David Brennan couldn't stand the wait.

By last week, the coveted Masuk football job had come down to him and Weston's Joe Lato.

But as the days dragged on, Brennan got the feeling he wasn't going to get the job, especially when word leaked that Masuk was attempting to find a teaching position for the Weston coach.

"It was very difficult," Brennan said. "I didn't know which avenue the powers-that-be would take. I was really restless. Every day my children would ask me, `Daddy, are you coach yet?' It was hard to tell them no."

But Lato ultimately declined Masuk's offer and, by Thursday afternoon, Brennan was the school's next football coach.

"Going through the process was a challenge," Brennan said. "I know everybody here loves Joe Lato and speaks very highly of him. But I can't acknowledge enough how supportive everyone has been of me, especially Principal Joe Kobza. I'm excited to become a part of the Monroe community. I'm excited to throw my hat into the ring and get after it."

A 43-year-old special education teacher at Masuk, Brennan has been in the Monroe Public School system since 2004. Though he is familiar with both the Monroe Lions youth program and Masuk's strong football program, he has never coached anywhere in town.

Brennan spent the last nine years as the defensive coordinator at Ridgefield. Before that, he was an assistant at Fairfield, Hamden, East Haven and North Branford, his hometown.

While Brennan brings 26 years of coaching experience to Monroe, this is his first head coaching job.

He applied for a couple jobs over the years, but said he enjoyed the support and freedom head coach Kevin Callahan gave him to run the defense at Ridgefield.

"The support from coach Callahan and the guys at Ridgefield has been phenomenal," Brennan said. "Just for a few extra hundred bucks, it didn't make sense to leave."

But Brennan couldn't pass up the opportunity to take over at the school where he works, even if that means attempting to uphold the high standards left by Murphy.

"Coach Murphy did a phenomenal job here, there's no doubt," Brennan said, referring to the three state and six SWC championships his predecessor left behind. "His success is clearly documented as are his efforts with the kids.

"But history doesn't promote success. You have to continue to get up every day and really work at it."

Brennan, who was also hired as an assistant baseball coach at Masuk, said he'll get to work immediately. He will meet next season's players, make sure the weight and conditioning training is running smoothly, start putting together his assistant staff and evaluate how the team will operate next season.

"I'm anxious to get started," he said. "And I'm hopeful I can live up to everyone's expectations."

Masuk athletic director John DeGennaro could not be reached for comment.