Cornwall coach Mike Connolly abruptly resigns on Friday, hours before Green Dragons’ game

By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider

In a Section 9 shocker on Friday, Mike Connolly abruptly resigned as Cornwall’s football coach and as a physical education teacher at the High School.

Connolly had gone 42-8 since taking over at Cornwall before the 2014 season and never lost to a Section 9 Class A opponent. The Green Dragons (5-0) have won seven Class A titles in a row.

“It’s a personal decision that I made with my wife,” Connolly said. “It’s a private family thing that I just can’t get into.”

The timing of Connolly’s resignation is curious and certainly raised eyebrows in Section 9 coaching circles. His departure came shortly after a special Cornwall school board meeting early Friday afternoon.

“All I can tell you is that (Connolly resigned),” Cornwall Superintendent of Schools Neil Miller said. “It’s a personnel issue.”

Miller declined further comment.

Asked if there was any controversy surrounding his departure and if he was asked to leave by Cornwall administrators, Connolly said: “There was no controversy. I just can’t get into it.”

Connolly broke the news to his team at about 2 p.m. on Friday, five hours before the Green Dragons’ game at winless Roosevelt in Hyde Park. Some Cornwall players were reduced to tears after Connolly’s announcement. According to Connolly, offensive coordinator Eric Holzapple will be Cornwall’s interim coach.

Holzapple could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday afternoon. Connolly said that his father, Bernie, a Cornwall volunteer defensive assistant, will remain with the team.

Mike Connolly previously coached at Monroe-Woodbury from 2007-13, leaving as the Crusaders defensive coordinator. He seemingly had a bright future coaching future ahead of him, but at the very least Connolly’s career was shockingly sidetracked on Friday.

Follow Justin Rodriguez on Twitter at jrods9insider; Email: jrod845sports@gmail.com