Garner Cleveland: Sports

Mike Thibodeau is new Southeast Raleigh football coach

Mike Thibodeau, who was named Southeast Raleigh High’s football coach this week, got a good look at the program last year while he was quarterbacks coach and head junior varsity coach at Knightdale High.

Knightdale beat Southeast 42-14 last season in the varsity game, but Thibodeau was impressed with the Bulldogs’ personnel.

“From a football standpoint, having coached against the Bulldogs twice last season (varsity and junior varsity games), I feel that the future is very bright for the program, and I look forward to helping take it to the next level this season and in the future,” he said.

Thibodeau grew up in South Windsor, Conn., and played baseball and football at Southern Connecticut State as a pitcher and quarterback.

He coached five seasons in Connecticut and was offensive coordinator at Cromwell High, which reached the state title game in 2011 and averaged a state record 501 yards per game.

He favors an aggressive offense and likes the pistol formation, although he plans to adjust the offense to fit the personnel.

Thibodeau succeeds Marvin Burke, who resigned in December after two seasons at the school.

“Southeast Raleigh attracted me for many reasons,” Thibodeau said. “I love that Southeast is a magnet program and offers students many different options as they continue their education and prepare for college.

“I also love that leadership is a main concern so that students strive to excel as members of the community.”