When the Wareham football team takes the field this fall, the Vikings will have a new leader.
After two years at the helm, head coach Bob Lomp resigned Monday to take an assistant coaching job at Mass Maritime in Bourne.
“It’s hard,” said Lomp, who works outside of the school system in the private sector. “It’s a 12-month job right now. I don’t have the 12 months to give it right now. But I still want to coach football. Being an assistant is the right fit for me right now.
“It’s a better fit for me right now with my professional schedule. I’m excited for the opportunity.”
A Wareham resident, Lomp will work on offense with tight ends under head coach Jeremy Cameron.
“They have a great group of guys and I hope to learn from them,” he said of his first college coaching gig. “It’s something new and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Lomp joins former Old Rochester head coach Henry Quinlan on the Maritime staff. The two shared many Thanksgiving Day battles while Lomp was head coach at Apponequet, where he held the top position for 14 years.
“I get to coach with Henry so that should be fun,” Lomp said. “I’m sure we’ll reminisce about facing each other. It was a healthy rivalry.”
Even though Lomp’s time at Wareham was short, it was a memorable one.
“He’s a great coach,” said Wareham athletic director Ed Rodrigues. “The kids loved playing for him. The kids believed in him. That’s half the battle. The kids were confident they would go out and win, and it was because of him. Obviously he’ll be missed greatly.
“Hopefully we can get somebody who is enthusiastic and wants to work hard to keep us at that level.”
Lomp directed the Vikings to back-to-back winning records, a pair of South Coast Conference B titles, an outright South Coast Conference championship and an appearance in the Div. 8 South title game.
“I came back because I missed it so much,” he said of taking one year off after leaving Apponequet. “I really got a chance to enjoy the game and the kids.
“The kids were great. I got a chance to coach a lot of great kids in a two-year span. We played in some big games. We lost in the playoffs to the eventual champions both years. We played some big games and some fun games.”
He also enjoyed working with the school’s all-time touchdown and scoring leader Issac Nascimento.
“Getting a front row seat to Issac getting 60 touchdowns in his career was fun,” he said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Lomp said the biggest challenge he faced and the next head coach at Wareham will face is numbers.
“They have numbers issues they have to get sorted out,” he said. “I hope they can get that sorted out and get those numbers back up. But it’s the sign of the times at a lot of small schools. It’s a challenge with the schools to build up numbers.”
Rodrigues agreed, “Numbers are a challenge. We’ve got to get somebody to come in and build that up. We have a lot of quality kids, but we want to build numbers up.”
Lomp said the team’s passion made up for its small size.
“We had low numbers,” he said. “But the kids had a ton of heart.”
Follow Laurie Los on Twitter @LaurieLosSCT