Below is a press release from Austin Prep:
READING, MA — Austin Prep has announced that Mike Foley, the School’s current Assistant Head Football Coach and Offensive Coordinator, will serve as the Interim Head Football Coach for the upcoming football season. Billy Tucker, who was named the Austin Prep Head Football Coach in January 2019, will continue to serve as the Head Coach beyond this season.
The move is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the recent classification of high school football as a Fall II Sport by the MIAA. As Vice President at 3Step Sports, Tucker is the company’s Director of Under Armour Grassroots Football, and is at the helm of a series of football camps and recruiting events, recently confirmed to now take place this Spring. These events are in conflict with the Fall II season, which runs from February 22 to April 25.
“Though I am very disappointed I will be unable to be on the sidelines this season due to my professional commitments, there is no one I would rather take over the responsibilities of Head Coach than Coach Foley,” Tucker said. “His career coaching at the NCAA Division I level and established relationships with our current players will ensure our team having the successful season I know they are capable of.”
With extensive experience across New England as a football coach at both the NCAA Division I and III levels, Foley also brings familiarity with Austin Prep to the Interim role, having joined with program with Tucker’s arrival before the 2019 season. Spending the majority of his coaching career at his alma mater, Colgate, Foley was the Raiders’ head coach, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach during his tenure, which began in 1981. In 2005, his final year at Colgate, the Raiders posted an 8-4 record and advanced to the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs. Foley helped coach all seven of Colgate’s NCAA Playoff squads, including the 2003 team that advanced to the National Championship game. Foley also played a role in each of Colgate’s five Patriot League Championship teams during that time.
Foley began his coaching career at Bates College, with additional coaching stops at the University of Massachusetts, the University of Connecticut, Holy Cross and Harvard. A four-year letter winner at Colgate, Foley was a team captain and three-year starter at center. In 2004, Foley was inducted into Colgate’s Athletic Hall of Honor.
“It is unfortunate the football season being moved to February has created a professional conflict for Coach Tucker,” Foley said. “However, as we have all been adjusting so many areas of our life due to the impacts of this pandemic, I am grateful for the role I will be able to play in leading our football program through this time. Having worked under Coach Tucker last year and our relationship outside of Austin Prep, I know our team will be able to adapt quickly and have the successful season they are primed for.”
Despite the change, Tucker will continue to be involved with the Austin Prep Fall II season as his work and travel schedule and COVID-19 related parameters allow, and looks forward to being on the Austin Prep sideline with the hopeful return of a traditional football schedule this fall.
“Coach Tucker has done a tremendous job preparing our student-athletes for the upcoming season, which will allow for a smooth transition,” Director of Athletics Patrick Driscoll ’97 said. “We are fortunate to have Coach Foley, with his impressive coaching experience and knowledge of the Austin Prep community. I am confident our football program is in a strong position to be successful throughout the Fall II season.”
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