By Brendan Clogston
The football was passed last Friday evening at a press conference, as 31-year-old longtime Assistant Coach Theluxon Pierre stepped up to take the mantle of football head coach from his mentor, John DiBiaso. Pierre, an EHS Class of 2005 graduate, said that his tenure as coach would see the continuation of DiBiaso’s enormously successful style and legacy that won 12 state titles over the last 22 seasons.
“I’m excited. I think we have a great plan in place to keep this program going. I’ve been playing here, I’ve been coaching here. I’m all about Everett. It’s pretty much all I know,” said Pierre. “There’s not going to be a lot of changes. The offense is going to be the same. It’s still going to be a spread offense, because that’s the type of player we have right now in the system. They already know the spread right now, so for me to come in and throw that out the window would be kind of crazy. The only football I know is Everett football. I’ve been coaching under DiBiaso for nine years now, so everything that he knows he’s passed down to me.”
“This is Everett,” he said. “We’re still chasing championships.”
Superintendent of Schools Fred Foresteire praised Pierre as someone with “the personality, the work ethic to try and pick up and keep going with Mr. DiBiaso’s philosophy. He’s certainly well-versed in it.”
“That was one of the things that [EHS Principal Erick] Naumann and I looked at – who can keep the program going?” said Foresteire. “[Pierre] grew up in it, he’s coached in it, he’s got great assistants – and they’re all staying, as far as I understand. We expect our players to be ready next year to perform for him and for the school.”
DiBiaso, who was on hand at the press conference, called Pierre’s appointment “a tremendous decision.” “He grew up here, he knows the system, he knows the program, he’s heart-and-soul everything in Everett. He lives here in the community,” said DiBiaso. “I think it’s a wonderful thing, and it just shows the progress that we’ve made over the years. … At one time we were mostly Irish and Italian. We’re a city of immigrants, and as things evolve and change, we have many more Hispanic students, many more Haitian Creole kids, and Theluxon just has a great ability to relate to everybody, and I know he’s going to do a fantastic job.”
Pierre, born in Haiti in 1986, immigrated to the United States in 1996, where he settled and grew up on Russell Street behind the high school. Initially drawn to soccer, Pierre followed his friends to the football team. He quickly became a star, playing in four super bowls at EHS and winning in three of them (2001, 2002 and 2003), and playing for four years as a Greater Boston League Champion. By 2004, he was a captain on the team. After graduation, Pierre attended Dean’s Union College, where he played football as a defensive end. Eventually he received a full scholarship to UMass Amherst, where he also played defensive end.
While in college, Pierre kept in touch with DiBiaso, seeking advice about his future. “Even when I went to college, I was still calling him maybe twice a week. ‘What should I major in? What should I do after college? What should I do?’ I didn’t have a plan,” said Pierre. “He says ‘Come back to Everett and coach.’ I came back home. That was maybe the best decision I ever made in my life.”
Nine years later, Pierre hopes to make a similar impact on the lives of his student athletes. “I love helping out the young student athletes,” he said. “I didn’t have anyone when I was in school, and the way that Coach [DiBiaso] took me in, I feel like I owe these kids the same thing.”
DiBiaso – described by Foresteire as the “greatest high school football coach of all time, and a man who has created such a legend here at Everett High School” – took a position as football coach and assistant athletic director at Catholic Memorial in West Roxbury this January, only weeks after recording his 300th career win with the Crimson Tide.