Naugatuck High School's new football will be current Bunnell head coach Craig Bruno.
Bruno, 44, is as former player at Bunnell High School who became head coach of the Bunnell football program in 2001. In his tenure, Bunnell has won two state football championships and has been to the state playoffs four times.
"I'm leaving on really great terms. I enjoyed my time there and developed a lot of great relationships," he said. "I've accomplished all of my goals, and I'm looking for a new challenge."
Bruno, who lives in Oxford, said he likes that Naugatuck is closer to home. He also enjoys the Naugatuck Valley League and the strong football history in Naugatuck, he told Naugatuck Patch on Thursday.
"I feel very optimistic about how program has been run and what the future holds," he said.
Bruno, who is married and has two daughters -- Marisa, 14 and Kristina, 10 -- is a physical education teacher in Bridgeport. He said there have been some discussions about him possibly teaching at Naugatuck if a position became available but nothing has been set in stone.
He plans to begin coaching at Naugatuck as soon as tomorrow. He said he will meet with his team at Bunnell today to let them know of his decision.
During his career, Bruno has been both a defensive and offensive coordinator. He believes he will handle the offensive duties at Naugatuck.
Bruno will be Naugatuck's third coach in two years. Former coach Rob Plasky resigned after he gave money to the mother and legal guardian of Sacred Heart High School players who Naugatuck wanted to play for its team. Sean Kuczenski, a former assistant, was named head coach for last season.
When the season ended, Naugatuck began looking for a full-time replacement for Plasky and had several interested applicants. Kuczenski, who is widely acknowleged as having done a solid job with the team this past season, applied but was not offered the full-time job.
"I’m really grateful for the opportunity. I know all the guys who were candidates and they were exellent football coaches," he said. "I felt very comfortable at Naugatuck. I feel it's the right place for myself to move forward in the future."
Naugatuck High School Athletic Director Tom Pompei confirmed the news about Bruno to Naugatuck Patch Thursday but could not immediately be reached for further comment.