Brian St. Pierre, a 1998 graduate of St. John's, has been named head varsity football coach at St. John’s Prep, according to an announcement today by Principal Keith A. Crowley, PhD. He succeeds Jim O’Leary, who is stepping down after three decades as head coach for the Eagles. O’Leary will continue in his post as Athletic Director at St. John’s.
“This is the right time for Brian to come on board as head football coach. As Jim’s role as athletic director has expanded, it demands more of his time to manage a program that includes 20 interscholastic sports, a growing emphasis on intramurals and wellness, the opening of our middle school in September 2015, and planning for a new wellness center on campus. Thanks to the strength of the football program under Jim’s leadership, and Brian’s experience and familiarity with St. John's, we’re looking forward to a smooth and successful transition,” said Dr. Crowley.
During a news conference on campus, Dr. Crowley described O'Leary as the ultimate coach-educator. "I want to celebrate Jim's accomplishments as head coach. He brought tremendous energy and enthusiasm - and certainly his opinions, good ones - to the program. We've been blessed with his leadership, I want to thank him for everything he has done for our students, parents, the football program and the school."
St. Pierre, a standout during his high school career at the Prep and a record-setting quarterback at Boston College, went on to play in the NFL for eight years. He becomes only the third coach to lead the Eagles since 1967, following Fred Glatz and O’Leary.
St. Pierre was a three-sport athlete at St. John's, and earned honors as a three-time Catholic Conference football All-Star, two-time Catholic Conference baseball All-Star, and member of the basketball team when the Eagles won the 1997-1998 Catholic Conference title. He was captain of the football team that won the state and New England championship titles in 1997.
After graduating from Boston College, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL draft. He also played for the Baltimore Ravens, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Carolina Panthers. After retiring from the NFL, he covered Boston College football as a sideline reporter for WEEI Radio. He returned to St. John’s Prep in August 2013 to join the school’s alumni relations staff and serve as assistant football coach.
“I played for Coach O'Leary and I know him well,” said St. Pierre. “He's worked hard and been very successful, so it is a real honor for me to follow in his footsteps as head football coach at St. John’s. I feel a real sense of responsibility to continue the winning tradition he and Coach Glatz helped to create at the Prep.”
St. Pierre described O'Leary as an especially effective coach. "He is as good a motivator as I have ever played for, and I've played with some amazing coaches. The biggest thing he gave us was confidence in ourselves - we felt prepared going into every game and he gave us that."
St. Pierre's wife, Jocelyn, was on campus for the announcement. They have two sons, Kyle and Luke. "I understand the responsibilities before me, and I am excited to have our boys grow up with me here."
O’Leary started his career at St. John’s in 1977 as an assistant football coach, filling a void that had been left by the death of the Prep’s legendary coach Brother Linus, CFX. In 1984, O’Leary succeeded Fred Glatz as head football coach, and in 1999, he was named athletic director. During his tenure as head coach, O’Leary compiled a formidable 207-110-2 record with 24 winning seasons, nine Catholic Conference titles, and six Super Bowl appearances, including two championships in 1997 and 2012. Memorable highlights of his career include wins against rival Xaverian Brothers High School in 1997 and 2001, when the Prep successfully defended perfect seasons on Thanksgiving Day.
“Serving as football coach at St. John’s has been a privilege and an honor,” said O’Leary. “I’ve had remarkable support from students, parents, administrators, and my family – I couldn’t have done my job without them. I’m going to miss the daily interactions with players and coaches, but I am looking forward to having the time I need to devote to our overall athletics program,” said O’Leary.
Coach Glatz attended the news conference, and O'Leary, who coached 300 games in his career as head coach, recalled when he took on the role St. Pierre will now play. "Thirty years ago, Fred Glatz took a chance on me. He had the confidence of Headmaster Ed Keefe to put me in the position, and it's been a joy to coach here."
O'Leary expressed his gratitude to his colleagues for their support, in particular Ann Edgerton and Jameson Pelkey. He also thanked his wife, Dorris, and their two children, Emily and Michael '07, for understanding the demands of his work through the years. "Emily knows football as well as anyone else, and I had the pleasure of coaching Michael when he was at the Prep."