2016 Coaches Announced
2016 NH Head Coach: Justin Leonard
2016 VT Head Coach: Brian Grady
For Release – Friday, November 20, 2015
Plans for the 63rd annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl are well underway and the Board of Governors is pleased to announce the 2016 head coaches. Justin Leonard, head coach for the Epping/Newmarket Blue Devils high school football team will serve as the New Hampshire Head Coach, while Brian Grady of Fair Haven Union High School Slaters will lead the Vermont Shrine team.
The summer classic brings together some of the finest high school football players from New Hampshire and Vermont where the real winners are the kids in the Shriners Hospitals for Children. The 2016 game will, again, be played at Castleton University in Castleton VT. Game date is Saturday August 6 with the pageantry of the parade starting at 3:30pm and kickoff scheduled for 5:30pm..
With the announcement of Head Coaches, General Chairman Kristi Morris said "We welcome both Coaches to our Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl family for 2016. The Board of Governors appreciates their dedication to football and the selfless time and commitment that this position requires as they prepare their teams for next summer’s game."
In accepting the New Hampshire Head Coach position Coach Leonard says; “The Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl been always been a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved. I have wanted to be a part of this game since I was a player at Concord High School (Grad. 2001). Many great players and coaches have taken part in this game and to be included in the same category is truly a great honor. My grandfather was a Shriner, and every time Shrine season comes up I am reminded by multiple people that my grandfather was a part of this great organization.”
Upon his acceptance Coach Grady says; “I want to thank the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl for the privilege to coach this year Vermont Shrine team. It is a real honor. Having been part of the Shrine game 6 times previously, I have developed a real appreciation for the mission of the Shrine game, “Strong legs run so that Weak legs may walk”.
Coach Leonard attended Utica College and graduated from Plymouth State in 2006 where he was a student assistant coach in 2004. He has football coaching experience at Concord High, Cienega High (AZ), Cambridge Rindge and Latin and Spaulding High Schools before landing the head coaching position at the Epping/Newmarket High School cooperative team in 2014.
Coach Grady has been the head coach at Fair Haven Union High School for the past four years. Previously, he was the Offensive Coordinator for Castleton University in 2009 and 2010 (when it was known as Castleton State College.) He was Head Coach at Mount Saint Joseph Academy for 15-years and has the fortune of being part of 11 State Championship teams, 2 as head coach at MSJ in 1998, and 1999. Coach Grady was also the head coach of the last Vermont team to win the Shrine game in 2000.
Approximately 200 players from Vermont and New Hampshire have been nominated by their respective head coaches and the screening committees, chaired by the two head coaches, will select the two 36-man teams in January.
With a little over nine months before game day, the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl continues to actively focus on fundraising for the world’s greatest philanthropy, that of supporting children in need at our Shrine hospitals. The game contributes to three hospitals in our area; Shriners orthopedic hospitals in Springfield MA, Montreal Quebec in Canada and our world renowned Burns hospital in Boston MA.
The Shrine Game has raised thousands of dollars over the past 62-years for the support of Shrine Hospitals and is sponsored by the Cairo Shriner Center in Rutland VT and the Mt. Sinai Shriner Center in Montpelier VT. The Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl Board of Governors is extremely pleased to have such talented, dedicated and self-motivated individuals as the two 2016 head coaches.
Kristi C. Morris