Simply stated, Steve Dembowski knew it was time.
The Swampscott alumnus and head coach of the Big Blue since 1999 resigned his position on Thursday to become the next head coach at Milton High. Dembowski, who resides in Milton, cited family and travel considerations as prime motivations for the change.
“The commute was getting difficult, sitting in the car for about 10 hours a week through the season was getting tough with my [daughters],” Dembowski told ESPN Boston Friday night. “I knew sooner or later that I’d have to make a move, I just didn’t know that this would come about like this though.”
Dembowski coached 21 seasons at Swampscott, with the last 16 as head coach. He compiled a 114-67 record with the Big Blue while winning four Northeastern Conference titles and a Super Bowl in 2007.
For the former Big Blue standout, who went on to play at UMass-Amherst, the emotional connection to his hometown program made the decision that much more difficult.
“I played there, I met my wife through one of my player’s moms,” Dembowski said. “Everything in that program, there’s a lot to miss. I’ve coached so many great players. It’s bittersweet. I’ll always be appreciative for the opportunity they gave me at 28 years old to take over the program.”
As for Milton, Dembowski inherits a program that went 5-6 and missed out on the Division 3 playoffs last season.
“There’s a lot of good energy with the administration and the athletic director [Larry Rooney],” Dembowski said. “There’s a lot to look forward to.
“It just came down to cutting those ties. I’m excited to help bring some of the things and tradition that worked at Swampscott and creating a similar tradition in Milton.”