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Your Tewksbury Today

Phil Connors Resigns As Tewksbury High Boys Basketball Coach

Apr 19, 2016 04:35PM ● By Bill Gilman

Head coach Phil Conners talks to his team during a time out against Dracut.

Phil Connors has resigned after five years as head coach of the Tewksbury High boys basketball team.
Taking over a struggling program in 2011, Connors led Tewksbury High to three consecutive Merrimack Valley Conference Small championships and five straight appearances in the State Division 2 Tournament. In 2015, the Redmen reached the semifinals of the Division 2 North Sectional.
His overall record was 65-47.
"Phil is an excellent basketball coach and a friend. I wish he was still the basketball coach here but he isn't," said Tewksbury High Athletic Director Ron Drouin. "He did a great job and turned this into a championship program. We've got some great coaches here at Tewksbury High and Phil was definitely one of them."
Connors, who works as a teacher in Lowell, said his decision to resign from Tewksbury High came down to family finances. He and his wife have two young children and childcare costs during the season had become a burden.
"My wife works second shift. It got to the point that I was spending $200-$300 a week on babysitters," said Connors. "I don't coach for the money but it reached a point that I was losing money coaching."
In addition to childcare during the winter basketball season, Connors was paying for childcare over the summer to be able to watch his Tewksbury players compete in tournaments.
According to Connors, most school districts allow their coaches to run private camps on school grounds during the off-season as a way to augment their income. However, Tewksbury has a policy against coaches running private camps on school grounds, requiring they be run as part of the district's Community Education Department, with coaches paid by the hour.
"I found out about their policy a few years ago. Once I knew about the policy, I knew I had a shelf life in Tewksbury," said Connors.
While he is disappointed to leave Tewksbury, Connors said he has nothing but positive feelings for the school and the people he worked with.
"Everyone has been great and very supportive," he said. "The fans have been terrific, filling the gym every game the last couple of years. (Drouin and Principal Kristen Vogel) have been fantastic."
Connors said he definitely intends to remain in coaching and hopes to be on the sidelines this winter, though he doesn't have any job offers lined up yet.
As for Tewksbury High's basketball team, Drouin understands the challenge of bringing in a quality coach who cam maintain the level of excellence Connors brought to the program. 
"Absolutely. I haven't gotten a whole lot of sleep for the last two-and-a-half weeks," he said. "We've posted the position and it will be open until May 15. There will be a committee and we will decide which candidates should be brought in for interviews and we'll take it from there."
Those interested in the position should contact Drouin at rdrouin@tewksbury.k12.ma.us.


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