New Hampshire Football Report

Salem goes with Abraham

Steve Abraham said when he interviewed for the Salem High School varsity footbal coaching job, he left the interview feeling good about his chance of becoming the program’s next head coach. Turns out he was right.

Abraham, who has been an assistant football coach with the Salem program since 2012, was officially announced as the school’s varsity football coach Wednesday. He replaces Rob Pike, who resigned earlier this year to become the head coach at Lowell (Mass.) High School.

“This is a lifelong dream of mine,” Abraham said. “I’m thrilled and excited.

“I don’t want to sound cocky, but I left that meeting feeling like I was going to be Salem’s next head coach because I didn’t even use the notes I had written down for the questions I thought I’d be asked. All my answers just came from my passion. When I found out I was chosen it was just a wave of emotion.”

Abraham, 44, is a 1995 Salem High School graduate and was a captain on Jack Gati’s first Salem team in 1994. He’s a Derry resident and works as a financial advisor in Bedford.

Abraham has also been an assistant coach with the Salem wrestling program since 2014. He coached running backs, linebackers and helped with the offense during his years as an assistant at Salem.

“I’m greatful for all Rob (Pike) taught me,” Abraham said. “When he stepped down I went to Dan (longtime Salem assistant coach Dan Keleher) and said, ‘If you’ll stay (as head coach) I’ll stay.’ He said, ‘I’ve got a better plan. You’re the right guy for the job. You have the right personality. You go for it and I’ll stay if you get it.'”

The Blue Devils had a 50-22 record in seven seasons under Pike. The team’s year-by-year Division I record in those seven seasons:
2013: 4-6 (no playoffs)
2014: 7-2 (no playoffs)
2015: 7-3 (lost to Exeter in first round)
2016: 6-4: (lost to Bedford in first round)
2017: 10-1 (lost to Pinkerton in semifinals)
2018: 8-3 (lost to Pinkerton in semifinals)
2019: 8-3 (lost to Londonderry in semifinals).

Salem has long been known as a physical team that likes to run the football. Abraham said that won’t change.

“You’ll see some things you haven’t seen in recent years, but we’ll keep a lot of the same principles,” he said. “I’m a running football coach. That’s my mindset. There’s a lot less that can go wrong when you’re a power running team than when you’re a precision spread passing team.”

Abraham began his football coaching career with the Salem Rams youth program. Many of the players he coached back then will be upperclassmen on the 2020 Salem High School team.

“I’m very excited,” Abraham said. “Very happy, and ready to go to work.”

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