Newington HS Athletic Department
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Newington Athletics

Coaching Bios

  Head Coach John Acquavita


2018 Finalist For National Coaches Association Coach Of The Year 

2014 Connecticut High School Coaches Association Coach Of The Year 

2014 Broke All Time Wins Total In New Haven Football History 

2000 Hartford Courant Coach Of The Year 

2000 New Haven Register Coach Of The Year 

2000 Vincent J. Reilly Coach Of The Year 


RECORD 134-118-1 






2009 Assistant Coach New Haven County All-Star Team

2008 Assistant Coach New Haven County All-Star Team 

2003 Head Coach New Haven County All-Star Team

2002 Assistant Coach New Haven County All-Star Team

2001 Assistant Coach New Haven County All-Star Team

2001 Assistant Coach Connecticut All-Star Team


100 All-Conference Players

43 Levi Jackson Team Members

20 New Haven All-Area Players

10 Class LL All-Staters 

4 Class L All-Staters

2 Class MM All-Staters

18 Class S All-Staters

6 New Haven Register All-Staters

2 Hartford Courant All-Staters 

2 All Tri-State Team 

2 Walter Camp Elite team 

3 All Americans 

23 New Haven Football Foundation Scholar Athletes 

5 NFL Players 


B.S. Elementary Education K-6 

M.S. Reading Specialist K-12 

Self Contained Grades 7/8 


Defensive Coordinator Adam O'Leary

Coach Adam O’Leary is entering his 12th season coaching varsity football.  During his coaching career, his stints included being an assistant coach at his alma mater Maloney High school from 2012-2014.  This is when he coached the offensive line, wide receivers, defensive backs, and was the head coach of the junior varsity and freshman teams.  During his playing days, he was a two year starter and captain of the Spartans 2009 team.

In 2014 after coaching at Maloney, Adam was finishing his undergraduate degree from Central Connecticut State University in Physical Education. His student-teaching placement was at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven.  This is when his Governor coaching career began with head coach John Acquavita.  At Wilbur Cross, Adam has taken many different coaching roles.  From 2014-2019, he was the head junior varsity and freshman coach while also being a positional coach at the varsity level.  He called the plays on the offensive and defensive side of the ball for sub-varsity while coaching the varsity wide receivers (2016-2020) and defensive backs (2017-2022).  Adam has also coached the offensive line (2020-2022) and quarterbacks (2022-2023) as well.

In 2022 it was Adam’s first season as defensive coordinator.  The Wilbur Cross’ football team ended the season on a 3 game win streak.  During the win streak, the defense was fierce and only gave up 6 points per game.  Two all conference players were named from the defensive side of the ball with one of those players breaking the school’s single season record for most sacks. Adam has coached and developed 1 NFL player, 6 All-State athletes, 21 All-Conference players, 1 Walter Camp Elite Team athlete, 23 Levi Jackson Award winners, and multiple Division I, Division II, and Division III players.

Adam understands the importance of high school athletics and the positive link that it has on student-athletes educationally, socially, mentally, and physically.  In 2018, he graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a MS in Sports Management and a concentration in athletic administration.  In 2023, he completed his Sixth Year Intermediate Administrator Certificate in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University.  Adam is currently a Physical Education teacher at Wilbur Cross High School and the assistant varsity baseball coach.

Outside of football, Adam enjoys being a girl dad and spending quality time with his six year old daughter Kennedy.  He also enjoys attending sporting events such as Patriots, Red Sox, UCONN football, UCONN basketball, and Hartford Yard Goats’ games.  Adam resides in Meriden.

Offensive Line/Defensive Ends Coach Mike Neal

Michael Neal is a life-long New Haven resident who was educated St. Martin de Porres Catholic School for most of his elementary and middle school years with the exception of spending third through seventh grades in Fountain Valley California.

Michael first developed his love of football at an early age in pee wee and Pop Warner Football. That passion grew after the completion of the 8th grade. With his uncle’s strong influence, Michael worked harder and gained strength with the intention of following the legacy of Charles and Troy Neal by playing football at James Hillhouse High School.

While at Hillhouse, Michael was a 4-time All-District Selection (1984-1987), 2-time Coaches All State Selection (1986-1987), 2-time All Area Selection (1986-1987), Voted #1 Defensive Lineman in New England (1987), Top 20 Best High School Recruit in the Country (1987) Michael lead Hillhouse to its first state championship in school history with 3 sacks…10 tackles….1 blocked punt in state championship game. The state championship win solidified his bragging rights for surpassing their stats. If it could not get any better, he was voted Mr. Hillhouse.

