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Meehan gets Saintly calling to coach again

January 23, 2004|by MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

The itch finally got the better of Chick Meehan and now it's been scratched.

Meehan ended a five-year retirement Thursday as St. James School announced his return as the Saints' head football coach.

"I just got that itch to start coaching again," Meehan said. "I talked it over with my wife and I don't think she was real happy at first, so I have to make some concessions.

"I think she's more upset that I won't be able to go to Maryland football games this year ... or actually that I won't be able to take her to Maryland football games.

Meehan actually started on the road back in 2003 when he coached the St. James junior varsity team along with Ray Montini. It was the first time St. James fielded a JV team in six years.

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"The numbers in the program had been climbing and they asked me if I'd coach the JV team," Meehan said. "I said if I can get one of my buddies to help me, I will. I did it with Ray and we had a ball."

Meehan compiled a 122-82-1 record from 1974-99 and posted four undefeated seasons, the last coming in 1995. The Saints won 26 straight games under Meehan from 1983-86.

He did not coach the team in 1991, when he served as interim headmaster at St. James.

Meehan said he's not sure if the Saints, who have just two winning seasons in the last eight years, can get back to the form that saw them win 25 of 29 games from 1993-95.

"I'm not coaching for us not to get back to those days. Whether I can do it or not is a different story," Meehan said. "The No. 1 thing is I want to win the (Mid Atlantic Conference) and get the team a lot better than it is now."

Meehan replaces Daryl Hayes, who had a 16-17 record in four years as coach at St. James. Hayes resigned last week and is spearheading a fundraising drive to start football and wrestling programs at Broadfording Christian Academy.

"I'm grateful that the program is in such capable hands," Hayes said. "Coach Meehan has a long history of coaching success. I'm sure he'll be successful in his return to St. James."

Meehan graduated from St. James in 1965. He teaches mathematics and is senior master at the school.

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