Greenwich Football Staff

Bryan Hocter

Defensive Coordinator

Bryan Hocter has been Greenwich's Defensive Coordinator since 2015.  He came from Staples High School where he served as the Defensive Line & Tight Ends coach from 2013-2014.  Prior to that he was the Head Coach of Stamford High School from 2009-2012 and also served as Stamford's Defensive Coordinator from 2002-2008.

Coach Hocter's defense in 2017 accumulated  65.0 sacks, and in 2018 57.0 sacks, both state records.  His defense since 2016 has allowed less than 2.0 yards per carry on the ground.  In 2018, he put arguably one of the best defenses on the field in State History, allowing just 4.2 points per game, giving up only 54 points on the season (13 Games).  

In 2018, Coach Hocter earned the FCIAC Assistant Coach of the Year honors.

 

Coach Hocter grew up in Stamford, attended Westhill High School where he lettered in Football and Wrestling.

Dac Newton

Offensive Coordinator

Dactavian Newton has been the Wide Receivers Coach at Greenwich High School since 2015 and in 2016 he was promoted to Offensive Coodinator.  In 2017, the offense broke many school and state records on way to a State Final appearance scoring a record 42.7 points per game, #1 All time in a season with 555 Points, #1 Passing Offense in GHS History (State Record), and #4 in Total Yards in a season with 5,190.

 

He attended Brien McMahon High School where he was a three year letter winner in football as a wide receiver.    After High School he accepted a scholarship to play football at the University of Connecticut.    He earned All-League twice in the Yankee Conference.

 

Prior to coming in Greenwich he was the Wide Receivers Coach at New Canaan High School from 2013-2014.

John Woodring

Special Teams Coordinator

John joined the Cardinals staff in 2016 as the Special Teams Coordinator.  He also coaches the Outside Linebackers.  Before joining the Cardinals staff he was a youth coach for Norwalk.

John played and earned his Bachelor Degree at Brown University. In 1981 he entered the NFL Draft and was taken by the New York Jets in the sixth round. He played for five years with the Jets.  For three of the five seasons he played in the NFL he was special teams captain for the Jets.  In 1986 he was inducted into the Brown Hall of Fame.

John is an elementary school teacher "somewhere in Fairfield County". All three of his sons graduated from Greenwich and served as captains for the Cardinals, Erik '04, Kevin "15, and Kyle '17. Erik went on to play football at Middlebury College where he was captain his senior year. Kevin followed in his brother's footsteps and also played football at Middlebury College. He has been elected captain as well for his senior season. Kyle is currently playing football at Trinity College.

 

Kevin Avery

Wide Receivers

Coach Avery joined the Cardinal program in the spring of 2016.  He serves as the Varsity Wide Receivers Coach, while also serving as the Associate Head Strength & Conditioning Coordinator.

 

Coach Avery attended White Plains High School where he was a 3-sport varsity athlete in football, basketball, and track.  He then attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY where he played wide receiver and earned All-Liberty League Academic Honors as well as the National Football Foundation’s Hampshire Scholar Athlete Award.  Avery graduated Cum Laude in the spring of 2009 and began a teaching career through the Teach for America Program.

 

Prior to joining the Greenwich staff, Avery served two separate stints as an assistant Varsity Coach at White Plains High School with a two-year stay at the Harvey School in Katonah, NY in between. Both at White Plains and Harvey, Avery mentored the QB’s, WR’s, and DB’s, while also serving as a Strength & Conditioning Coach. He currently works as a middle school mathematics teacher in the Greenwich Public School District

James Briggs

Defensive Ends, Outside Linebackers

James Briggs joined the Greenwich staff in 2016 as the Freshmen Defensive Coordinator.  In 2017 he joins to the Varsity to become the Defensive Ends & Outside Linebackers Coach. 

 

Coach Briggs graduated from White Plains High School in 2009. He played both football and lacrosse, earning all-section I honors in football.  Coach Briggs attended both Syracuse University and CUNY City College.

 

Prior to GHS, he coached Junior Varsity Football at White Plains High School from 2012 to 2015.

 

Coach Briggs owns Briggs Plumbing and Heating LLC in White Plains.

Jordan Capitanio

Assistant Offensive Line

Jordan Capitanio joined the Greenwich Football staff the same year as Coach Marinelli in 2015.  During his first two seasons he was the Linebackers Coach.  He made the switch to the offensive side of the ball in 2017.

Jordan attended Torrington High School in Connecticut.  He was a three sport varsity athlete.  He played Football, Basketball, and Track.  After Torrington he and Coach Marinelli were teammates at Canterbury where they PG'd.  Jordan was an All New England selection at Running Back in 2004. 

Jordan went to play football at Western New England University where he was the ECAC Rookie of the Year in 2005.  He's coached at Immaculate High School in Danbury and also at Torrington High School.

