Harold M. Francis is the new assistant athletic director, varsity football coach, and varsity basketball coach. Mr. Francis grew up in Queens, New York, and as a young student, became part of a program that gives minority students a chance to attend independent schools in New York City. From there, he made his way to Taft School, a boarding high school in Connecticut. After studying there for four years, he moved and attended Hobart College, a liberal arts school in up-state New York. Immediately following his college career, he began work as a teacher at a charter school in Boston.
Now at Groton, Mr. Francis says that he enjoys returning to the boarding school life but also mentions that it is a bit of an adjustment after working at a day school for six years. He says that though he is familiar with the routine, Groton, like every other school, has its own culture. He has been working to adjust to these changes and says that both the faculty and the students have been great. Mr. Francis will also be teaching Sacred Texts at Groton.
This fall, Mr. Francis can be found on the sidelines of football games and practices. He is working hard to improve the record of last year’s football squad record of 2-6. Mr. Francis says about the team, “We have a veteran team — we have many individuals that have been on the squad for many years now.” They will be relying heavily on this year’s seniors and juniors to help improve upon last year’s record, relying not only on what they learned during preseason and recent practices, but also on their years of experience from playing together in past seasons.
As for the basketball team, Mr. Francis says that it will be a year of learning and improvement after finishing with no ISL victories last year. Mr. Francis will have to learn about what talent he has on the court this year, and how he will be able to create chemistry in the team with the young talent on the squad. This will be a process, though a fun process, and both the coaches and players are aware of this.
But as of now, football is his main athletic priority. The team got off to a roaring start with a 55-32 win against St. George’s, and now prepares for the perenially strong team at Belmont Hill. Mr. Francis has been preparing them throughout the week, and will continue to do so throughout the fall. When fall ends, the exciting new tenure of Coach Harold Francis as the head of Groton Basketball will begin.