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Football

Landau to take the helm at ConVal

Paul Landau will be ConVal’s new head football coach, Athletic Director Mark Swasey announced on Saturday. Landau joined the ConVal program last season as an offensive and defensive line coach and was named assistant head coach during the season.

Landau will take over for Ryan McCartney, who has left ConVal after two years to take a collegiate assistant football coaching position in Arizona. ConVal’s hiring committee felt Landau’s outstanding preparation and vision for success on and off the field in the interview will bring a smooth transition for the players, school and community, according to a press release.

Landau said he doesn’t expect a dramatic change in the program upon his taking the reins, as he worked closely with McCartney over the last season. He plans on continuing to stress hard work and a year-round commitment as he works to build ConVal into a successful program. The Cougars failed to win a single game last season — a season Landau called “one of the hardest” he’s ever been through as a coach.

“Football isn’t just an August and November kind of gig,” Landau said. “If you want to compete and compete at a high level, you need to put the work in.”

Landau said the program has already laid a solid foundation this offseason, with 30 to 40 players arriving at school early every day to hit the weight room in preparation for the upcoming season.

“We want to turn this program into something that the community can be proud of ,” Landau said, “not just for the way the players play the game, but for the product we put on the field. I’m not shy about saying that I want to turn this program into one that is respected around the state for the way that we play the game and the success that we have. A team that’s going to be competing year in and year out. That is something that is on the mind of every player in the program.”

Landau said he was thankful for the support of the fans through his first season at ConVal last year and hopes that a successful team will make the community support even greater.

“We talk about having Friday nights under the lights be something that the whole family can come out to,” Landau said.

Landau has worked as an elementary physical education teacher in the ConVal district for the past two years after graduating with a masters degree in Education from the University of New Hampshire. While at UNH, Landau was a member of the Wildcat football team before a back injury cut his playing career short.

He grew up in Bedford, and has lived in the area for most of his life. He attended Manchester West High School, where he was a captain of both the football and track teams.

Before arriving at ConVal, Landau was a varsity assistant coach for Souhegan High School. At Souhegan, Landau coached the offensive and defensive lines and was promoted to defensive coordinator in his final season with the Sabers. During his time at Souhegan, the Sabers made three state tournament appearances and won two state championships. Landau was also a member of the 2012 New Hampshire Shrine Team staff.

In addition to coaching high school football, Landau has also worked as a coach for Bedford’s Stevens Buswell Post 54 American Legion program for the last seven years as both an assistant coach and head coach. In 2011, Post 54 reached the American Legion World Series and finished in the top eight in the nation.

Landau currently resides in Amherst. When Landau is not coaching, he enjoys spending as much time as possible outside, going to the beach, and reading a good book in his hammock.

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