On April 22 2015, St. Edward High School introduced its new head football coach. Tom Lombardo, who coached for St. Edward under John Gibbons for five years, left Highland to continue the tradition of winning which the Eagle football program is known for. This is no easy task, taking over a program with two state championships under its belt in the past six years. But with the outgoing personality which was seen at the Fall Sports Rally and a 14-13 win against national powerhouse Gilman School (MD), it is clear Coach Lombardo is the man for the job. I sat down with him to find out a little more about the inventor of the “swarm” chant:
Ryan Ashdown: What challenges have you faced so far as a coach at St. Edward as opposed to coaching at Highland?
Coach Lombardo: The major challenge is just the number of players in the program from 9th-12th grade has approximately doubled. So, that means double the coaches and it takes longer to get to know all the players as well as you would like. Obviously, the level of competition has been upgraded.
RA: How would you respond to someone who said this year’s team can’t recover from the loss of talent in the class of 2015?
CL: Well, we never use “can’t.” We certainly recognize we lost a lot of good players, but the way it is now at St. Ed’s is that good players have to sometimes wait their turn to play. We think we have an outstanding senior class, who have waited their turn and now gets to show people what they have.
RA: What drew you to the school over others, besides coming into a winning program?
CL: Being here before as a teacher and assistant coach, I knew the culture of the school and a lot of the people and teachers here. That made it easier to make a decision because there was a level of comfort already there.
RA: What are you most excited about for this season?
CL: The challenge of playing the schedule we are playing and striving to continue to grow the program and compete for championships.
RA: Other than football, what are you most excited about for this school year?
CL: Being able to teach math again as well as having my boys come to St. Eds.