Central Catholic Raiders Boys Track and Field '08

Coaches' Corner: Central Catholic's Sully Grella

  • Currently 0.0 with 0 votes.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tuesday, May, 13 By Alan Siegel
Staff writer

Sully Grella has been part of the region's sports scene for nearly 20 years.

He grew up in Methuen and attended Central Catholic ('92) and Merrimack College before heading back to his alma mater on Haverhill Street to teach math and coach track. (He shares head coaching duties with Mike Leal.)

The 34-year-old Grella, who has three children, Matthew, 6, Ethan 5, and Connor, 2, with his wife Kara, caught up with us this week.

**1. So you ran track in high school. What events?** 

"The 100, 200 and 4x100. My best time in the 100 was 11.3 in a dual meet against Lowell."

**2. What about in football?**  
"I was a receiver with no catches who mainly played special teams (laughs)."

**3. Your brother Tommy was on "The Next Food Network Star". How fun was that to watch?"**   
"It was very cool. My family sat around the TV every Sunday. It was a lot of fun. I explained to my son not to cry when he got kicked off. That wasn't fun. That was one thing not good about the show."

**4. Confidentiality must be tough. Was it hard not knowing how he performed beforehand?**  
"Absolutely. We didn't know how he did. There's certainly financial penalties if you reveal anything. I would call him on the commercial breaks. He didn't give me anything."

**5. What's your brother up to now?** 
"He's a financial planner. He works in Methuen with my parents. I'm the black sheep. He's trying to get a (TV) pilot still. He's working on that. He does volunteer things, promos for the Food Network."

**6. As a kid, did he cook for your family?** 
"Oh, yeah. Ever since we were allowed to use the stove. He's a big guy with a huge appetite. I don't think my mother cooked him enough. He made red sauce and meatballs all the time."

**7. Sully is a unique name. What's the story behind it?** 
"Sylvestro was my grandfather's name. My mom didn't like that name. Her side of the family is Irish. (My parents) had friends, The Sullivans. They liked that name. So the Italian side of the family thought they won. The Irish side thought they won."

**8. Were you and late Central coach Peter O'Sullivan close?** 
"He was my coach in high school. My freshman year in college, he asked me to be an assistant. I coached four years when I was at Merrimack, plus the nine years after I got out. It's been tough, you don't really realize how much he did, and how well he did it, until he was gone." (O'Sullivan passed away in 2006).

**9. What did you learn most from him?** 
"The number one skill that he taught us was how to put a lineup together in dual meets, how to approach invitationals, how to spread out your best athletes. ... Using your resources. He was a master at that."

**10. When you were in high school, did you face any great runners?** 
"I ran against (former NFL fullback) Greg Comella (of Xaverian High). That was a trip. I remember getting into the blocks and his arm was in my lane. He had these huge arms. He was a monster. He's the one person I'll always remember running against."

**11. Has being a coach changed your perspective on approaching your sons' sports?**
"I've actually learned to tone it down a little bit. It kind of makes me laugh when parents take T-Ball and soccer so seriously. Youth sports are supposed to be fun. In high school it gets a little more serious, a little more about winning. When they're young, they're trying to learn the sport. You have to be patient with them. You have to keep it fun."

1 Story Comments

0         John DiBitetto

Kudos to Coaches Grella and Leal and the entire CC boys spring track team for an outstanding track season in winning another MVC Championship!

Report! #1 05/21/2008 10:44 AM