STRATFORD—Sean Mignone, who led the Bunnell High School football program to pair of state playoff appearances in the last three years, has resigned his position as head coach, according to a report on GameTimeCT.com
Mignone, who had been with the Bulldogs for seven years, the last four and a half as head coach, cited family reasons “and nothing more,” according to the report.
Bunnell athletic director Wayne Thrall confirmed the news.
“I was surprised. I was a little caught off guard,” said Thrall, who said he had received Mignone’s letter of resignation. “He’s done a tremendous job. In the three years I’ve been able to work with Sean, he’s created a stability within the program and established high expectations with his athletes. He will be missed.”
Mignone could not be reached for comment on Wednesday night, but said via text message he would speak on the matter on Thursday.
His players were surprised at the news.
“I was pretty shocked,” admitted All-State Class L defensive back and senior captain Elijah Alexandre. “He was hard on us, but he always had high standards. He always wanted us to prosper.”
“I had no idea he’d be leaving,” added Andrew Geriak, a senior who transferred in from Notre Dame-Fairfield in his final year and was named a captain. “I was shocked. He knew what he was talking about. He really did. I thought he was a great coach.”
Mignone had been an assistant at Bunnell for two seasons, Thrall said, before he was promoted to the role of interim head coach midway through the 2014 season.
He replaced Doug Cotto, who was placed on administrative leave and relinquished of duties later that season.
After posting a 4-1 mark over the second half of that season, Mignone was officially named the head coach.
He was 33-14 over his Bunnell career, including 25 wins over the last three seasons that included Class L postseason appearances in 2016 and 18.
This past season, Bunnell was 9-1, but ran into the buzz saw that is Daniel Hand in the Class L quarterfinals, losing 56-0.
The search for Mignone’s replacement has already started, starting with the athletic director having discussions with those remaining on the staff.
“We’ll evaluate what we have here,” Thrall said. “We’d like to maintain some continuity because the staff has done a great job with the kids. If we have a good fit within the program, we’ll proceed with that. If we feel it’s best to go outside the program, we’ll pursue that.”