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Salem football coach leaves program; aims to create similar turnaround

Salem football coach leaves program; aims to create similar turnaround
Salem Blue Devils football

SALEM, N.H. (BVM) — The early days at Salem High School were bleak. Coming off a winless 0-12 season, new coach Rob Pike was tasked with transforming the program.

In 2012, the Blue Devils were led by first-year coach Adam Gagne, who after the tough season with the program, decided to leave for a different opportunity elsewhere. Pike, who was the defensive coordinator at the time, was promoted to head coach.

In his first season at the helm, Pike decided to scrap the team’s spread offense and transitioned back to the team’s well known wing-T. The Blue Devils started out the season losing four consecutive games. After a couple of wins, Salem went on to win four of its next six games. Pike was able to improve on the team’s winless season, going 4-6. After a good first season, the Blue Devils continued their upswing, posting a 7-3 record the following season.

During Pike’s time with the program, Salem went from winless to undefeated. From the 2016-17 season through his final year with the Blue Devils, Pike never saw a losing season with the team. In his final year as head coach, Salem went 8-3.

The team won its first round match-up against Goffstown, before losing in its NHIAA Quarterfinals match-up against Londonderry High School. He leaves the school after seven seasons with a record of 50-23.

Throughout his tenure at Salem High School, Pike oversaw the turnaround of the Blue Devils’ football program that has turned them into a perennial contender. He looks to do the same for the Lowell Red Raiders in Massachusetts. He was hired on as the program’s head coach in March.

With the hopes of a similar turnaround, Pike will look to use some of the same ideas to jumpstart his new program. Being in a similar spot, his new team finished with a 4-7 record in 2019.

Pike grew up in the Merrimack Valley, so the switch to Lowell won’t take much getting used to. He graduated from Haverhill High School in 1999 and was selected to play for the Merrimack Valley Conference team in the Carole Classic all-star game.

Pike said his reason for leaving was the ability to teach and coach at the same school. While working as the head coach of the football team in Salem, he was still teaching at Haverhill High School in Massachusetts.

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