New Haverhill High Football Head Coach Next to Climb to Top of ‘Pike’s Peak’

Trinity Haverhill Stadium press box, named in honor of veteran WHAV broadcaster Bill Pike. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Robert William “Rob” Pike. (Photograph courtesy of Haverhill Public Schools.)

“Pike’s Peak” just keeps getting taller.

Pike’s Peak is the name still emblazoned above the broadcast box at Haverhill Stadium, commemorating longtime WHAV play-by-play announcer William C. “Bill” Pike who died in 2002. It could be added it also remembers Pike’s son, the late Robert A. “Bob” Pike, who was head coach at Haverhill High School football for 14 years.

Now, it may give added inspiration to grandson Robert William “Rob” Pike, who was named Wednesday as the next football head coach at Haverhill High School.

Robert Pike.

“Growing up in Haverhill, I revered Hillies Football, to be the head coach would be an honor. The Merrimack Valley Conference is a difficult league to play in and every team needs a coach that will teach the players the fundamentals of the game, put the players in a position to succeed, and motivate the players to achieve. I have done this many times in my time as a coach, and I want to continue to do so for the students in Haverhill,” Rob Pike said in his cover letter, seeking the appointment.

In announcing Pike’s selection, Athletic Director Thomas O’Brien recapped the coach’s career with emphasis on those family pedigrees. “A 1999 graduate of Haverhill High School, Pike’s Hillie roots run deep. He was a star running back for the Hillies, playing for his father, the late Bob Pike, who served as head coach at Haverhill from 1986-1999. He went on to play four years of college football at Saint Anselm. Pike has been a history teacher at Haverhill since 2003 and served as an assistant football at his alma mater there from 2003-2009.”

William C. “Bill” Pike.

In his cover letter, Pike took a moment to address something other than approaches, training and motivation.

“Discipline is also a big part of any program that I lead. Players must respect the game, their opponents, officials and coaches. Being disciplined in our thoughts and our actions allows that respect to be shown as well as earned. Football games are won by teams that do the little things correctly, discipline and attention to detail are two of the major traits that have allowed the best teams that I have led to achieve success.”

Pike, now of North Andover, has taught history at Haverhill High School for 16 years. He told the Haverhill interview team he is willing to leave his current position because he would like to be a head football coach in the same school where he teaches.

An interview committee was composed of Haverhill School Committee member Richard J. Rosa, Superintendent Margaret Marotta, interim Principal Roland Boucher, O’Brien, Guidance Counselor Andy Alsup, longtime sports booster and benefactor Ernie DiBurro, football juniors Alexander Gomes and Devin Carreiro and parent Chris Farrell.

“We were fortunate to have several quality candidates. By far, Mr. Pike had the most extensive football coaching background. We are happy to have a Hillie as the head coach. Personally, I was happy to hear that he thought it was important to make a connection with his players,” Rosa said.

According to O’Brien, Pike most recently served as offensive coordinator for Andover High School, where he helped lead the Golden Warriors to an undefeated season and a Merrimack Valley Conference title. From 2020-2021, he served as the head coach at Lowell High School and, previously, head coach in Salem, N.H., for seven years where he led the Blue Devils to a 50-22 record and five playoff appearances.

His grandfather, who was also host of WHAV’s “Bill Pike on the Open Mike” for decades and served as a Haverhill city councilor, spoke often of his family pride. One can only imagine the excitement that would be heard in his voice if he were here to announce the starting lineup from Pike’s Peak this fall.

Pike replaces football coach Timothy M. O’Connor, who technically remains on administrative leave after being accused of covering up an indecent assault on students during hazing incidents between last August and October.

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