By ALEX SPONSELLER Cranston East football head coach Tom Centore announced that he will be stepping away from the sidelines prior to the fall football season. Centore has been coaching at East since the 2003 season and was an assistant at Johnston High
By ALEX SPONSELLER Cranston East football head coach Tom Centore announced that he will be stepping away from the sidelines prior to the fall football season.
Centore has been coaching at East since the 2003 season and was an assistant at Johnston High under his father Tony in the years prior.
Centore has been one of the top coaches to come through East, helping take the program from the Division II ranks to being one of the best Division I teams in the state over the past decade. Centore’s head coaching record is 75-60, and he led the Bolts to a Division I Super Bowl championship in 2017. East also reached the state championship game against Bishop Hendricken in 2013.
“We played the season in the spring, I tried to get through the season one last time with the help of a lot of people. I had a lot of people supporting me. But I realized that I just couldn’t do it one more time right now, I need a break,” said Centore of the decision. “It’s just such a grind and I just couldn’t see myself doing that physically and mentally for one last season. It’s time to take a break.”
As for what is next, Centore has not thought too much about it. Although a future return to the sidelines is not off the table, Centore plans on making the most of his downtime.
“People keep asking me what I’m going to do, and I don’t have the answer. I’ll always be involved in some way, but I may never go back to coaching football again. I’m just going to try to embrace this life change, whatever it is. I’m just not sure what it’s going to be. It’s just time to take some time off for me after all of these years,” said Centore.
The decision was not an easy one, as Centore has been considering it since after the 2017 Super Bowl. After years of debate, Centore and his family felt that it was the right time to finally step away.
“I’m at peace, everyone is happy. The people close to me know what I’ve been through. It isn’t anything bad, it’s just been a long few years and I have been fighting it. I’m a very loyal person, and I don’t like to walk away from things. I feel like that I am disappointing people if I do what they don’t want me to do. I always stay, always try to do things, but not always because it’s for me. I had to make a decision for me this time.”
As he looks forward to the new chapter in his life, Centore will also miss those who have come through the program over the past two decades.
“The opportunity to impact so many kids, that’s the biggest thing. Bringing pride back to the school and program was also very important to me. To help build it from a Division II team to a Division I team and to compete for the playoffs almost every year was special. Getting to work with so many great coaches. I was always afraid of losing that identity with those people, but then you realize that it’s more than just football,” said Centore. “Seeing kids get scholarships, building relationships with players, coaches, administrators, parents, that’s what is important to me.”