It’s hard to go very far in this town without hearing the name that has a touch of celebrity and a hint of small town stardom. While he has been always a town staple, Frankie’s fame really started 28 years ago, when he was asked by the high school football coach, Tony Fucillo, if he was interested in being the manager of the football team.
At the time, Frankie was a student himself, and a die-hard football fan, so the request was happily accepted. His role consisted of a variety of duties including, transportation and referee scheduling and ensuring that his players stayed hydrated and on track. Twenty-eight years later, Frankie has decided to retire from the position that he held with such high regard, but that doesn’t mean that we are done seeing his presence in the sports community. Frankie decided to broaden his horizons and asked Athletic Director Matt Serino if he could be his assistant, one that would involve more than just football.
“I’m gonna miss working with all the coaches,” said Frankie, reminiscing about all the years spent managing the team. After his career was launched by Coach Fucillo, Frankie went on to work with Coach Sean Driscoll and Jonathan Cadigan. The feeling is mutual when it comes to Frankie’s departure from the football team and new head Coach Jonathan Cadigan will miss him greatly, especially the many things that make Frankie who he is.
“Frankie would always talk about food, and he had his meals planned out, never missing one,” said Cadigan who will also miss Frankie’s stubbornness when it comes to the weather. “He would always tell us what the weather was going to be. It could be raining sideways, but he would dig his heels in and tell you it’s going to be sunny.”
But probably the thing that Cadigan will miss most about Frankie is the pre-game speeches he would give to the team, especially before the bigger games. These heartfelt speeches always started out low key, but eventually they would build up into a fever pitch. Oftentimes they would end in Frankie’s passionate tears.
“You could just see the passion he had for the program and the kids,” said Cadigan. “He would always tell the kids to listen to the coaches and do their job.”
In Frankie’s new position as Serino’s assistant, he will be tasked with supporting many team sports, including softball, baseball, and lacrosse.
“Frankie is the face of inclusion and has paved the way for so many others in the district,” said Superintendent of Schools Lisa Howard.
It will certainly be an adjustment for those who frequent the high school football games, to not see Frankie front and center on the sidelines, a role he has dominated for so many years.
“He has been a staple on those sidelines for as far as anyone can remember,” said Serino. “Frankie gave everything he had to that football program and in return every one of those students former and current would give everything for him. He is the heart and soul of that program. Although we are sad to see him retire from coaching, we are all excited that Frankie will now get to spend more time with the other sports and continue working with our athletes and students.”
As part of his departure from the football program, Frankie had a lot to say about those he’s worked with over the years.
“Cadigan will make a great head coach,” Fabiano said, as he praised every coach he’s worked with over the years. “Fucillo and Driscoll are great, and I’ll miss them. Lisa, the superintendent, is a great girl.”
Frankie has his priorities in line and made it clear that he has had such success over the last 28 years, thanks to the support of his family.
“I have great parents and I love my brothers and sister a whole bunch,” said Frankie.