Friel steps down from Thomas Stone

Takes same foot­ball po­si­tion at South­ern

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com Twit­ter: tblack­somds1

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.”

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