A True Star of the Game: Monagle Announces His Retirement From High School Football

Gavin Monagle, who starred for the Dom Savio High School Spartans as a football player and returned as a Super Bowl-winning coach, has announced his retirement from the game.

Monagle stepped down from his head coaching position at Masconomet Regional High School Nov. 27. He will continue in his administrative position at Masconomet as an assistant principal of the middle school. He had previously worked in the Revere school district for 20 years as a teacher at Garfield Junior High School and Revere High School and assistant principal at Rumney Marsh Academy. He has been an IAABO-certifed basketball referee for several years.

Gavin Monagle.

Monagle was head football coach at Savio and Masconomet for 18 seasons combined, compiling a 104-103-2 career record. Monagle’s 2000 Savio team won the Super Bowl, with running back Steven Grillo setting the state’s single-season scoring record with 310 points and 46 touchdowns. Other standouts on that offensive juggernaut included running backs Paul Franzese and Paul Barresi and quarterback Danny Puopolo.

“The kids at Savio were great and then to have a nice group of kids for all my years at Masco, I’ve been really fortunate,” said Monagle. “I also had great coaches with me over the years, Bill Maradei and Reg Lanciani at Savio and Jim Pugh at Masco.”

During his successful stint at Masco, Monagle had the opportunity to coach his sons, Gavin and Danny, in assistant and head coaching roles. (Gavin and his wife, Janet, also have a daughter, Kayleigh.)

Reflecting on his decision to retire, Gavin, 61, said, “It was just time to step away. I almost made this decision last year. Being a coach takes a tremendous time commitment.”

An All-Star Spartan Himself

Gavin Monagle, who is 6-feet, 3 inches, played four seasons at Savio, where he was an All-Star noseguard, linebacker, and offensive guard and helped lead the Spartans to appearances in the Super Bowl in his junior and senior years, both losses to Middleboro.

 “Jimmy Ciampa was the quarterback my junior year and Michael Travaglini was the quarterback my senior year,” recalled Monagle, who also played basketball and competed in track at Savio.

He began his football career as player in the Revere Junior Patriots organization in 1974.

College Football at UNH and an Entry Into Coaching

Monagle played college football at UNH under Coach Bill Bowes. Monagle’s college roommate was Chip Kelly, the former NFL head coach and current head football coach at UCLA.

“Coach Bowes got me and offensive lineman John Haggerty coaching jobs at Winnacunnet High School [Hampton, N.H.], and we won the state championship in the first year,” said Monagle. “That got me hooked on coaching football.”

Upon his graduation from UNH, Monagle became an assistant coach on John Miller’s staff at Revere High School. He took a job as an assistant coach at Savio on Bill Maradei and Reg Lanciani’s staff before coaching at Northeastern University.

He was an assistant football coach for two seasons at Merrimack on Jimmy Murphy’s staff with former Revere head coach Mike Cella.

Monagle was selected three times as the head coach for the Shriners All-Star Football Classic, most recently in last summer’s game.

“My brother, Neal (an All-Scholastic defensive end at Savio who went on to play football at Brown University), played in the first Shriner’s Game – and I didn’t make the second Shriner’s Game,” said Gavin, smiling. “I was motivated afterwards by that.”

Gavin’s oldest brother, Billy, played football at Malden Catholic, and his sister, Amy, a Revere resident, was a star athlete at Pope John XXIII High School in Everett.

Gavin said his parents, Vin Monagle, a retired Revere firefighter, and Mary Theresa Monagle, who passed away in 2013, were big supporters.

“My mom and dad never missed a game,” said Gavin.

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