Here's one of the things Vernon Crawford learned during his three seasons as an assistant football coach at Curry College: He missed coaching at the high school level.
Crawford was looking for a high school coaching position in Massachusetts, and landed one late last week when he was offered –- and accepted –- the head coaching job at Seekonk.
“It was just the right fit for me,” Crawford said. “It's a good team –- very competitive in Massachusetts –- and I was looking for a way to get back into high school coaching. The game gave so much to me, and I feel like I have a lot of knowledge to give back to the kids.”
Crawford, 37, spent two seasons as the head coach at Randolph before he joined the Curry staff. He also spent time as as assistant coach at Walpole and Randolph before he landed his first head coaching job.
Randolph was 4-6 and 1-10 in Crawford's two seasons as head coach.
Seekonk athletic director Ray Grant said eight people interviewed for the position that opened when Jack Whalen's contract was not renewed.
Crawford, an Attleboro resident, played college football at Florida State, and the New England Patriots selected him in the fifth round of the 1997 draft. He spent the 1997, 1998 and 1999 seasons on the Patriots' roster as a linebacker and special teams player.
“It was his experience that stood out, first and foremost,” Grant said. “He's played football at the highest level –- and being successful. The kids are the ones I'm more excited for. What kid wouldn't want this opportunity?
“The other factor, quite honestly, is his personality. He came across as a real genuine person. He talked about the life lessons that can be learned from football and the importance of education. He also has the intangibles you look for in a head coach. The ability to relate to kids –- things like that.”
Crawford said he has yet to meet with his team, and that his first order of business will be assembling a coaching staff.
“We'll be a fast-paced, no-huddle team,” Crawford said. “We may run the ball 70 percent of the time. It may be passing 70 percent of the time. I think that balance is a myth. I just want to win games.”
Seekonk finished 5-5 overall last season, including a 3-4 mark in the South Coast Conference.
“The main goal right now is putting together a staff –- and I have a lot of guys in mind,” Crawford said. “Gotta find guys who buy in to what we're doing.
“Then I'll meet with the guys [players] and tell them what I expect of them. That's key. We'll establish a study hall and things like that. We want to make these guys confident leaders in society. That's what we need is more leaders.”