Jim Girard: Coaching is “the best job in the world”


Credit: Courtesy of Jim Girard

In addition to his work at WHS, guidance counselor Jim Girard loves his job as a football coach currently working for Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School. “I enjoy working with student-athletes, I enjoy competition [and] I enjoy the camaraderie,” Girard said.

Many students at WHS know and have worked with guidance counselor Jim Girard. One of his many responsibilities is working alongside students during their college application process as marked by the numerous college flags hanging in his office. However, a lesser known fact about Girard is his passion for coaching football.

Football has played a big role in his life ever since he was young. He started playing when it was offered as part of youth sports, and he stuck with it throughout college. He played football all through youth, high school and college, participating in four years of Pop Warner, four years at Bishop Stang High School and four years at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts.

Even after college, Girard wasn’t ready to give up football. Since he no longer had a team to play on, Girard chose to coach football instead. He made that choice 23 years ago and has stuck with it ever since. His love for the sport made the decision to start coaching easy for him.

“[I started coaching] because it’s the best job in the world,” Girard said. “I enjoy working with student-athletes, I enjoy competition, [and] I enjoy the camaraderie. I love the sport of football and what it did for me as a youngster”

Girard is currently the head coach at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School and even led his team to victory in DCLs and the Division 2 State Championship. However, Lincoln-Sudbury is just the most recent school Girard has coached as he has many years of experience coaching at other schools as well.

Prior to serving as head coach at LS, Girard coached at Hopkinton High School as head coach for nine years and Dover-Sherborn High School for two years in the same position. He also coached at Wayland High School as the defensive coordinator for three years, Lexington High School as the defensive coordinator for four years and Bishop Feehan High School as head freshman coach for three years.

“Coaching at multiple schools and serving in different roles over the years has been both personally fulfilling and professionally rewarding,” Girard said. “Each step along the way I have learned new things, as the game has evolved so much over the past twenty-plus years. I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of coaching at each school and have learned from so many people. I especially appreciated the outstanding effort put forth by the players who I was fortunate to coach. No matter what school or what level, I found that the kids always gave a relentless effort, and they made coaching all these years an absolute blast for me.”

Throughout his years of coaching at various high schools, Girard has racked up an impressive amount of awards for his work including The Boston Globe Coach of the Year 2019, the MIAA Educational Athletics Achievement Award for Community Service 2018, the Boston Globe Coach of the Year 2017 and the Tri-Valley League Coach of the Year 2011 and 2017. Girard was also awarded New England Patriots High School Coach of the Week 2017, Shriners All-Star Game Coach 2013 and 2018 and Nobscot Valley Football Officials Association Coach of the Year 2013.

Nevertheless, Girard’s love for his job reaches far beyond winning fancy award titles and winning championships. For him, it’s simply about people coming together to play his favorite sport.

“[I love coaching because of] the process and the connections,” Girard said. “I greatly value the process of working at something with a group of people who are all committed to the same goal, and the personal connections/relationships that form as a result of that process. It’s truly spectacular.”