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Football: Yarmouth High hires former assistant as its new head coach

Mar. 6—A former high school quarterback outside Chicago, Nick Orsi had long talked about his desire to get back to football as a high school coach.

When the COVID pandemic curtailed what had been a hectic travel schedule for Orsi while working for an investment firm, his wife suggested he stop talking about coaching football and actually do it.

"She probably regrets that now," Orsi said with a laugh.

Orsi, 42, a high school assistant for three seasons, including two at Yarmouth High, was announced Tuesday as the varsity coach of Yarmouth's eight-man football program.

"It's always been a dream of mine to run my own program and it felt like a good fit," Orsi said. "I knew a lot of the kids, the parents, knew the administration and the community."

Jim Hartman retired as Yarmouth's coach following the 2023 season. Hartman led Yarmouth to state championships in 11-man and eight-man football.

Orsi, who lives in Falmouth, got his coaching start on Hartman's staff in 2021 and 2022. After a sub-par 1-7 season in 2021, Yarmouth went 10-1 and won the Large School championship in 2022.

Last season, Orsi was the offensive coordinator at Brunswick under Mark Renna, who had been Yarmouth's defensive coordinator prior to 2023. Brunswick, which intends to return to 11-man football this fall, went 4-3 in the eight-man regular-season and won two playoff games, including a semifinal upset of No. 1 Yarmouth, 48-46, before losing to Greely in the regional final. The Dragons quickly gained a reputation as a high-scoring team that featured the passing game.

"We scored over 40 points a game and we did a lot of winning with that style," Orsi said.

Orsi said he intends to use a similar spread-style offense that emphasizes downfield passes at Yarmouth. Under Hartman, the Clippers were known for their power running game. Michael McGonagle rushed for over 2.500 yards each of the last two seasons and became the first eight-man player to be voted a finalist for the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy.

"I love Jim and, God bless him, he was super nice to give me my first coaching opportunity," Orsi said. "Jim is probably the king of the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust approach. My style is definitely very different."

Yarmouth Athletic Director Sarah Holmes said Orsi impressed during the interview process with his football IQ.

"That was first and foremost, but he is also incredibly charismatic and the kids are drawn to him," Holmes said.

Orsi believes a more wide-open offensive style will encourage increased participation. Orsi said a long-term goal is to have Yarmouth return to 11-man football. Yarmouth was one of the 10 original eight-man teams in 2019.

"The biggest thing is I want the players to have an awesome experience playing football," Orsi said. "I want this to be the most fun they've ever had playing sports and to make this one of the premier programs in the state."

Holmes said while she supports Orsi's desire to have Yarmouth play 11-man football, the program first must show it will consistently have close to 40 players. "I've worked here since 2007. We've always hovered around 30," Holmes said.