Friel steps down from Thomas Stone
Takes same football position at Southern
After four seasons as the head football coach at Thomas Stone High School, Paul Friel has left that position to take the same job at Southern High School in Anne Arundel County.
Friel, who went 29-14 during his four seasons as the Cougars coach, admitted it was tough to leave the program and start over at another school. But the main impetus behind the change was the current commute from Odenton to Waldorf to teach physical education and coach, a drive that will be reduced by 75 percent when he moves to Annapolis next week.
“Really the main reason was the job was a lot closer to home,” said Friel, who is hoping to also secure a teaching position at Southern. “Right now it basically takes me an hour each way, but Southern is only about 15 minutes from my house in Annapolis. It was tough to leave Stone because the players, coaches, teachers, parents and administration there was always very supportive.”
Friel accepted the Southern football job officially on March 30, but he is still teaching at Stone and he is still overseeing the football team’s workouts. Friel admitted that he is still in the process of assembling his coaching staff at Southern, although several current assistant coaches there have displayed an interest in joining him.
“Last year I had seven assistant coaches at Stone, but I’ve had as many as 16 at one time,” Friel said. “The important thing isn’t necessarily the number of coaches that you have, but the quality. Sometimes more is not always better. I’ve heard that two current coaches would like to stay on with me at Southern. I haven’t talked to anyone about it yet.”
Friel said that he has not been asked to help find his replacement at Stone but noted that he would take part in the process if the school asks him to do so. In the meantime, he will look to assemble his own coaching staff at Southern and hope that a full-time teaching position opens up at the Harwood school.
“When I first started at Stone, I wasn’t in the gym right away,” Friel said. “I’m hoping that something opens up there for me. But I still have my classes at Stone every day, then I’ll get ready for summer workouts at Southern. As of now, they have not asked me to help find a replacement, but I know they’ve had a few people apply and if they want my assistance [with the hiring process] I would be glad to help out.”