As many Colonels know, for many years the football team has been coached by athletic director James Buonocore. But when our former assistant principal Shane Winters retired, Buonocore took his place. With the loss of a coach James Buonocore the Ledyard football program was in need of someone new to fill his shoes. Ledyard recruited former UCONN quarterback Jonathan Hernandez to serve as the new head football coach for the Ledyard Colonels this upcoming football season.
The Colonel asked Coach Hernandez a few questions about becoming a Colonel and his past history with football.
Q: What did you do before becoming the new Head Coach for the Ledyard Colonels?
A: Before I was asked to coach here, and after college, I started getting into coaching and counseling at Southington High School, and from there I ended up going overseas to become coach for a few seasons. I also had the opportunity to be a Head Coach at Southington High School, before going to Brown University and the University of Miami where I worked with the receivers. After that I attended the University of Iowa where I coached the tight ends for two seasons. I also started a roofing and remodeling company, but I really missed working with the high school age group and coaching football as well, and I was very fortunate to obtain the head coaching position here and it’s been great ever since.
Q: Why did you decide to become a Colonel coach and what made Ledyard appealing?
A: I thought it was a great opportunity to get back in with great people, because it’s always challenge when you’re working with a team. There so many different guys on the team, each with different personalities and different goals, so it’s really a challenge to meet the needs of every student athlete. Having the opportunity to work with the guys that I have been fortunate enough to work with so far has been a challenge but it’s been very enjoyable.
Q: What is your history with football and why do you love it?
A: I think the game of football and just being apart of any team if done the right way can teach a lot of qualities that you yourself, your parents and other people will be proud of. Whether it tests your values loyalty and, really understanding what it means to be a team and having each others backs for the good for the better that’s really all the things that I love about sports in general and there is just so many positive qualities that relate to life through football and through team activities which can really allow a student athlete to benefit.”
Q: We see kids working out for two hours in the morning. What are you trying to accomplish with them?
A: So one of the things I’m trying to do right now is just push them physically and mentally because the season is not going to be easy, and in order to have a chance of having a successful season we have to put in the time beforehand. The guys have been doing a good job in the morning and I’m proud of the guys that are being consistent with their workouts. However there [are] still a lot of guys that need to get on board and understand that it’s going to take much more effort than they are currently giving, but overall I’m pleased with the progress. We still have a lot of work to do but the guys are aware of that and there are up for the challenge.