Following the passing of Coach Vince O’Connor on February 14, 2015, after a 62 year run as head Coach of St. Francis Prep Football, which included 344 wins and 14 CHSFL Titles, Coach Rich Carroll becomes the first head Coach since the 1950’s for a football program’ that dates back to the year 1913.
Carroll, who returned to coach at St. Francis at the request of Coach O’Connor in 2009, was O’Connor’s personal assistant and coordinator of daily football operations. Since Carroll’s strategic appointment by Head Coach Vince O’Connor, the two made great strides in re-establishing the football program as a serious competitor within the CHSFL, boasting of two seasons of undefeated in-season play (2012, 2013), only to fall short both years in the first round of the playoffs.
Coach Carroll said of Coach Vince O’Connor: “Coach O’Connor was an amazing mentor to me that always had a handle on the right thing to say and what needed to be done. I am blessed and extremely grateful to be part of the elite fraternity that can say they were coached by Vince O’Connor not only as a player or as a football coach, but perhaps most importantly as a man. Thank you Coach!” .
Rich Carroll, was a former player for O’Connor and Captain of the St. Francis Prep 1985 AAA CHSFL / Metro Bowl Championship Team and will bring 16 years of football coaching experience to the position.
After his graduation in 1986 from St. Francis Prep, Carroll was a four-year letterman and two-year Captain at LIU Post under Coach Tom Marshall where he graduated with a degree in Communications. He enjoyed a colorful college football career which included being named First Team Liberty Conference All-Star three years in a row, All Eastern College Athletic Conference and a Liberty Conference Academic All-Star his senior year. In 2005, Carroll was inducted into the LIU Post Football Hall of Fame.
Carroll has coached both on the college and high school levels with 11 of those years being under the direct tutelage of the program’s legendary coach, Vince O’Connor. Carroll was named Assistant Head Coach by Coach O’Connor in 2009, upon his return to St. Francis following a three year stint as Head Coach at Herricks High School in the Nassau County. Carroll enjoyed great success at Herricks by bringing the program back from near extinction with the growing of the program from 2006 not having enough players to field a varsity roster to 2008 where he participated with over a 40 man roster in Conference I, the toughest conference in the NCHSFL.
Prior to Herricks, Carroll spent time as the freshmen level Offensive & Defensive Line Coach at St. Francis from 1997- 1998. He returned the 2002-2005 helping the Terriers Varsity to win the AA Championship in 2005, assisting Coach O’Connor in achieving his 300th win and 16th CHSFL Title.
Carroll first recognized his passion for coaching during his senior year at LIU Post when the team’s offensive line coach had to resign due to a family emergency, leaving Carroll to become a player/coach for Head Coach Tom Marshall and mentor the younger players of the LIU Post Offensive unit. Upon graduation, Carroll took a Graduate Assistant Coaching position at Wagner College (Staten Island, NY), under Coach Walt Hamline as the Tight Ends Coach where he coached All-American Tight End Abe Higgins. In 1991 Carroll rejoined his Alma mater and Head Coach Tom Marshall at LIU Post as the Offensive Line Coach where he was fortunate to work with then defensive Line Coach and fellow St. Francis Prep Football Alumni Bryan Collins ’82 who is now a long time friend and the Head Coach and Athletic Director at LIU Post.
Carroll is a retired New York City Fire Fighter and former NYPD Detective.
Carroll and his wife Liz have three children: Sean (16), Gia (14) & Dylan (10)