Mike Forget, the defensive coordinator of the Darien football team for the past eight seasons, has been named the Blue Wave’s new head coach for the 2020 season.

Forget is taking over for Rob Trifone, who stepped down in January after 13 years with the Wave.

“It’s definitely an honor and a privilege to be the head coach of this team and I’m humbled by this opportunity,” Forget said. “We have a lot of great people in the community and a lot of great players, and I just looked forward to continuing the traditions that we have set forth over the past years that I’ve been together with coach Trifone.”

Forget has been with the Blue Wave since the 2012 season, and during that time, Darien has compiled an incredible 81-11 record while winning four FCIAC and three state championships. Forget’s defenses have boasted some of the state’s top players, including DE Mark Evanchick, and LBs Connor Fay and Sam Wilson in recent years.

His familiarity of the team should make for a smooth transition to the new season, according to Darien athletic director Chris Manfredonia.

“Mike brings experience, Mike brings consistency, and he has an inner knowledge of the program, what makes it tick, and what makes it successful,” Manfredonia said. “Those were all important components in the decision that we reached. The kids know him, the staff knows him, and the community knows him, so that should make it a smoother transition.”

With schools closed and students distance learning from home, Manfredonia said they were unable to complete the interview process and so, the district has decided to make the head football coach a one-year position to allow the interview process to have the opportunity to be fully executed next year.

“We’ll have to go through the same process (next year),” Manfredonia said. “Mike was certainly a strong candidate this year and if he’s interested in doing next year, I’m sure he’ll be a strong candidate again.”

Forget was the head coach at Fairfield-Ludlowe until 2007, and was also an assistant at Westhill and Masuk before joining Trifone’s staff at Darien in 2012. The two coaches helped turned the Blue Wave into one of the state’s elite teams, with just eight losses in the past seven years and two unbeaten seasons: 12-0 in 2015 and 13-0 in 2016.

“Coach Trifone is like a brother to me,” Forget said. “I was at Masuk High School with John Murphy when he reached out to me and said he wanted to work together. We talked about it and the rest is history.”

In a release sent out by the school announcing his promotion to head coach, Forget said “I share this honor with all who have helped me become the coach I am along the way. From all of the players I have coached, my high school coach Bobby Caliscibetta, right down to coach Trifone. It’s tough to follow a legend, but I believe that he will always be there for me.”

With students still isolated, Forget has relied on FaceTime, texts and phone calls to communicate with the players, as they get ready for the 2020 season.

Forget said the consistency in the program has a lot to do with the players buying into what they’re being taught.

“These players and their parents have bought into what we’re doing, they work as hard as they can, and they’re ready, willing and able to do anything they can to help,” Forget said. “We’re big on watching film and getting the guys to know what they’re supposed to do in every situation. That’s part of what we do as a program and part of why we’ve been successful.”

david.stewart@hearstmediact.com; @dstewartsports