Westford's Gagne Heads North of the Border for New Coaching Job

Westford Academy offensive coordinator and business teacher Adam Gagne has been named as the new head coach for Salem High School in New Hampshire, just across the border from his hometown in Haverhill.

Westford Academy football will be on the hunt for someone to build some plays next season as offensive coordinator Adam Gagne will be taking a head coaching position at Salem High School in New Hampshire.

There he will seek to replace legendary coach John Gati, who led the Blue Devils to a 121-77 record over nearly two decades at the helm.

While Gagne will retain his role as a business teacher at Westford Academy, the move to Salem brings him near his old stomping grounds of Haverhill, where he was a standout kick returner and wide receiver, scoring 11 touchdowns in his senior year before heading to play at Bentley College.

From there, he took a coaching position at Merrimack College before heading to Westford in 2009, where he helped the Ghosts to an 8-4 record and the highest scoring offense of any high school team in Massachusetts.

While Westford Academy averaged over 20 points a game this season, what may have been Gagne’s most impressive feat in 2011 was the fact that despite a torn Achilles tendon, limiting him to a cast all year, he would still climb up all the bleacher steps and up a ladder while holding crutches, just to get to his spot above the press box.

“We were obviously impressed,” said Salem athletic director David Rozumek, who himself was a five-year starter with the Kansas City Chiefs in the late 70s. “I like his mind, how it operates, not just with the X’s and O’s, and I think he’ll be outstanding for the kids up here, I really do.”

Back in Westford, the announcement was met with congratulations for Gagne and confidence that his loss can be overcome next year.

“I’m excited for him, Salem’s getting a great coach and a great person,” said Westford Academy athletic director Dan Twomey. “Coach McKenna’s got a great staff, and I’m sure he’ll find a great person to fill Adam’s shoes next year.”

Westford finished the 2011 with a 6-5 record, placing them third in the Dual County League Large Division, while Salem finished 7-4 on the year, losing to Pinkerton in the NHIAA Division 1 Semifinals.


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