Today: May 29, 2024

New chapter of Southern football begins with Godek at reins

Michael CosteinesSpecial to the Southern News

They say all good things come to an end, and that was the case when Head Coach Rich Cavanaugh announced his retirement last fall after serving as the school’s head coach since 1985. However, with every end comes an exciting new beginning, and that chapter starts with current Head Coach Tom Godek.

After a three month process involving many applicants, the school decided to stay in the family with Godek, who served as the team’s offensive coordinator over the past 13 seasons. Godek was an offensive tackle with the Owls in the mid-1980s and was named the 2010 Division II/III Assistant Coach of the Year by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston. Prior to returning to his alma mater, Godek coached at American International College for seven seasons as Offensive Line and Assistant Coach.

“I have a great relationship with Coach Godek,” said rising senior John Moscatel. “He recruited me to play here and has supported me throughout my career. I stop into his office just about every day to just sit and talk football, life, or whatever with him. He’s a player’s coach and everyone on the team is thrilled he got the job.”

Godek, who resides in Ludlow, Mass., takes over a team that finished a disappointing 3-8 last season and lost six straight to close out the year. The Owls will look to revitalize their personnel this upcoming season and seek their first winning campaign since 2011 when the team went 7-3.

“I think our offense will have a faster tempo than we have had in the past, and I’m confident coach will fully utilize each of our skills in all three facets of the game,” said Moscatel. “I’m excited to see what lies ahead for us going into next season because we have some great players returning and Coach Godek has brought some great assistants back including Defensive Coordinator Mike Dodge.”

They say family that stays together, plays together and the team will look to return to that winning mindset with Godek. Cavanaugh embedded that attitude in his 29-years at the helm, the longest tenure of any coach in school history. Cavanaugh won 170 games, had 19 winning seasons, and four consecutive NCAA tournament selections from 2005-2008.  The 2008 Northeast Conference Coach of the Year finished as the 29th winningest coach in Division II Football History.

While filling the shoes of Rich Cavanaugh might be difficult, the current players believe Godek was the right man for the job. If his dedication is anything like his future success, the Owls might have found a winner both on and off the field.

“Coach drives an hour or more every day from Massachusetts to coach us and even sleeps in his office when we have camp because we have practice the next morning at 7 a.m.,” said Defensive Back Brandon Murphy. “My teammates and I believe in what Coach Godek is selling to us in the program now and as a football family you need to buy in and believe in one another. Not only is he the right guy for the job but he is also a great role model and leader. I think with all that being said, we will shock the NE-10 and the country with our team next year.”

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