DHS names JFK’s Tieri to take helm of football program

Directed one of NYC’s top offensive teams


Katie Walsh

Coach Augustine Tieri sits in front of Danbury’s new backdrop to meet with the press after it was announced today that he has been named head football coach.

Katie Walsh, Editor-in-Chief

Editor’s note: This story was updated March 19.

Athletics Director Chip Salvestrini today introduced Augustine Tieri as the head football coach for the school after months of interviewing candidates. Tieri is taking over a team that had a 0-9 record last season and has had multiple losing seasons in a row.

Tieri comes to Danbury after coaching at the JFK Campus High School in the Bronx. He was the offensive coordinator there from 2010-2015, and head coach from 2016-2017. As offensive coordinator, Tieri helped run one of NYC’s top offensive teams and lead them to the PSAL playoffs three straight times. As head coach, Tieri turned a 2-8 team into to a 6-3 team averaging 30 points a game. Altogether, Tieri has been coaching high school football for 15 years.

I preach respect, discipline, hard work and more than anything, consistency. Consistency is important.”

— Augustine Tieri, football coach

Salvestrini sees a bright future with Tieri taking over the program from Alex Trasacco, who resigned in December. “I believe Coach Tieri is one of the tri-state’s top young high school football coaches and we are very fortunate to hire him. He comes to Danbury as both experienced and successful in one of NYC’s most storied high school football programs. Coach Tieri has the ability and the necessary football acumen to move our football program toward our goal of becoming one of the FCIAC best. We welcome him to the Danbury Community and to Danbury High School.”

Tieri hit all the checkmarks on Salvestrini’s list during the interview process. Tieri had experience at the head coach and assistant coach level,  is an up and coming head coach and worked at a school that is similar to DHS. “We had a lot of quality candidates; we wanted a head coach with experience or an assistant coach who was really close to becoming a head coach,” Salvestrini stated.

Tieri, introduced to the press this afternoon, is eager to get going in Danbury.” I’m very excited and very anxious to get started,” he said. “I’m really excited to work with the kids here. I can tell there’s excitement and willingness on their part to work hard and get better.”

Junior Ronell Hopkins said the team is ready to turn it around next year. “We are trying to win, I hope he can lead the team to a new and better future as we are hungry for success.”

Tieri, who resides in Brookfield, calls landing in Danbury “a jackpot” for him. “I’ve been coaching in the Bronx for the last six to seven years, so I’ve been looking for a place to be able to coach football and be close to my family.”

The new coach said he is ready to rebuild the Danbury football culture. “I preach respect, discipline, hard work and more than anything, consistency. Consistency is important. We have to be consistent day in and day out with our effort, work ethic and achievement, and we will be able to build upon our previous successes.

However, there is no denying this Danbury team will leave him with challenges as the team failed to win any games last season. Tieri said, “The road to recover starts with winning everyday in practice and in the classroom.”

Jeanette Jakobson, president of the school’s Grid Iron Club and a member of the search committee, said 11 candidates were interviewed. She described the process as intensive in that the committee was focused on “finding the right individual to lead the entire program, not just coach the x’s and o’s.”

She added: “The Grid Iron Club welcomes Coach Tieri. We are very excited to partner with someone who has shown such passion for the game and the Danbury community. We look forward to a great working relationship that will bring to the football family continued success and pride.”

Tieri said he’s excited to begin that process today with help from the players. “The commitment level in the offseason and consistency in turnout [has to be present]. The expectation moving forward is showing up and putting in the effort. The difference between talking and taking action is putting in the work.”

Junior Diante Vines is excited to see the change. “I think he will bring an enthusiastic atmosphere to the team and he’ll inspire kids to get to the weight room and show them they can make it to a Division 1 school as student-athletes.”

Salvestrini is ready to see this program grow and become a competitive program. He said he believes that Tieri is going to bring something special to this program. He has confidence that his energy and encouragement of the student-athletes is going to improve competitiveness and give opportunities to football players to receive college scholarships.

Tieri said he also wants to build interest in playing the game. “[We want to increase] the number of kids that are interested and that want to be a part of this program.”

In addition to being the head football coach, Tieri will teach at DHS next year within the special education and/or history departments. 

Tieri already has his eyes on the future of the team. “My goals are to be competitive in every single game and more than anything I really want to see a transformation of my men from every aspect of their life. I want them to be competitive in the classroom, on the field and in life.”

Editor’s note: Staff Writer Matt DeLima contributed to this report.