By Mike McClure

Former St. Elizabeth High School football coach and athletic director Marvin Dooley has been hired as the new high school head football coach and athletic director at Woodbridge. Dooley replaces Jed Bell as head football coach following Bell’s resignation to take an administrative position at Seaford High and will also succeed Ian Daws as the Raiders’ athletic director.

Marvin Dooley

“I’m excited. When you start with a new team it’s about building relationships, getting your staff in order,” said Dooley, who became the Vikings’ football coach and athletic director in 2018 after leaving his Alma Mater William Penn, where he led the Colonials to a state football championship in 2014.

Dooley and his wife have a summer home in Long Neck and were planning to eventually retire there. He said he knows people that work in the Woodbridge School District and met Bell and previous head football coach Ed Manlove through football.

During last week’s phone conversation with the Star, Dooley said he had watched a lot of film of the team over the previous couple days. While the Raiders’ 4-4 defense is similar to the defense he runs, he plans to make some changes to the team’s offensive system.

“We’ll use some of what they had and add some of our own touches,” said Dooley, who is looking forward to having downstate rivalries with Laurel, Delmar and Cape Henlopen. With the new football realignment, Woodbridge will no longer play neighboring foes Seaford and Lake Forest.

“They’re (rivalries) the things that make high school sports what they are,” he said.

Dooley said that the western Sussex schools’ support of the kids is similar to what he experienced as a player at William Penn in the 80s. At the time athletes were going to their community schools, before school choice.

In addition to his duties as coach and athletic director, Dooley said he wants to be in the community and make a difference.

Last week Dooley was talking to existing football coaching staff members. He plans to bring in some of his own coaches and was hoping to have his staff set by this week.

While he had spoken to a few of the players by phone last week, Dooley was planning to meet with them this week. The players are currently competing in 7 on 7 at Milford and will be participating in the team’s workout program every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Last year teams were not able to take part in summer camps or have scrimmages due to COVID. Dooley believes the summer is an important time to build relationships with players and camaraderie as a team as well as for coaches to prepare for the season.

“That’s where your foundation is built, going into camp,” said Dooley. “I think the kids are looking forward to getting back to normal as well.”

As athletic director, Dooley plans to keep the athletic programs the school has. He said he is excited to get to know and work with the coaches.

“Woodbridge has a great facility, a brand new school,” he added.

Dooley also has 28 years experience coaching wrestling (at William Penn and Christiana).