Manfredi steps up to role of Interim Athletic Director


MJ Martinez

Team player — Former Health and Wellness Department Leader Ed Manfredi has stepped into the role of Interim Athletic Director after the passing of Coach Jack Phelan. Manfredi retired as the department leader last year.

Sydney Bigelow, Opinions Editor

After the sudden passing of beloved Athletic Director Jack Phelan, former Health and Wellness department leader Ed Manfredi will serve as the Athletic Director for the 2020 – 2021 school year. Manfredi is prepared to face many opportunities and challenges and he takes on this new role in the Farmington community.

“I was a great admirer of Jack Phelan as a person and as an athletic director. I think Coach Phelan cared deeply about all the right things. My job, in the year I will be spending as the interim athletic director, is to make sure that the standards that have been established over the last 17 years continue on, and that the next athletic director inherits a program that Coach Phelan would be proud of,” Manfredi said.

Needing to fill the position of Athletic Director, administrators looked to Manfredi. Although he had just begun his retirement, Manfredi came out of retirement in order to serve as interim Athletic Director. He started this position in August, coordinating details for the fall sports seasons, and will continue for the remainder of the school year.

Manfredi served as the Health and Wellness Department leader for all programs in the district for 18 years. After working with students in grades Kindergarten through 12th and dozens of teachers he is a respected member of the Farmington community. Previous to his work in Farmington, Manfredi with Bristol Public Schools for 19 years.

“Manfredi understands the responsibilities of running a prestigious athletic department and is very committed to continuing the long standing excellence to the coaches, athletes, and the community. He is all about the kids. As a father and a former faculty member, Manfredi understands what athletics means to our students. He has always been committed to the overall wellness of our students and it is great to be able to see him continue this in his new role, colleague Kelly Stokoe said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 fall sports season and the upcoming winter and spring sport’s seasons face new challenges such as maintaining social distancing, mask wearing, and guaranteeing if necessary. With the health and safety of students being the number one priority, Manfredi will work closely with the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) in order to adapt to compete against other schools while following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols regarding the COVID-19 virus.

“The most important tool we have right now is clear and constant communication. It is critical right now to make sure we are all on the same page in our expectations related to what we can and cannot do. While sometimes it feels like things are getting back to normal, we must be diligent in sticking with the safe practices that have gotten us this far,” Manfredi said.

As fall sports teams make their final plays of the season, Manfredi is looking forward to the upcoming winter and spring sports seasons. Like many supporters of Farmington athletics, he enjoys seeing student athletes compete at high levels and show individual improvement. He is honored to be able to step up and help the school, and the members of the athletic community are grateful for his dedication.