Sunday, May 19, 2013
Noble High has reached into the past to find a new coach for its struggling football program.
Tom Daubney, who last coached in 1992, has been chosen to succeed John Carver, whose teams won a total of two games in the last two years.
Daubney, 70, coached at Portsmouth (N.H.) High from 1970-92, leading the Clippers to six appearances in state championship games and three state titles.
Daubney stayed involved with Portsmouth's program until he retired as a teacher in 2003 and was involved with the New Hampshire Shrine Game, last serving as an assistant in 2010.
So he's not worried about the 20-year gap between head coaching assignments.
"I haven't ridden a two-wheel bicycle in 30 years, but I still know how to do it," he said. "I'm excited about the challenge."
"He stayed in contact with the sport," said Kyle Keenan, the athletic director at Noble. "And, to be honest with you, he's got more energy than I do. He's very energetic and brings a lot of passion and enthusiasm about football. His energy is going to be infectious with the kids."
Daubney, who lives in Epping, N.H., knows he has a challenge ahead. Noble, which won the Class A state championship in 1997, has struggled in recent years as participation has dipped. He said football needs to become important at the school again.
"You need 20 to 25 guys in school that have football on the front burner," he said. "Until those kids make a commitment, the rest isn't going to turn around."
Daubney does have a personal connection to the Knights. His grandson, Ethan Beaulier, has been Noble's quarterback the last two years and will be a senior this fall. Daubney's son-in-law, and Beaulier's dad, Mark, died last June of colon cancer.
"There are just some things you've got to do," Daubney said. "I got to know some of the kids though my grandson and I felt it was something I had to do. There was a big influence from my wife, who told me things happen for a reason."
Daubney added that he would not have come out of retirement at any other school. Nor would he commit to more than one year.
"If they find someone else after one year that they're more comfortable with, that they feel can lead the program into the future, I'm fine with that," he said. "I will do my very best to find the very best staff I can so I can leave the program in good stead when I do go."
He's already started to fill his staff. Noble hired Andrew Elwell -- a former star at Marshwood High who played at the University of New Hampshire -- as an assistant coach.
"I'm going to surround myself with people who know more than I do," Daubney said. "Andrew is very enthusiastic and I'm excited to work with him."
Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: