LAWRENCE ֱ For decades now, Emilio Colon has kept a close eye on the football program at his alma mater, sometimes from afar and at times at field level.

His bond never diminished. In fact, as the 1990 Lawrence High grad got older, the attachment only grew stronger.

Thursday afternoon, Colon, a standout quarterback who went on to greatness at the University of Maine, returned to the fold officially. The Lawrence High Hall of Famer, now 52, was named the new varsity head football coach for the Lancers.

ֱItֱs my dream job, without a doubt. Anyone who knows me knows that Iֱve dreamed about this,ֱ said Colon, who lives in Haverhill. ֱItֱs a job I was meant to do. Itֱs not a stepping stone. This is what Iֱve wanted and itֱs where I want to be.

ֱIֱve always been involved with football in some way. Iֱve been a varsity football official for the better part of the last 20 years. It has allowed me to be part of the scene, but not in the role I really wanted. Now the timing is right, the stars aligned, here we go.ֱ

Colon replaces Rhandy Audate, who stepped away from the program after six seasons.

Audate compiled a 15-44 record during his time at Lawrence High, including a 4-7 mark this fall.

The program manager for the Community Justice Support Center in Haverhill, Colon said one of his first priorities will be tending to the academic side of things.

His players will attend mandatory study halls before heading out to practice on a daily basis.

ֱItֱs about the program, about building something, the city, school, the community and the kids can be proud of. It starts in the classroom,ֱ said Colon.

He understands the task at hand will not be an easy one. He is, however, excited to get to work right away, first building his staff and then with the kids.

ֱHigh school football is a 12-month-a-year job. If I didnֱt think I was ready I would never have applied,ֱ he said.

ֱI want to surround myself with people who are motived and want to teach them not just the Xs and Os but to teach what the game taught me, how to be accountable, dependable, and most importantly the discipline that the game brings you.

ֱWeֱre still actively interviewing people to be part of the staff. We are going to be selective. I am going to lead the way with the right people to teach these kids what they need to do to be successful, not just on the field but in life.ֱ

Lawrence High Athletic Director Brendan Neilon was more than happy with the choice of Colon.

"I'm a believer in timing and Emilio has never wavered from wanting to lead our football program. He was always interested in being the head coach but the timing was never right for different reasons," said Neilon. "He is a product of our school system, a three-sport athlete here, a Hall of Famer and was a Division 1 scholarship football player. He earned his degree and believes in the academic side as much as the athletic side for our young men.

"He can be a role model to our athletes, that there is no ceiling for them if they put in the work."

Trending Video

Recommended for you