Darien football names Andy Grant as new head coach

Darien's Andy Grant is the new football coach.

Darien's Andy Grant is the new football coach.

Photo Courtesy of Darien Football team

Andy Grant, who has spent more than a decade in Darien’s high school and youth league football programs, has been hired as the head coach of the Blue Wave football team.

He replaces Mike Forget, who resigned in December after two years as the head coach.

Darien athletic director Chris Manfredonia said there were a lot of strong candidates for the job, and Grant stood out from the crowd.

“Andy just kind of rose to the top,” Manfredonia said. “He’s experienced working with our high school team, youth teams, and knowledgeable about Xs and Os, but more importantly, he really showed a care and concern for the overall well being for all the football players in our program."

Grant has been with the Blue Wave as the coach of the secondary for 12 seasons, and worked with the last two head coaches - Rob Trifone and Forget - during a stretch when the Wave has won four state championships.

“I really loved coaching for Rob and coaching with Mike,” Grant said. “My personality is different from those guys but I learned an incredible amount about preparation and how you go about your day-to-day business from those two guys.

“I hope I can emulate them in some ways and also bring my own style to the program and hopefully continue our success.”

Grant played football for Sacred Heart University in the mid-2000s and earned his Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and a Masters of Arts in teaching from the school. He is the Director of Sales and Marketing for VOGO NA.

Grant was also a teacher at the Hindley School in Darien and had many of the current Wave players in his fourth-grade class.

“To come full circle with this group is special for me,” Grant said.

He’s also close to the incoming freshmen class, having coached an eighth-grade Darien Junior Football League team to an FCFL championship in the fall.

Grant said the players’ focus and desire to learn the sport is what helps elevate the program.

“The dedication to the craft is really something special at Darien,” Grant said. “The kids put forward the time in the weight room and at 7-on-7s. The culminating piece is that they have a desire to study film and what they’re doing to make themselves the best possible players.”

Trifone had stepped down following the 2019 season, after leading the Wave to seven state finals appearances and three championships, with Forget, the defensive coordinator, taking over.

Forget was head coach from 2020 to 2022, compiling an 18-5 record, which included a 12-1 mark and a state championship in 2021. Last year, Darien was 6-4 and missed the state tournament for the first time since 2012.

Forget has since been hired as the head coach in Norwalk.

In Grant, Manfredonia said, Darien has someone who is familiar with the players, program and school, which will help moving forward.

“It’s a high-profile program here at the school and we’re excited to have Andy be the leader of that program. We’re really excited for him and the football team.”

“We’re going to work as hard as we possibly can for the next six months getting ready for the start of the season, physically, emotionally and socially,” Grant said. “We’re really going to put forth every bit of effort that we can to put ourselves in the best position to win.”

David.Stewart, @dstewartsports