FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham High School Athletic Department announced today, March 10, the promotion of David Wright from the head coach of the freshman team to the varsity team for the 2022-2023 season.
Coach Wright is a longtime youth football coach, who took the responsibilities of freshmen head coach for the 2021-22 season, said Athletic Director Paul Spear.
A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Wright is a graduate of UMass Boston. He works in IT for the MA Teachers Retirement System.
“Coach Wright is highly regarded in the Framingham community and has familiarity with our players,” said Spear.
Wright will be the first-ever minority head coach for the football program.
“I played in the program, and Dave will be the first minority head coach. He will be awesome. I’m so excited,” said Tony Tolson, a long-time football coach in the community.
Tolson will be one of Wright’s assistant coaches, along with Wright’s son who just graduated from Assumption college. Wright said a couple of the assistant coaches are coming back but he needs to add a few others.
Wright has yet to meet with the returning players. He said he will meet with the athletic director next week and then set up a meeting with players.
“I have coached every player in the program to date,” said Wright to SOURCE.
Wright either coached them in Framingham Youth Football or as the freshman head coach last season.
“I have a good relationship with all of them,” said Wright.
Wright said one of his goals with the program is to increase the number of players who stay with football all four seasons and to decrease the number of two-way football players.
“My first goal is to get kids back into the program, and to keep them with the program,” Wright told SOURCE.
Last season, the junior varsity & varsity program had 92-95 players but by the time the Thanksgiving game happened, the roster was down to 40 players.
“If you looked at the seniors for the other team – I call them them the “Team to the East” – on the field that day, there were 24-25 of the them. Framingham only had 8 to 9 seniors. That needs to change,” said Wright, who lives in Natick.
“We have kids leaving the program before they are seniors. My goal is to get kids into the program and keep them there are four years,” said Wright.
The high school football program is better than where it was in 2014, when the team went 0-11, but this past season, the team struggled and finished 3-8 overall.
“Some games this season the team was very competitive, and some games the team fell apart,” said Wright.
“Framingham did well against other teams with a lot of 2-way players, but when Framingham played a team with less two-way players, we started to fall apart in the second quarter. We started to hit a way,” said Wright.
“We need less 2-way players,” said Wright.
One way Wright plans to gain more players to the program is to create a better relationship between the high school program and the Framingham Youth program. He knows both programs well.
Wright said he wants his captains and his senior to also have a relationship with the 8th graders in Framingham Youth Football, before they come to the high school.
But when it comes to winning games this fall, Wright said it may sound like a cliche, but everyone needs “to prepare, prepare, and prepare.”
“We need to get kids into the program, be organized, and practice the way we want to practice, and practice and practice,” said Wright.
Wright said “every position will be up grabs” on varsity in the fall.
Wright said he is “re-loading” the Flyers football program.
The program had struggled for years under former head coach Gary Doherty – the worst being the 2014 season that was 0-11.
But then Ed Mantie was hired in 2017, but left four years later for Boston College High School.
In 2019, the Flyers beat Natick High at Fenway Park and finished the season 6-6 overall.
It was a turning point for the program, but then the coronavirus pandemic hit.
No football in fall 2019.
There was a 4-game season in March & April 2020, where the Flyers finished 2-2.
And last season, under head coach Rob Ferrante, the team went 3-8.
Ferrante agreed to take the reigns for a season, while Framingham High searched for a new head coach.
Wright said he is looking forward to meeting his players and starting practice this summer.
“I expect a turnaround of the program with him as head coach,” said Tolson.
Photo courtesy of Framingham Football