WESTFIELD, Mass. – Longtime assistant Pete Kowalski has been named the interim head football coach at Westfield State University.
Kowalski, a member of the Westfield State coaching staff for the past 18 seasons, replaces Steve Marino, who recently announced his retirement after leading the Owls for 24 years.
Kowalski had been elevated to assistant head coach nine years ago and served as Westfield State's defensive coordinator with an emphasis on linebackers, He was the architect of the Owls' outstanding defense that led the nation in total defense in 2001 and 2002, and in 2009 they led the nation in turnover margin and pass efficiency defense.
Prior to his arrival at Westfield in 1996, Kowalski coached for 14 years at Bulkeley High School in Hartford, Conn., and was the defensive coordinator for six seasons. Bulkeley was a state finalist in 1991 and had one of the top defenses in the state, allowing 5.4 points per game. In 1992 the Hartford school was ranked second in the state.
Kowalski has a wealth of coaching experience. He served as a track and field coach at Bulkeley from 1985-2013, including the past 19 years as head coach. He also coached the girls' basketball team at Minnechaug High School in hometown of Wilbraham.
Kowalski graduated from West Springfield High School in 1972 and participated in football, basketball and track and field. He played a year of football and lacrosse at UMass Amherst and graduated in 1977 with a health and physical education degree. He has taught health and physical education in the Hartford schools since 1980.