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The Times
  • SCHOLASTIC FOOTBALL: Zilkowski appointed head coach at Dolgeville

  • FEBRUARY 12 SCHOLASTIC FOOTBALL



    The Dolgeville Blue Devils will have a new coach when they hit the gridiron in the fall following the Board of Education’s appointment of Dan Zilkowski at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

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  • The Dolgeville Blue Devils will have a new coach when they hit the gridiron in the fall following the Board of Education’s appointment of Dan Zilkowski at Tuesday’s regular meeting.
    Zilkowski, an assistant with the team since its 2000 state championship season, replaces Chris Connolly after 10 years at the helm. He is the program’s fourth head coach, following Bill Bynon, Section III victory leader Jerry Walczak and Connolly.
    “The first concern is the kids,” Zilkowski said following Tuesday’s appointment. “The focus should be on the kids and the tradition of the program.”
    A former varsity baseball coach at Dolgeville, Zilkowski’s head coaching experience also includes junior varsity and modified basketball. The Little Falls native was the strength at conditioning coach for Binghamton’s football program before landing a teaching position closer to home in Dolgeville.
    Director of athletics John Huddleston, who was appointed in December as Connolly’s replacement in that position, announced the coaching appointments Tuesday night. In addition to the Zilkowski appointment, the board also approved the recommended move of assistant coach Brian Wilcox to associate head coach.
    “Both coaches have been on the staff of the Dolgeville football program for a number of years and have the support and respect of both the players and the administration,” said Huddleston, a retired teacher and coach who served on Walczak’s staff with Zilkowski, Wilcox and Connolly. “We look forward to these two fine coaches and teachers leading our football program and its student-athletes to continued success in the future.”
    The appointments were made on the recommendation of Huddleston and superintendent Christine Reynolds.
    “Coaching positions are established annually,” Reynolds said in a statement. “In analyzing our football program, its structure, goals, philosophy and staffing, the district determined it was time to take Dolgeville football in another direction. This direction requires that we change the structure of our coaching staff to a head coach and associate head coach model to take greatest advantage of their personal and professional strengths.”
    Wilcox joined the Dolgeville coaching staff in 1997, one year after Connolly. He and Zilkowski were volunteer assistants until 2003 when they were moved to paid positions as Connolly replaced the retiring Walczak.
    The Blue Devils were 71-19 and and won six league titles in Connolly’s 10 seasons. They were Section III champions for the 15th time in 2008.
    In the two months since Connolly’s departure from the athletic department, Zilkowski, Wilcox and other coaching holdovers have run the program’s offseason routine.
    “We obviously have been moving forward even without having the staff being aligned,” Zilkowski said. “The weight room has been active with our players. ... All eight remaining staff members are moving forward at this point.”
    Compiled From Times Staff Reports

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