New Varsity Football Coach and Student Activities Coordinator Brian Barbato sits in his Deerfield apartment living room with his son Charlie in one arm and his University of New Hampshire football helmet on the shelf beside him.
He may be the new guy, but Mr. Barbato has more experience with boarding school life than one would think. He was a day student at Exeter where he started playing football as an offensive lineman and was accepted for a PG year at Deerfield, which he regrets that he did not accept. However, he continued to play football through college and decided to start coaching after he attended graduate school at St. Lawrence University.
As a child, he had multiple connections to the Deerfield campus. His aunt was in Admissions and his uncle was a basketball coach.
“I was always that little kid riding in the golf cart on campus, and I was always amazed by the overall energy that was on the campus out on the back green or in the hockey rink or in the gymnasium. I know there is a very storied tradition of Deerfield sports. It’s a really strong tradition and kids just have an amazing experience,” said Barbato.
At Deerfield, Barbato now serves as a mentor for the Varsity Football team, but when he was in high school, the person most influential to him was his grandfather Charles “Chuck” Demers. Mr. Demers was a Hall of Fame Athletic Trainer and worked at Deerfield for four years.
This season, Barbato looks forward to learning from the players. “Every day, I’m trying to figure out what new things we can bring to the mix. The guys have been working to get better every single week, and we have some great kids in the program. “
Barbato also expressed that he is very impressed with school spirit so far: “To see the students just going absolutely crazy– just to see the kids be so resilient and keep coming back. That emotion was just amazing to be a part of. To look into the stands to see colleagues, teachers, all these different people supporting everybody was amazing.”
Barbato’s goals for his team and the year are to take it day by day, to get better, to have fun, and to enjoy the experience.