Monteiro resigns as East Providence High School football coach

Says time is right, wants to spend more time with family

By Mike Rego
Posted 3/23/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — Calling the decision “bittersweet,” Jay Monteiro has resigned his position as head football coach at East Providence High School effective immediately. He steps …

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Monteiro resigns as East Providence High School football coach

Says time is right, wants to spend more time with family

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — Calling the decision “bittersweet,” Jay Monteiro has resigned his position as head football coach at East Providence High School effective immediately. He steps away after six years on the job and 31 total on the sidelines in the fall.

Monteiro, a Rhode Island Football Coaches Association Hall of Famer, actually notified District Athletic Director Gregg Amore of his intentions about a month ago. He eventually made his resignation public two weeks ago in a social media post. He said he did so after informing his staff and players of his decision, adding he knew once the kids were told, the news would spread across numerous platforms, which of course it did.

“I told myself I’d give myself two months to decide what I was going to do once the season was over. I wrote the resignation letter, but I hesitated giving it to Gregg. When I did give it to him, he asked if I was serious and I said yeah. But I also asked him to hold it two more weeks before I finally said do it,” Monteiro, the first minority head football coach in school history, said. “I wanted to talk to my coaches and the players. And I knew once I told the kids it would get out, that’s why I posted it.”

Monteiro said his desire to spend more quality time with his family and the passing of his father, Manuel “Sonny” Monteiro, late last year were among the reasons why he decided to step away from the job.

“My daughter Jaz (Jazlyn), she’s going to be a junior in the fall. She plays soccer at Seekonk High School. I wanted to watch her play her last two years. I missed that with my oldest daughter, Jade,” Monteiro explained. “And the death of my dad last fall, it really got me thinking. He was a truck driver, and he didn’t always have the opportunity to see my games. I wanted to do that with my youngest daughter. So after thinking about it for a while, I finally realized it was time.”

Monteiro, a 1984 EPHS grad, began his coaching career in 1989 as the head coach of the former Martin Junior High School program in city. He later joined the staff at the high school, where he assisted Sandy Gorham’s Townies win four state championships. Monteiro next moved on to Bryant University, serving as an assistant while the Bulldogs transitioned from NCAA Division II to D-I. It was about that time and with a young family he realized how coaching really affected his parenting. Even still, his kids and wife, Crystal, urged him to reconsider his choice to resign.

“All they know in the fall is football. They wanted me to keep going,” Monteiro said. “But I was thinking, when I was coaching in college for road games I’d leave on a Thursday and come home on a Sunday. I didn’t see them for all that time. That’s why I came back to high school. I could make more time for them, but it’s still a lot of time in this job.”

He continued, “It was kind of my decision. I was getting a little tired. I’m 54-years-old now. I’ve been doing this for 31 years. I just wanted the opportunity not to do it. But it’s tough. Football is my life. It’s my passion. Not saying I can’t go back. I’ve already been offered some jobs in college, but I want to relax for a little bit.”

By the time Monteiro took the reins of the Townies in 2014, the juggernaut EPHS teams were already something of the past. He finished with a 17-27 record in Division I regular season games, but made the playoffs in four of his six seasons.

His best year was likely his second, when the Townies finished 5-3 and lost to rival LaSalle in the state semis. East Providence, however, exacted a bit of revenge on it historic adversary, beating the Rams on Thanksgiving Day 41-23 to end an eight-year losing streak in the holiday contest. Based on the performance of he and his team that season, Monteiro was named D-I coach of the year.

“We obviously struggled at times, but we made the playoffs a good amount and we’ve been competitive for the most part,” Monteiro said. “It was frustrating at times, but we have good kids. I love my players. I see them as the sons I never had.

“But anyone who’s ever coached football will tell you it’s a grind. I watch a lot of film. There were nights when I was up until 3 or 4 in the morning. I put everything I had into it. Anyone who knows me, knows I can’t do anything halfway. I have too much respect for the game to do it halfway. And then I was thinking, we have the new school coming up, maybe I’ll stay around for that. But that wasn’t a good enough reason to stay. If I wasn’t looking forward to it for the right reasons, maybe something was telling me it was time.”

Monteiro said he is most proud of three aspects of the game and life he emphasized to his team, an acronym “CAD” which stands for “Character, Academics and Discipline.”

“In the six years I was there it was humbling at points. Coming from college, everything we tried to do here was geared towards college, trying to prepare them for college,” Monteiro said. “When I coached in college, you would get some athletic kids, but you could tell if they weren’t coached well. That was my main thought, prepare them for college. Same thing with academics, prepare them to go to college, prepare them if they wanted to play in college or maybe become a coach afterwards. That’s what I was trying to do for the kids.”

Monteiro said whatever efforts he gave to his players and fellow coaches over the years, they returned just as much to him as well.

“It was fulfilling. It was challenging, but yet gratifying,” he continued. “I had a lot of great experiences. I learned a lot. It’s bittersweet. Football is something I’ve loved to do since I was nine years old, so it was tough to leave right now. But it’s the right thing to do, and then we’ll see what happens.

“I coached because I love the game and I love to teach the game of football. I’ve had a great a relationship with all my players since 1989 when I was the head coach at Martin Junior High. And I’ve been part of a lot of great coaching staffs. I learned a lot. I’ve seen a lot great players and coaches. It’s been a great experience for me.”

Monteiro maybe stepping aside for the time being, but he won’t completely close the door on returning to sidelines at some point. He said he still plans to work football camps in the summer and might volunteer coach in the future, though the latter is not something he plans to do right away.

“I know I’m going to have regrets here and there, but I wish the kids and the next coaches well,” Monteiro added. “Maybe one of these days I could come back. You never know, but I also could be done. I’m just trying to keep things in perspective. This could be good. Like they say, one door shuts and another one opens. Who knows? But as of right now, I’m done. I’m ready to be a soccer dad, get my coffee, sit in the corner and watch my daughter play.”

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.