North Andover Varsity Football Coach John Rafferty hasn't said much since being rehired last week. But Monday morning he published a letter of thank you to the community, posted on the Support Coach Rafferty Facebook page.
Rafferty was fired in January, which ignited a groundswell of support for him in the community as well as outrage at school officials. Eventually, after two weeks of growing public pressure, Rafferty was rehired last week.
The letter Rafferty wrote reads as follows:
To the North Andover Football Community,
On behalf of myself and the Knights Coaching Staff, I would like to thank you for your overwhelming support and concern during these recent weeks. We are grateful for the opportunity to coach your sons again. It is an honor and a privilege.
Before we move forward, I want to take one last moment to pause and reflect on your outpouring of support, and what it has meant to me. It is a struggle to find the right words to express how grateful I am to all of you. Simply stated, your actions have allowed me to continue to do what I love- coach football at North Andover High School. The words, THANK YOU, just don’t feel like they are enough to express how truly grateful, humbled, and overwhelmed I am right now.
During these past two weeks, you’ve demonstrated the core beliefs of the North Andover Football program: Respect, Perseverance, Passion, and the belief in HARD WORK. You have believed in and brought to life the concept of teamwork. It is very important to the coaching staff and to me that all of you, so many of you, know how appreciative we are of your efforts, and how grateful we are to continue in our roles as coaches. We will never forget what all of you have done for this football program, and the way in which it was done. As we move forward, and it is time to do that, we hope to be worthy of the support you have shown us by recommitting all of our energy, hard work and yes, passion about coaching to the young men of North Andover High School.
North Andover High School