BROCKTON — When it comes to naming a new coach, it’s a pretty common trend to see schools try to make a splash.
Brockton High did that and then some by tabbing former New England Patriots tight end and longtime WEEI personality Jermaine Wiggins as the school’s new football coach. Wiggins will look to bring the Boxers back to prominence as he returns to the gridiron.
“You have to learn from the past to forge ahead for the future,” Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan said during a press conference held at Marciano Stadium. “I want to personally thank the Colombo family. I’ve had the honor to play for coach Armond Colombo and now coach Peter Colombo. (That’s) 53 years of Colombo legacy here at Brockton High School. Thank you Colombo family.
“I am really excited about today in Brockton to have the announcement of Jermaine Wiggins to be the next Brockton Boxers football coach. Coach, welcome to the City of Champions.”
Wiggins takes over for former Brockton coach Peter Colombo, who retired this past fall after a two-decade run which was highlighted by Super Bowl championships in 2004 and 2005. Colombo’s father, Armond, coached Brockton during its historic 1970-90s run when the Boxers won nine Super Bowls.
Now, the school is turning the page.
“Based on the reaction of the kids and the people in the community, we’re excited about this,” said Brockton athletic director Kevin Karo. “We’re really excited to have Jermaine here, and to begin the new chapter of Brockton High football. There’s a great legacy that he’s following behind, but I’m excited for him to create his own legacy here. We’re going to give him all the tools he needs to be successful.
“We have a lot of great coaches that he’s going to be able to work with. Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I can’t wait for football season to start.”
What led to this decision? Officials declined to delve too far into details Friday afternoon during his introductory press conference, but there was plenty of buzz in the air as the former Super Bowl champion and East Boston High School graduate spoke to his future players.
“I definitely was excited (about the news),” said Brockton junior Cam Monteiro. “He has the football experience, which is something we need here. I definitely think it’s a plus for us and the other guys.”
One critical piece the school was chasing during its search? A voice that could reach Brockton’s young athletes. Many within the institution were impressed with Wiggins’ personal journey from humble beginnings, on the field and off.
“You see what the Colombos have created here, and it’s an honor to follow in their footsteps.” said Wiggins. “It’s like I tell my kids, your legacy is great. To come from a great legacy is one thing, but now you have to create your own legacy. That’s what I intend to do. My goal is to give every athlete that steps on this field skills and tools that I think are so important in life. I want to see them grow into young athletes that are successful.”
Wiggins also said he plans to continue his on-air work with WEEI as he takes on this new challenge.
“(My schedule) ain’t going to change one bit,” Wiggins said. “My mother said to me every day above ground is a good day. I enjoy, I love it. To me, being on the radio is not a job. I love it, I’m passionate about it.
“Coaching football and coaching, mentoring kids, is not a job. It’s something that I’m passionate about. So, I don’t look at it like that. I look at this as being an awesome experience. I want to be able to give back. I want to make sure that I’m helping, whether it’s one, whether it’s 10, whether it’s 50, whether it’s 100, that I’m helping some young kid accomplish their goal.”