Wotton decides it's time; resigns as STA coach

wotton.jpgRoger Brown
nhfootballreport.com

 The voice on the telephone sounded like it belonged to a man who was sure about what he was doing.

"Just wanted to let you know that I resigned today," former St. Thomas Aquinas coach Rod Wotton said. "I have seven grandkids who play seven different sports and I've missed a lot of those.

"My health is not bad, but it's not the greatest. I get tired with (Parkinson's Disease). I don't know if I'm as good a coach as I used to be."

Wotton's teams were known for two things: execution, and the fact that they usually left the field a winner.

Wotton leaves coaching with a career record of 342-81-3. He was 111-43-0 during his 15 seasons at St. Thomas, and guided the Saints to four state championships.

Wotton, 71, coached at South Berwick (Maine) High School before he became the head coach at Marshwood High School in Eliot, Maine, in 1966. His Marshwood teams posted a 220-33-1 record and won 17 state titles.

In 1987 Marshwood owned a 45-game winning streak, which, at that time, was the longest streak in the nation.

Wotton passed former Brockton (Mass.) High School coach Armond Columbo and became the winningest high school coach in New England history when St. Thomas beat Fall Mountain, 26-16, on the regular season's final weekend in 2007.

"I had a good bunch of kids on both sides of the river," Wotton said. "I met with the kids [Wednesday]. We all shed a tear I guess."

Wotton also served as a head coach in the first Lobster Bowl, which is Maine's equivalent of the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl. 

Wotton resigned as Marshwood's head coach after the 1992 season. He showed interest in becoming Portsmouth High School's head coach, but ended up at St. Thomas instead. St. Thomas, which was struggling as much as any program in the state when Wotton took over, went 10-1 and reached the state championship game in Wotton's second season.

"I expected to be at St. Thomas for two or three years, and I ended up staying for 15," Wotton said. "A lot of that had to do with [St. Thomas athletic director] Jack Leary. He was a great guy to work for, and that's what kept me there so long. For the most part I had administrators who pretty much left me alone.

"My wife will keep me plenty busy next fall."

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Anyone who would like to comment about Rod Wotton's coaching career can email those comments to rbrown@nhfootballreport.com. Please limit the comments to no more than three paragraphs. Comments will be published on New Hampshire Football Report next week.

Wotton's Record Year By Year

1964 (South Berwick): 5-2-1
1965 (South Berwick): 6-2-1
1966 (Marshwood): 8-0-0
1967 (Marshwood): 5-2-1
1968 (Marshwood): 3-5-0
1969 (Marshwood): 5-4-0
1970 (Marshwood): 6-3-0
1971 (Marshwood): 9-0-0
1972 (Marshwood): 9-0-0
1973 (Marshwood): 7-2-0
1974 (Marshwood): 9-0-0
1975 (Marshwood): 9-0-0
1976 (Marshwood): 9-0-0
1977 (Marshwood): 10-0-0
1978 (Marshwood): 9-1-0
1979 (Marshwood): 8-1-0
1980 (Marshwood): 8-1-0
1981 (Marshwood): 10-0-0
1982 (Marshwood): 8-2-0
1983 (Marshwood): 8-1-0
1984 (Marshwood): 10-0-0
1985 (Marshwood): 10-0-0
1986 (Marshwood): 10-0-0
1987 (Marshwood): 8-1-0
1988 (Marshwood): 12-0-0
1989 (Marshwood): 12-0-0
1990 (Marshwood): 4-5-0
1991 (Marshwood): 8-2-0
1992 (Marshwood): 6-3-0
1996 (St. Thomas): 3-6-0
1997 (St. Thomas): 10-1-0
1998 (St. Thomas): 10-1-0
1999 (St. Thomas): 11-0-0
2000 (St. Thomas): 10-1-0
2001 (St. Thomas): 10-1-0
2002 (St. Thomas): 6-4-0
2003 (St. Thomas): 7-3-0
2004 (St. Thomas): 4-5-0
2005 (St. Thomas): 7-3-0
2006 (St. Thomas): 8-3-0
2007 (St. Thomas): 6-4-0
2008 (St. Thomas): 8-3-0
2009 (St. Thomas): 2-7-0
2010 (St. Thomas): 9-2-0