EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

October 6, 2013

Brian O'Reilly: From humble beginnings, a legend was born

DERRY, N.H. — It was 35 years ago when Brian O’Reilly made the most of an opportunity which would have overwhelmed nearly anyone else in the same situation.

It also launched one of the legendary coaching careers in Granite State history.

Pinkerton head coach Roger Dube purchased a business late in what was going to be his final season. So he resigned and headmaster Brad Ek appointed O’Reilly, a fourth-year history teacher/assistant coach, the interim head football coach.

“I don’t know if, in a normal situation, you let a 25-year-old be coach,” said O’Reilly. “It was me or Donny Coller.”

It turns out, those were two young coaches destined for big things. Coller went on to coach for 12 years at Purdue and is nearing his 100th win as a high school coach in Indiana.

O’Reilly, naturally, didn’t change a thing.

Except the entire offense!

“We lost to Laconia (in the first game),” he said. “I had one week to prove myself. I did what you’re probably not supposed to do. I changed the offense to the Wing-T. We went to play Division 1 Dover and won 14-7.”

Eagle-Tribune All-Star offensive lineman Don Hazelton and standout linebackers Wayne Hill and Mike Boyle led the way for the Division 2 Astros, when the school was only a fraction of its current massive enrollment of about 3,200 students.

O’Reilly said, “It was a big win. I don’t remember it anymore. It was like a different life.”

It has been a different life since as he’s earned a reputation as a rare two-sport legend. That win must have clinched the deal as Ek and AD Wes Root later gave him the full-time job.

He’s now the second winningest coach in state history with a brilliant 264-103 record and 10 Division 1 titles. Plymouth’s Chuck Lenahan, who is retiring after this season, leads with a 350-69-1 record.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season Jack White's Cub Face How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China
Boston Sports
3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Who will Brady turn to if Gronk can’t stay healthy? Gronkowski cleared to participate in Patriots training camp Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season