Ludlowe tabs Camera as football coach
The interview process was rigorous.
There were two for the football job, two more for a teaching job and then weeks passed before Platt Tech's Vincent Camera finally received an offer to become the next football coach at Fairfield Ludlowe.
That was OK, Camera said. Ludlowe wanted to make sure it got the right guy, and he wanted the right place.
On paper, at least, it was the perfect match.
Ludlowe announced Camera as its next head coach Wednesday afternoon, completing an arduous search that spanned almost five months.
"They got a good gauge of who I am, and I got a good feel about what their expectations and goals are," he said.
Camera, a 1997 East Haven graduate who started the Platt Tech program in 2007, replaces Matt McCloskey, who resigned last year.
"Vinnie was the standout candidate in the interview process, and we are looking forward to him joining our staff at Fairfield Ludlowe," Ludlowe athletic director Dave Schulz said in a statement.
Camera's hire is a homecoming, of sorts.
Before kick-starting Platt Tech's football team, Camera coached at Fairfield Prep. He played outside linebacker at Fairfield University until graduating in 2001.
"Being a guy who graduated from Fairfield U and coached at Prep, I always felt some ties to that community," said Camera, 34. "My brother lives in town. I'm not too far away in Milford.
"I've always thought the sky could be the limit in Fairfield. The town has a great youth program, plenty of resources and money to support them. Between all those resources and the talent and quality of kids they produce, the potential to be successful is there."
Camera said he will meet with his new players next week. He formally said goodbye to his Platt Tech players at a meeting on Tuesday.
"I thought it would be a bit of a downer," said Camera, who would like to see one of his Platt Tech assistants replace him. "But they were excited for me and understood the opportunity and congratulated me. It was nice. I thought it was very positive."
Camera said he will begin his coaching duties at Ludlowe immediately. He's already started to look at film of his new team. Assembling a staff is a top priority.
Camera was also hired as a teacher at Ludlowe, which was a crucial component to accepting this job, he said.
"If you're going to be a head coach in a league like the FCIAC, it's imperative that you're in the building," he said. "Football has a way about it, there's so much you have to be involved in and being in the building is uniquely needed. I was willing to wait to see if this worked out."
Ludlowe is coming off a 5-5 season during which the Falcons finished with four straight victories.
The team hasn't had a winning season since 2009.
Camera was 24-37-1 in six years at Platt Tech, which competes in the Constitution State Conference. He believes the experience of building a program as a first-year head coach has prepared him for coaching in a decidedly tougher league.
"I think it has to help," he said. "Everyone who goes into a new position, be it teaching or coaching, you bring your experiences with you. You're constantly reevaluating your successes and failures and try to build on them.
"I have a clean slate here and to try and fine-tune those successes and hardships is exciting and, for me, the most exciting part."