Bruce Cunningham '83

Defensive Line

Bruce Cunningham brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Greenwich High School Football Staff.  Coach Cunningham has been coaching football since 1985. He was the Head Football Coach at Wilton High School from 2009-2017. Prior to that he was Wilton’s defensive coordinator from 2001-2008. Coach Cunningham spent five years at Fairfield High School, where he was the head coach for 1999-2000, and the defensive coordinator from 1996-1998.

 

Coach Cunningham was also the head coach at Tuscarawas Central Catholic High School, in New Philadelphia, Ohio for two seasons, 1994-1995. Prior to that he coached in the collegiate ranks at Bowling Green State University from 1990-1993. Where he was a part of two Mid-American Conference championship teams in 1991 & 1992, both teams participated in bowl games. He also served as a guest coach with the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL in 1995.

 

Coach Cunningham began his coaching career at Greenwich High School in 1985 & 1986 as a volunteer assistant. He moved onto Wilton High School as the offensive and defensive line coach for three seasons, 1987-1989.  He returns back to his coaching roots beginning of 2018.

 

Coach Cunningham is a 1983 graduate of Greenwich, he was a member of the 1981 FCIAC and state championship team and 1982 FCIAC championship team where he was an All-FCIAC selection in 1982.

Wayne Gioffre '82

Running Backs

Coach Gioffre is a 1982 graduate of GHS and was a member of the 1981 FCIAC and State Championship team. He also lettered in lacrosse while at GHS. He attended Springfield College and played four years of varsity lacrosse and participated in two national championship tournaments. As a college senior, he was captain of the lacrosse team and earned regional and national honors. He also played in the Brine all-star game where he was named the most valuable player. His career coaching tenure at GHS has allowed him to coach under Mike Ornato, Rich Albonizo, And John Marinelli.

Wayne also holds a masters degree from the University of Bridgeport, as well as a sixth year degree from the University of New England. He lives in Greenwich with his wife Lisa and daughter Emma.

 

Edward Groth

QB's Coach / Kickers & Punters Coach/ Assistant Strength Coach

Coach Groth joined the Greenwich staff in 2018 as the Kickers & Punters Coach.

 

He played football at Central Connecticut State University where he was a four-year starter. Senior year he earned NEC All-Conference and All-New England as a placekicker and punter. He also has the record at SCC for the longest field goal at 49 yards.

He attended Shelton High School and was the starting Varsity place-kicker and punter for three years. He also earned honors senior year for All-Area New Haven Register, All-State team CT Post and New Haven Register, Coaches All-State and All-CT Team for Walter Camp.

Rodney Joyner

Defensive Backs

Rodney Joyner joined the Greenwich staff in 2015 as the Defensive Backs Coach.  

 

Coach Joyner attended Brien McMahon High School where he lettered in three sports, Football, Basketball, and Baseball.  

After high school Coach Joyner went to Kings College in Wilkes Barre, PA where he earned his Bachelor Degree and was a four year starter for the football team.  He earned 1st Team MAAC Honors three straight years and was select. 

 

Erik Lee

Defensive Backs

Erik Lee joined the varsity staff in 2018 as a Defensive Backs coach.  Coach Lee joined the Greenwich Football staff in 2017 as the Freshmen Defense Coordinator.

Erik played defensive tackle at Yale where he was a two-time first team All-Ivy selection.  He was also named All-New England his senior year and played in the Ivy Bowl in Tokyo, Japan.  His college coaches included Hall of Fame Coach Carm Cozza and current Michigan Defensive Coordinator Don Brown.

Erik is from Chadds Ford, PA, where he captained the football, basketball, and lacrosse teams for Unionville High School.  He lives in Old Greenwich.

DJ Furano

Technology Coordinator

DJ Furano started with Greenwich Football spring 2018. He first started flying drones for Greenwich Football at our practices everyday and then officially, became our Technology coordinator under our former head Coach John Marinelli. He is one of our biggest assets to the team and a very hard worker!

 

On game day he is operating our new scoreboard at Greenwich High School, setting up instant replay for coaches, programming coaches headsets, uploading and filming games and practices, and live streaming every game!

 

DJ is currently a senior at Greenwich High School and be sure to catch him on the sidelines this season to watch his work of magic!

Patrick Mediate C.S.C.S.*D '73

Specialists

Patrick Mediate has been a physical education instructor since 1977 at GHS and currently serves as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coordinator for the Football Program.  He has coached football a few different times at Greenwich, most recently as the Defensive Coordinator for the freshmen.  In 2017 he took over the responsibility of Kickers, Punters, and the Assistant Special Teams Coach.

 As a lifelong resident of Greenwich, he played youth football for the Binney Bears in the late 60’s and Junior High football at Eastern Junior High. He played football at GHS for Coach Dave Rice and Coach Mike Ornato his senior year earning, All Western Division Defensive End honors on the 1972 team that played for the FCIAC championship. He graduated with the class of 1973 and continued playing football for 4 years at Central Connecticut State College with all ECAC honors his senior year blocking punts against Springfield and Southern CT State Colleges. He continued his education with a MA degree from Fairfield University and 6th year degrees from Southern CT State.

