Rudy Bagos already has many ties to East Lyme High School. He's a health and physical education teacher, the golf coach, and took over as the freshman girls' basketball coach this season.
It made a lot of sense, then, for Bagos to become the Vikings' new leader of the football program. He resigned has head coach of the Old Saybrook/Westbrook cooperative progam and was officially named to the same position at East Lyme, athletic director Steve Hargis announded Thursday.
"Being in the school is huge," Bagos said. "The last two years at Old Sabyrook/Westbrook, I couldn't draw from any of the kids that didn't play as I didn't know any of them. I'd see them walk by me before practice and think, 'Who are they? Why don't they play?' I think it will just be easier at East Lyme to get more kids out for the program."
Bagos replaces Paul Tenaglia, who resigned after seven seasons. Tenaglia had a 36-37 record and coached the Vikings to the 2009 Class MM state final. Bagos said Tenaglia won't be part of his new coaching staff.
"Rudy brings a unique set of skills and background to our program," Hargis said in a statement. "He is not only extremely knowledgeable about the football X's and O's but is a well respected teacher in East Lyme High School. I believe this combination will create a team that is successful on the field as well as in the classroom and is a flagship program once again for East Lyme."
Bagos had been an East Lyme assistant for 11 years before leaving to coach at Old Saybrook/Westbrook in 2011. The Rams finished 5-5 both seasons. He quarterbacked Ledyard High School's first state championship team (1986) and played two years with the semipro New England Crusaders.
"I'm saving at least 15 minutes either way and get to spend more time with my daughter and my family," Bagos said. "These group of seniors was the last group I had as freshmen. It was a great group, and I know all the kids at the school. They're all great kids.
"It just felt right (taking the job). It was a great opportunity and I decided to take a chance at it."
Bagos' hiring leaves the Eastern Connecticut Conference with vacancies at Bacon Academy, Fitch, and the St. Bernard/Norwich Tech co-op.