Former McDonogh football coach Damico joins Franklin
by Derek Toney
When he stepped down as McDonogh School football coach a year ago, Dom Damico wasn’t sure if he was ready to call it a career.
“I’ll see how it goes this fall. If I miss it, I’ll be back,” he said.
Well, he’s back. Damico will be on the sidelines this coming season as Franklin High’s defensive coordinator.
“During the fall I found myself being done with my teaching responsibilities at McDonogh at 2 and didn’t have no where to go. I didn’t want to sit around anymore,” said Damico. “I miss the X’s and O’s, I miss the kids, I miss the game planning and trying to win games.”
Damico has been friends with Indians coach Anthony Burgos for several years. The Indians have played each and or scrimmaged McDonogh the last several seasons.
When Bret Hain recently left Franklin as a defensive coordinator to return home to his native Pennsylvania, Burgos reached out to Damico.
“He’s a great guy and it’s a pretty good fit,” said Burgos. “He wants to get back into coaching. The program is thrilled to have a guy of that caliber on the staff.”
Damico won 149 games and eight MIAA championships (4 each in A & B conference) in 24 seasons at the Owings Mills private school. The Philadelphia native, who starred at quarterback at North Catholic High in Philly and played at Temple University, was VSN’s Football Coach of the Year in 2013 after leading McDonogh to its finest season (11-0; won MIAA A title) in program history.
After heading one of the area’s top private programs, Damico joins the area’s best public program in Franklin. The Baltimore County school won its third Class 3A state title in six seasons in 2018.
“They [Franklin] do a great job. Anthony has had a lot of success and trying to take it to another level by competing with private schools that are traditional national powers DeMatha, McDonogh, Calvert Hall. I know he’s going to continue that before the county schedule starts.”
Burgos, who never coached before taking over at Franklin in 2002, is excited about learning from Damico.
“He’s got such a great mind for the game and so many resources. It’ll be a tremendous learning curve,” said Burgos, who was VSN’s Football Coach of the Year in 2018. “It’s ironic 17 years and this is a genuine moment where I can really learn.”
Damico said he’s already devising a defensive scheme for Franklin’s season opening match at New York’s St. Anthony.
The following week, Franklin visits McDonogh.
Damico, who’s been a physical education teacher at McDonogh since coming from Philadelphia’s Cardinal Dougherty in 1994, said he hasn’t thought about coaching against his former team.
“As it gets closer I’m sure I’ll have different feelings. When you give a school 25 years of your life, you’re obviously emotionally attached to the place,” said Damico. “On that day, I’m going to try to do everything I can to help the Franklin kids win. That’s my job.”