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Quabbin picks new grid coach; Panthers promote Buchanan.

Byline: Jim Wilson

BARRE -- The Quabbin Regional football program had its best season in its 14-year history last fall, as the Panthers went 6-4 and qualified for the postseason. So when Quabbin was looking for a new football coach after Pat Rossi resigned, it was important for the Panthers to find someone who can keep the program moving upward.

Quabbin may have found that person by promoting offensive line coach Dave Buchanan to the head coaching job on Friday.

"I am really excited,'' said Buchanan, who also coached the Panthers' junior varsity team. "I can't wait until August -- I wish it was August 18th already so we can get going.''

Buchanan will be Quabbin's fifth football coach, and Buchanan said Rossi did a good job getting the program on track. Rossi (14-18 career record) went 4-7 his first two seasons before the Panthers broke through last year behind an explosive offense. With quarterback Dylan Kierman (3,100 passing yards) and Nick Thyden (1,063 receiving yards) graduating, Buchanan is confident Quabbin will be able to maintain its course.

"We're losing some key pieces, but we're having some key pieces coming back,'' Buchanan said. "Chase Lohr is a big piece, but last year his season kind of got hampered by injury. Getting him coming back will be good for our quarterback. Having Chase there keeps the load off him.''

Buchanan graduated from Tahanto in 2005 and played for West Boylston under Mike Pucko. He played a season at Fitchburg State before an injury cut short his career. Buchanan joined Pucko's staff at Holy Name and helped guide the Naps to a Division 2 Super Bowl win in 2006.

Buchanan teaches special education at Clinton Middle School and is attending Southern New Hampshire University while working toward a bachelor's degree in sports management.

Buchanan said he doesn't expect to change too much from what was working last year with Quabbin. He met with the players on Friday and is looking forward to getting started.

"The kids have an idea of what to expect from me, I'm not an unknown quantity,'' Buchanan said. "They know from day one what type of effort I expect from them as well as the expectations of what I want to do offensively and defensively.''

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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Wilson, Jim
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 15, 2014
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