Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Superbowl and Mike Cerullo '86

Q&A With a Superbowl Coach
An interview with Mike Cerullo '86 – Assistant Coach of the New Orleans Saints

How did it feel to be a part of the winning Superbowl Team? Would you rank this as one of your proudest achievements?

It is a moment I will never forget. It was so surreal, and still hasn't sunk in yet. Super Bowl Champs! Definitely the proudest moment in my life and career.

What are some of your responsibilities with the Saints?

I am the defensive assistant. My main responsibilities include working with linebackers on the field, along with working in the office responsible for playbooks, player scouting reports, film break down, and game plans. I work hand in hand with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams putting all of the defensive parts of the game together. I guess I am a jack-of-all-trades.

Do you spend much time working with the players? If so, who are the best to work with?
With the Saints I worked two years on offense and this last year on defense with the linebackers. My best linebackers to work with are Jonathan Vilma, Scott Shanle, and Scott Fujita. On offense was Jeremy Shockey, Reggie Bush, and Drew Brees.

How did you get to work in the NFL? What kind of qualities do you think are good for a professional level football Coach to have?
I worked my way up from high school, to small college, to Division 1 college, and eventually working as an NFL intern. I got a break with the Saints about three years ago. It has been eighteen years in the making. Important qualities to work in the NFL as a coach are being a hard worker, a go-getter, and never taking no for an answer. I got here by never quitting. Keep plugging away and never let anyone tell you what you can or can't be. I heard I would never make it to the NFL, and now I have a Super Bowl ring to show those people.

If a young man at BA aspires to be a pro-football player, how can he stand out among the crowd?
Well, genetics helps. Coaches cannot affect the gene pool so to say. Get into a good college program and dedicate yourself to being a student-athlete first. The football part will take more effort, desire, and self-motivation than you can imagine. Very few have what it takes to make it to the NFL. But, don't give up the dream…I have seen guys who are lesser athletes but make the NFL and stay in for years over a greater athlete who has no character.
What is the best part about working for the Saints? What is the hardest part?
The best part is coming to work and doing something I love. I work with great guys, and the players are all great kids. We don't have one guy on our team that is a "problem child" so to say, and it makes work enjoyable. We all have the same goals. The hardest part is the long hours during the season. This season was seven months start to finish. That's seven months of working seven days a week, 15-18 hrs a day until the Super Bowl ended. It's hard, but it's what I love to do, and it never feels like work.

Do you feel that Bridgton prepared you for college and your eventual career in football?
BA was the best decision I have ever made in my life. Bridgton prepared me for college and life. I cannot say enough great things about the school and faculty when I was there. I have life-long friends to this day from BA, and will always push BA and what they teach to anyone that will listen.

What do you do in your free time?
Sleep! I am recently married, so enjoying time with the kids and wife getting settled.

What did you like best at Bridgton?

The small classroom settings that helped me learn how to study, along with the extra- curricular activities, there was always something to do.

Who were your favorite faculty members?

Both Tom Austin and Joe Daley stood out during my year, and are still my friends today.
If you could give one piece of advice to the students at BA today, what would it be? Take advantage of all that BA has to offer. Bridgton will make an ever-lasting impression to your life - you just don't know that yet. Take it from someone who knows…

Mike Cerullo and his family reside in New Orleans. While at Bridgton, he played on both the football and baseball teams, along with managing the basketball team. He came to BA in the fall of 1985 from Masconomet High School in Massachusetts. After graduating from BA in May, 1986, he went on to earn his degree from Central Connecticut State University.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wolverine Strength hits the web

Bridgton Academy is proud to announce the start of the Bridgton Academy Strength & Conditioning Blog. You can find up to the minute information regarding all that is going on in the world of Wolverine Strength. You can click on the link at the lower right of this page or check it out here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good Press for a Current Student Athlete

Jonathan Balcacer was the subject of a nice write up in the Salem News. Click here for the story.