New Hampshire Football Report

Keene has Hope

Keene High School’s new football coach is no stranger to the players in the program.

Longtime assistant coach Bill Hope, 48, has been selected to replace John Luopa, who resigned in December after serving as Keene’s head coach for the last 12 years. Hope was on Luopa’s staff for all 12 seasons.

Hope also spent time as a varsity assistant at Mondanock Regional High School. This is his first head-coaching position.

“First I tried to talk John into coming back because he still has some good years in him,” Hope said. “Then I figured it was my time. I’ve spent a lot of years as an assistant, my kids are older now and I’m in the school. This job doesn’t come open too often.”

Hope, a Social Studies teacher at Keene High School, played football at Keene in 1985 and 1986. He said he found out Wednesday that he had been chosen to replace Luopa, who posted a 62-55 record and led the Blackbirds to five playoff appearances in 12 seasons.

“John did a lot for football here,” Hope said. “He brought back a lot of tradition — things I want to build off of.”

Hope served as Keene’s defensive coordinator and offensive line coach during his time as an assistant with the Blackbirds. He said he hasn’t met with his team yet, but plans to run the same offense the team used under Luopa.

“I’m a Keene guy,” Hope said. “I bleed black and orange.”

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