Gilman head football coach leaving

Posted at 12:38 AM, Jan 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-27 09:36:26-05

In a letter to the Gilman School community, Headmaster Henry P. A. Smyth announced that after 19 years, head football coach Biff Poggi would be leaving the school.

"This decision comes after much reflection and conversation with the school, and it opens up an exciting new chapter in Coach Poggi's life story," the letter said.

Coach Poggi has been a Gilman coach for nearly three decades, 19 of which as the head honcho. Poggi, a 1979 graduate of Gilman, is leaving the school as the winningest varsity football in school history. He's recorded 130 wins, several MIAA championships and national rankings. 

In his letter, Headmaster Smyth said in addition to the on field accomplishments, Poggi did much more for his players off the field.

"It is even a great challenge, one that no number of pages could ever accomplish, capturing Coach Poggi's influence on the lives of the young men who have been a part of his teams. He has used football as a platform to instill lessons of life and character in hundreds of former and current players."

Leaving Gilman opens several options for Poggi. According to the headmaster's letter, he's still considering those options including opportunities at the collegiate level. Poggi is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks. 

In the interim, Director of Athletics Tim Holley will serve as head coach through the 2016 season. Holley, a 1977 Gilman graduate, captained the 1976 Gilman varsity football team that shared a conference championship and was the top ranked team in the Baltimore area. 

The school is in the process of forming a committee to lead the search for a full-time Gilman varsity football coach following the 2016 season. Holley and assistant head of school Bart Griffith will lead that search. 

Headmaster Smyth concluded the letter by saying the school will plan an appropriate way to celebrate Coach Poggi's contributions to Gilman. 

Read the full letter here. 

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