 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ctfootballfan clearly way outside looking in. Practice tells the tale of a season. Also this guy decided to make himself offensive coordinator. what were his qualifications for this move? Did this interview committee, spb or anybody look into why he was fired as Ridgefield high girls softball coach? nice hire and blind support from monroe superintendent.

August 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something doesn’t sound right in all of this. First a very successful coach left a program that he led for a long time. Why? Could it be because of a weak and ineffective administration who did not give him the support he needed? Or could it be because of a bunch of over bearing egoistical parents living through their kids? I would bet some combination of the two. Now we have a food fight in public, where the only losers are the kids. It’s sad to see. The first game is only two weeks away and only goal in Monroe should be, win or lose, to have those kids that play feel good about themselves, their program, their hard work and their contribution to the team. High school football goes in cycles, maybe the talent level is not the same, maybe the coach is not as strong, that’s life. The beauty of high school football is the life lessons the player take with them, what lessons are being learned in Monroe? I am sure the players at Masuk are great kids, because most are, I am sure they want to work hard and be successful, because most do, the problem is the parents and any coach who took this job would be facing the same issues.

August 30, 2013 at 12:43 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something doesn’t sound right in all of this. First a very successful coach left a program that he led for a long time. Why? Could it be because of a weak and ineffective administration who did not give him the support he needed? Or could it be because of a bunch of over bearing egoistical parents living through their kids? I would bet some combination of the two. Now we have a food fight in public, where the only losers are the kids. It’s sad to see. The first game is only two weeks away and only goal in Monroe should be, win or lose, to have those kids that play feel good about themselves, their program, their hard work and their contribution to the team. High school football goes in cycles, maybe the talent level is not the same, maybe the coach is not as strong, that’s life. The beauty of high school football is the life lessons the player take with them, what lessons are being learned in Monroe? I am sure the players at Masuk are great kids, because most are, I am sure they want to work hard and be successful, because most do, the problem is the parents and any coach who took this job would be facing the same issues.

August 30, 2013 at 1:03 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe someone that has studied opposing offenses (for years) could be qualified to be offensive coordinator? Just a thought, boys and girls.

August 30, 2013 at 1:41 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe I missed something at the meeting last night but at any point did Coach Brennan thank the parents for coming out, did he end the meeting with saying goodnight and that he would work harder to build teamwork with the boys and the coaches. He never showed any empathy towards the team and he certainly did not step up and show any confidence in the fact that he was going to try hard to make changes. A simple thank you for coming and a little motivation on his end would have gone a long way. I went to the meeting with an open mind but the coach's body language and lack of emotion came through loud and clear. He never said he was committed to the team and wanted to make things better. If this is who the AD has made the final decision on for our coach they need to step in and find a way to have someone motivate and reconnect these boys. This is very sad because they are a great group of kids who just simply want to play football!

August 30, 2013 at 4:52 PM 
Blogger Sean Patrick Bowley said...

Wait a sec... did an 'anonymous' poster just spell ludicrous as "ludacris" ?

REALLY, PEOPLE?????

August 31, 2013 at 12:25 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

auto corrected to that! technology-1 anonymous-0

August 31, 2013 at 6:08 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bowley you're a hack. Why don't you use your free time fact checking your articles?

August 31, 2013 at 10:25 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to report Masuk is back. Different team showed up at today's scrimmage against Southington and Berlin. Seems they worked out the kinks. Keep going strong Masuk.

August 31, 2013 at 3:05 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BOWLEY=HACK
MSNBC is looking for you

August 31, 2013 at 7:05 PM 
Blogger Sean Patrick Bowley said...

If you would like to dispute info, please email me at sbowley@nhregister.com so we can get in touch.

Please leave your real name and a phone number where I can contact you.

Thank you.

September 1, 2013 at 12:02 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have followed this coaching change since its inception. My first question is - why did you write this Sean? You got quotes from a parent whose comments about his son are so ridiculously inaccurate that it borders on negligence. The administration chose this man for the job. Plain and simple. Unless he is abusing kids mentally or physically, parents have no say. In this day and age, many parents think that they are experts and allowed to have an opinion on everything. This is high school football in Monroe, CT - not in Texas. Unfortunately, Masuk plays in the SWC - so you really aren't watching the most competitive football in the State. Parents and kids - the great thing about life is you have choices - this one is easy - quit or shut up and play. And if your kid steps out of line again, he should be removed immediately. And Sean - nice job stirring the pot. Maybe you can offer an opinion on the situation. The punishments of the scroll!

September 6, 2013 at 11:57 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree...calling one person and making it a big issue was way out of line. Did anyone bother to look at the track record of the "source"...NO. Play or go home those are your choices...

September 8, 2013 at 11:38 AM 

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