 

Coach Mediate is the chairman of the Greenwich High School Sports Hall of Fame Foundation honoring former GHS athletes. Patrick is the NSCA State Director and the current national High School Special Interest Group (SIG) chairman. He is active in many organizations at the state, regional, and national levels and has presented to audiences throughout the country. He has served as Vice President of Health for the Eastern District of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance and a former member of the Board of Directors for the National Strength and Conditioning Association

Coach Mediate has received awards for his professional efforts, including being named the Connecticut Physical Education Teacher of the Year for (CAHPERD) the NSCA High School Professional of the year, the NSCA State Director of the Year, and the President’s Award recipient from the NSCA.

Coach was an invited guest with the US Weightlifting Team at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta GA. He has hosted and presented at NSCA conferences at the state, national and international level for the NSCA and USA Weightlifting and will be presenting on our own GHS fitness center and workout program at this year’s NSCA National Conference in Las Vegas.

Coach has also co-authored two books on Medicine Ball Training along with numerous videos on youth fitness training. He has been on network news specials at CNN, MSNBC, Nickelodeon and HBO and featured in Men’s Journal and WAG magazine.

Joseph Vrtiak '74

Head Sophomore & Junior Varsity Coach

Joe Vrtiak is currently the Head Coach of the Sophomore and Junior Varsity Programs.  He started his second stint coaching in Greenwich in 2003.  Prior to Greenwich, he was at New Canaan, Eastern Junior High School, and Stamford High School, also Greenwich High School in his first high school coaching job.  

Joe attended St. Leo's College.  

Frank Wells '94

Head Freshmen Coach

Frank Wells joined the Greenwich staff in 2016 as the Head Freshmen Coach, posting an impressive 9-1 record in his first year.  Frank has been a coach in the Boys Lacrosse program since 2000, and the head Junior Varsity Lacrosse Coach since 2003.  

A Former Cos Cob Crusher, Frank went on to play football, basketball, and baseball at Greenwich High School.  After high school, Frank went to Western New England University and played football and picked up a new sport, lacrosse.  He was named a two time Captain, and earned All-Pilgrim League Defensive Player of the Year, and nominated to the Lacrosse Senior East vs West All-Star Game.

Andre Jackson '82

Assistant Freshmen Coach

Andre Jackson has been on the Greenwich Football Staff since 2015 as an Assistant Freshmen Coach.  A Greenwich High Graduate in '82 Andre played on the 1981 CIAC State Championship team.

Coach Jackson currently is a Program Coordinator for the Greenwich Flag Football League and has coached within that program since 2010.

Coach Jackson is a former Glenville Maverick player but has also coached the Riverside Gators for the Greenwich Youth Football League.  He also sits on the Greenwich High School Hall of Fame Board since 2014.

Michael Lefflbine '10

All Program Quarterbacks

Mike Lefflbine joined the Greenwich Staff for one year in 2013 as an Assistant Sophomore Coach.  In 2016 he came back as Offensive Coordinator for the Freshmen Team.   Coach Lefflbine is one of the most decorated quarterbacks in Greenwich Football history.  A three-year letterman, he was a two-year starter at Quarterback for the Cardinals in 2008 & 2009.  He was a First Team All FCIAC and All-State selection as a senior.  

 

A former Glenville Maverick, Coach Lefflbine graduated from Greenwich in 2010 and went to Sacred Heart to continue playing football.  He transferred to St. Lawrence in the Spring of 2013, started for two years and earned Liberty League Offensive Player of the Year in both seasons for St. Lawrence (2014-15).  In 2015 his team won the Liberty League Championship.

Anthony Minichino '09

Freshmen Offensive Coordinator, Offensive Line

Anthony Minichino joined the Greenwich Staff in 2017 as an Assistant Sub Varsity Coach.

A former Banc Raider as a player, he also coaches there from 2013-2014.  Coach Minichino graduated from Greenwich High School is 2009.  He was a member for the FCIAC and State Championship Team in 2006 & 2007.  Aside from football, he played Varsity Volleyball at GHS.

After high school, he earned his Bachelor Degree from the University of Connecticut in 2014.

Luke Puff

All Program Linebackers

Luke Puff joined the Greenwich Football staff in 2017.  In his first year, he was an assistant for the Sub-Varsity programs.  In 2018 he took over as the Freshmen Defensive Coordinator.  He also works closely with the Varsity defensive backfield.

Coach Puff played at White Plains High School where he lettered in Football, Basketball, and Lacrosse.  He was a Tri-Sport Captain his senior year.  He earned All-League Honors his junior and senior seasons.  After High School, Coach Puff went to continue his football career at the Catholic University of America where he played for four seasons, earning All-League honors his senior year.  Coach Puff earned his Bachelors in the Spring of 2017.

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