McDonough alum Briscoe named Rams football coach
During his playing days as a member of the football team at Maurice J. McDonough High School in Pomfret, Jonathan Briscoe recalls how readily the Rams were viewed as the little kid on the block in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference.
Last month the McDonough alum and Salisbury University graduate was named the Rams head coach for the 2016 season, succeeding Ryan Gick whose team went 2-8 last fall after going 5-5 the year before.
Briscoe, a school counselor at Matthew Henson Middle School in Indian Head, had been an assistant coach and head junior varsity coach at Wicomico High School the previous five years.
“I’m excited about coming back to my alma mater and taking over as head coach,” said Briscoe, who will also assume a counselor role at McDonough. “I have a lot of respect for the coaches that succeeded me. McDonough has always been the smallest school in SMAC and now we’re the only 1A school. So, we’re always going to be facing bigger schools.”
McDonough lost its first eight games last fall before winning its final two contests against Northern, 28-25, and La Plata, 27-21. The Rams victory over the Patriots occurred on a night when the school celebrated a previous state title and after trailing at halftime against the larger Patriots squad they rallied to essentially eliminate the Calvert County school from the postseason.
“When I looked at the scores of the games last season, I noticed that [McDonough] was in a lot of the games,” Briscoe said. “It’s not like they got blown out the first eight games, but they showed a lot of heart winning their last two games. I’m hoping to build on that momentum heading into this season.”
McDonough also named Pam Van Bollen as its new athletic director last month, taking over for Dave Bradshaw and Dave Rooney, who had split the chores as athletic director on an interim basis after former Rams athletic director Jason Bursick left during the school year to take a position with the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association in Baltimore.
Van Bollen, a teacher at Mary Neal Elementary School in Waldorf, could not be reached for comment this week.
“I haven’t met the new AD yet, but I’m looking forward to meeting her,” Briscoe said. “The principal, Mr. [Brad] Snow called me and told me that I had been hired. At first, I was surprised. But by the same token I’m very excited to get started. Mr. Bradshaw and Mr. Rooney were both very supportive of me through the whole process. I’m grateful to get a chance to coach at my alma mater.”