The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School has found a new head football coach in Tony Mottola, a former member of the Las Vegas Raiders coaching staff.

Mr. Mottola will replace longtime coach Don Herman, who retired after the 2021 season. Speaking with the Gazette by phone Wednesday, Mr. Mottola said he’s excited to come to the Vineyard, calling it a unique opportunity.

“It is a spectacular Island,” he said. “It is an unbelievable opportunity.”

Mr. Mottola grew up in seaside Maine, and said he’s always had an affinity for coastal locations. So when he saw the high school had an opening for a head coach he jumped on it, applying right away. He comes to the Island by way of Northern Valley Demarest High School in New Jersey, where he has coached football for 13 years and also serves as the lacrosse coach.

He coached several years with the Raiders in the 1990s before moving onto positions with colleges, prep schools and in the XFL

“Once the XFL folded, I just wanted to get back to high school football,” he said.

Mr. Mottola said his shift back to high school coaching over a decade ago was motivated by a love of the sport, and a desire to help kids grow and learn through football.

“As a high school football coach, you can really help develop that person into a young man,” he said. “There’s something about that, that’s really special to me.”

High school athletic director Mark McCarthy said by phone Tuesday that he is looking forward to Mr. Mottola leading the football team.

“I think he’s going to bring a lot to the program,” he said. “We’re excited.”

Mr. Mottola said he plans to arrive on the Vineyard sometime in July.

“My goal is to try to get there as soon as possible,” he said.

When the high school’s new coach does arrive, he said he plans to create an atmosphere of positivity and a strong work ethic.

“We just want to be able to outwork other teams,” he said. “And we want to have great attitudes.”

Mr. Mottola said he’s looking forward to a fun season and getting to know the team.

“It’s going to be even more fun when we get that Island Cup back,” he said.