Wakefield, MA—For the past 20 seasons, Wakefield Football has had the honor to have Al Lisitano as an assistant coach. Lisitano, who graduated from Wakefield in 1986, has served as an assistant with the freshman program and more recently with the varsity as defensive coordinator.
Never wanting the spotlight and always deflecting the praise to the student-athletes, Coach Lisitano recently submitted his resignation to head coach, Mike Boyages. Al didn’t resign to become the head coach at a rival school nor did he leave to coach at the college level. Both of which would be easily obtainable for a man like Al. Instead Lisitano is resigning to spend more time with his wife Andrea (Russo), son Anthony and baby to be, which will be born sometime in August.
Coach “Lis” joined the staff in 1991 after attending Bentley College where he played football for four years. He was an assistant coach with the freshman program from 1991 to 1996 under current head coach Mike Boyages. He was part of a program that went nearly a year and half without a loss.
When Coach Boyages became head coach in 1997, he immediately promoted Lisitano to the varsity staff where he began to work alongside Coach Ron Wood. Wood and Lisitano formed a strong friendship that lasted right up until the passing of Coach Wood. In his best friend’s memory, Lisitano has helped to create the Ron Wood Memorial Award and is proud to be a founding member of “Wood’s Warriors” Relay for Life Team.
During his time with the varsity program, Al has coached the offensive line, defensive line, tight ends and most recently has been defensive coordinator and offensive line coach. During Lisitano’s time at Wakefield he has coached All-Scholastics Bill Morrison, Brett Keough, Maritin Hyppolite, Anthony Fabiano as well as All-American Brandon Flanagan. He was part of a program that won an astonishing 102 games over a fourteen year period. Coach Lisitano saw Wakefield win three Middlesex League Championships in 1997, 1999 and 2001. He coached in three Superbowls including the school’s first in 1997 and the school’s first ever championship in 1999. As defensive coordinator, Al’s entire 2005 defensive squad was selected to the Middlesex League All-Star team. Most recently he was a part of back-to-back Middlesex League Small School Championships in 2009 and 2010.
His mild manner approach to coaching allowed him to form bonds with his players that have turned into friendships that will last a lifetime. A player coached by Al always knew when the mild mannered coach meant business. However, Al always took the time to become part of each player’s life.
Al Lisitano is the epitome of what being a Warrior is all about. Al played football at Wakefield for the legendary coach, Bob Connors. Lisitano and his classmates were instrumental in the resurrection of Warrior Football. As a player, Al and his teammates helped to build the foundation for Wakefield Football and as coach he helped secure the roof.
Coach Lisitano was recently asked to reflect on his coaching career. Lisitano said, “I would like to sincerely thank the parents of Wakefield for entrusting me with their sons. I always told myself that I would try to coach and treat each player as if they were my own sons. Well, now that I have my own son, I’m proud to say that I can look back in the mirror and to the parents of Wakefield knowing I did just that.”
When asked to reflect on their last twenty years together, Coach Boyages said, “Al Lisitano’s outstanding contribution to the Wakefield Football Program over the past twenty years has truly been amazing. Al combined great integrity and love for the game with an unmatched work ethic and a caring and compassionate coaching style. Unquestionably, Al Lisitano has been the hardest working coach I have had the pleasure of coaching beside. Not having him on our staff next will be a huge loss to our football program. “
There is no doubt that over twenty years, Al Lisitano touched the lives of many young men in Wakefield. As he embarks on the next chapter of his life, the Warrior Club would like to congratulate him on his years of service and wish him and his family the best as they continue to grow.
Giving Coach Lisitano the opportunity to thank people, he was quick to put praise on his coaching mates. Lisitano said, “I would also like to thank the entire current coaching staff. We’ve been together as a unit for so many years and I have learned so much from each one of them. More importantly, I know that I can count on every one of them for anything, at anytime. They’re like brothers to me. I really don’t know if it’s like that elsewhere. It’s just another big reason why Wakefield Football is so special. I’m just glad to have been a part of it. The privilege has been all mine.”
Coach Boyages added, “On behalf of our coaching staff and all of his current and former players, I want to wish him all the best and thank him for twenty years of dedicated service to Warrior Football. In my opinion, he was the best assistant coach in the Middlesex League.”