action:article | category:SPORTS21 | adString:SPORTS21 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » High School Sports

July 23. 2013 9:32PM

Portsmouth names (another) new football coach

Brian Pafford said he’s dreamed about being Portsmouth High School’s head football coach ever since he can remember. It took longer than he expected, but his dream came true.

Pafford accepted the Portsmouth job Tuesday morning, one day after former head coach Russ Russo resigned. Russo was hired in April.

“I was shocked,” Pafford said when he was asked about Russo’s resignation. “I never saw it coming.”

Russo, who works for the Portsmouth Police Department, said he resigned because a new career opportunity presented itself that he couldn’t pass up. He spent the last 16 seasons as an assistant coach at Portsmouth.

“I’m not a young guy, and you have to get these things when they’re still out there,” Russo said. “I had an idea things would play out the way they did. The program is in good hands.”

Pafford, 46, was a finalist when Portsmouth was looking to replace Bill Murphy, who resigned after the 2012 season. Murphy had been Portsmouth’s head coach since 1995.

Pafford graduated from Portsmouth in 1985. He was the head coach at York (Maine) High School for five years in the 1990s, but has spent most of his coaching career as an assistant at Portsmouth.

“The reason I went to York was to get a shot at the Portsmouth job,” Pafford said. “I did it to get me ready for a coaching job at a bigger school.”

Like Russo, Pafford was part of the coaching staff that helped the Clippers win the last two Division III championships. Portsmouth has appeared in the Division III title game in each of the last five years.

Pafford said he plans to meet with the team this afternoon. The first day NHIAA football teams can practice is Aug. 14.

“I don’t think we’ll miss a beat because pretty much everybody (on the coaching staff) is coming back,” he said. “Our senior class has a bunch of talented, athletic and hard-working kids. I’m excited and ready to go.”

rbrown@unionleader.com


 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Sudanese runner with NH ties hoping to crowdfund way to 2016 Olympics

Former Wildcat van Riemsdyk undergoes successful surgery

Monadnock Speedway driver captures first Granite State NASCAR title

CASEY DeSMITH

Star goaltender DeSmith no longer on NH roster after assault charge

UNH squad practices without helmets, shoulder pads to reduce risk of head trauma

24 Hours Of LeMons: This Time We Went Fast, Briefly

NHRA president Tom Compton candid on series and its challenges

World's tallest pro basketball player is from Strafford, NH

NH-based hockey helmet maker Bauer to drop concussion protection claims

NH native's statistics help Padres win

UNH receives NFL funding for brain injury research

Olympic skier Krass helps Hanover High clinch soccer championship

'100: Head/Heart/Feet' film follows NH man in grueling world of ultra-running

Athletic director says no one injured in disturbance after Keene High football game

Fishers Cats extend agreement with Toronto Blue Jays through 2018

24 Hours of LeMons New England: The winners!

Kings use emergency-roster exemption before facing Penguins

NH man beat out 75,000 competitors to win $1M in fantasy football contest

Video: Exact moment NH man wins a million dollars on DraftKings

That 70s Line continues to work magic as L.A. Kings win sixth straight

N.H. Motor Speedway to become home of North East Motor Sports Museum

Keene pumpkin riot probe turns to technology inspired by Boston Marathon bombing

Riverside Speedway in Groveton on auction block Nov. 1

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!