AVON, April 19 – Veteran football coach Sal Cintorino has been named the ninth football coach in school history at Avon High School.
Cintorino was the head coach for nine years at Central Connecticut State University and also was the head coach at Newington High and Bristol Central for five years each.
“Sal is a veteran coach whose past experiences have a great history of player development and program success,” said Tim Filon, athletic director at Avon High. “We were looking for a coach who had previous varsity experience that could come in and keep our program moving forward in a positive manner. I’m confident that Sal will be a great addition to our program and community.”
Cintorino replaces Jim Caouette, who went 23-9 in three seasons with the Falcons. He stepped down in January due to commitments with a new full-time job. The Falcons fell one win shy of a CIAC playoff berth in 2013 and 2015. This fall, the Falcons did capture the CCC Div. 3 Eastern Division title in its first year in the Central Connecticut Conference.
It was a record ninth straight winning season for Avon football.
“It is certainly an exciting opportunity,” Cintorino said. “I had the opportunity to attend some events this winter and thought it was a healthy environment and an opportunity to be part of something special. I know about the caliber of athletes here and the support of the administration. It is a good fit.”
Cintorino is a former colleague of Clayton Hiller, who has been an assistant coach at Avon for the past two seasons. Hiller took over for Cintorino in Newington in 2008 and will be an associate head coach with Cintorino this fall. “It’s a great fit,” Cintorino said. “He knows the kids and the environment there as well.”
Cintorino is continuing to build his staff but said that freshman coach Kevin Sullivan and strength coach Justin Folkwein will be returning this fall.
“We have a nice group of underclassmen,” Cintorino said. “We graduated a great group of seniors. But it is a new year and we have things to address right away. We’ll take it one game at a time and see how it is progresses.”
One thing that Cintorino wants to improve upon is the number of athletes in the program. At the moment, there are around 35 to 40 kids in the program – which is small for a program that normally fields three teams (varsity, junior varsity, freshmen).
Cintorino met with the players last week to discuss his philosophy.
Avon selected Cintorino out of a field of 10 candidates. His best success on the field came at Newington, where he was 34-17-1 from 2003-07. He left the Indian program with the best winning percentage in school history.
He led Newington to a CCC South championship in 2005 – its first league title since 1988. In 2004, Cintorino’s Newington team went 9-1 and qualified for the CIAC Class LL tournament where the Indians lost in the semifinals to Staples-Westport, 21-14. Newington also went 9-1 in 2007 but missed out on the playoffs.
Cintorino spent five years at Bristol Central from 2009-13. His best records with the Rams was a pair of 4-6 seasons in 2011 and 2013.
In 2014, Cintorino was the offensive coordinator under head coach Paul Philippon for the Canton High football team that won a school record 10 games and a Pequot Conference Uncas Division title. The Warriors qualified for the CIAC Class S Small tournament and lost in the state semifinals to eventual Class S Small champion Capital Prep. A year ago, he was an assistant with Philippon at Bristol Eastern.
The past two seasons, Cintorino was an assistant because he didn’t have the time to be a head coach. He needed to take care of some health care issues with his family. But everything is set now and Cintorino is looking forward to leading the Falcon football program.
In 10 years of high school coaching, Cintorino has a career record of 49-52-1. He was 33-56 in nine seasons with the Blue Devils.
Cintorino is an assistant chief administrative officer/Director of Facilities Management at Central Connecticut State in New Britain.