Michael signed and committed to American International College (AIC) in Springfield, Massachusetts where he received an athletic scholarship. While at AIC, Michael was a 2-time All New England Selection (1991-1992) and he finished his college career tied for 10th in All Time tackles at AIC. He graduated in 1993 with a BS in Business Management. During the last semester of his senior year, Michael was a 15th-round pick to the practice squad for the Cincinnati Bengals for 2½ years. Due to injury, he could no longer continue his football career, but his passion for football never diminished.

In 1994 he returned back to where is all started at Hillhouse to serve as an Assistant Coach under Steve Jenkins until 1997. In October of 1997, Michael entered the City of New Haven Fire Academy. Then an opportunity came to start a football program at the new Hyde Leadership High School. While coaching at Hyde, the team appeared in 8 playoff appearances and won 3 State Championship Titles in 2000, 2004, and 2005 with Coach John Acquavita.


In 2007, Michael pursued an assistant coach position at Wilbur Cross High School and served as a defensive coordinator for one year until the end of 2021. Michael is proud to have coached over 300 New Haven students into all levels of college football. Out of these young men, 20 went on to play Division 1 football and 5 of the 20 went on to play professional football in the National Football League.


Michael is enjoying his retirement from the New Haven Fire Department and serves as proud Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. He is married to his wife of 13 years, Tracey, and has 3 adult children. Currently, he is employed as a ramp supervisor in the aviation profession.

Quarterbacks/Defensive Backs Coach Chris Roberts

Chris was a New Britain high school alum where he was 2004 team captain and a 2 year varsity starter at FS, and K position and then was a starter at the QB position his senior year.   There he won 2 State Championships in back to back years. He was a two time all conference kicker where he is in the top 5 of the Ct all-time record book in PAT’s and points. At the Quarterback position he was an all-area, all conference, all- state, and CT All-star where he was chosen in CT’s top 50 players to play against Rhode Island. He threw for over 2600 yards, and 34 TD’s, ran for over 500 yards with 9TDs accumulating over 3,100 total yards at the QB position. He led his team to a class LL state championship and a #2 ranking in state which was later overturned to a #1. He was also a 4 year varsity starter in baseball where he batted .423 had 32 hits his senior season (5 shy of all-time record) and had 16 SB. He led his team to the 2nd round of playoffs. He was an all-conference and coaches class LL all-state selection in baseball ending his athletic career at NB a 2 sport all state athlete.


Chris then obtained a full athletic scholarship to play football at Division 2 Southern Connecticut State University. He was a 2 year starter at the QB position leading his team to the National Playoffs in 2008 and sharing the conference title in 2009. At Southern he made the Northeast 10 All-Conference team, won the Harry Jakunski Award MVP (area’s best college player) in 2008, and was 2009 pre-season All American. He also played multiple positions such as Wide Receiver, Kick Returner, and Punt Returner. He finished his career Top 5 All-time at Southern CT in Most Passes Completed, Most Passing Yards, Most Total Offense Yards, Most Passing TDs, and had Highest Passing Efficiency.


Chris is currently a Physical Education Teacher at Wilbur Cross High School for the last 11 years. He has coached the QBs/ WRs/DBs as well as being named the passing game coordinator for some years. He has coached 3 all conference Qb’s, as well as numerous all conference wide receivers, and defensive backs. He was also chosen to coach Ct’s top QB’s in the CT All Star game numerous times. Chris was also the baseball’s varsity assistant coach for 10 years as well where he helped coach Wilbur Cross to their first playoff birth in years. Chris resides in New Britain with his wife and 3 beautiful children; Two daughters named Sha’Nya and Kayla and a son named Deion. 

Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs Coach Mike Wolf

Coaching Experience: 

-Wilbur Cross High School - 2022

(Varsity Asst. Coach (Positions: WR/TE & DE's/DB's, JV Head Coach (Offensive Play Caller).

-Troup Middle School (New Haven P.S.) - 2021

(Middle School Football - Head Coach - Offensive Coordinator)

-Connecticut Pride Youth Football (10U Football) - 2001-2022

(Asst. Head Coach (Def. Coordinator) - 2022 Spring AYF New England Champions

-North Haven High School - 2022-2023 

(Head Freshmen Basketball Coach, Asst. Varsity Coach)


-Playing Experience: 

Wilbur Cross HS - '00-'03 - 3-year starter (TE, DE, K/P), Senior Captain, 4-Year Varsity Athlete

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