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WCSU mourns member of football coaching staff

Sean Salisbury

DANBURY, Connecticut — Western Connecticut State University lost a member of the football team coaching staff this weekend in a traffic accident.

Sean Salisbury, 30, the defensive backs coach for the WestConn team since 2020, died in one-car crash on Mill Plain Road on Sunday morning.

He was remembered for his strong mentoring relationships with the student athletes.

“Coach Salisbury loved his players and was loved by his players as much as I have ever seen,” said Joe Loth, coach of the football team. “He is going to be so missed within our football team. We want to wish his family our deepest sympathy and hope they truly understand what a tremendous impact he had on us as coaches and our players.”

Salisbury joined the WestConn football staff in the spring of 2020 as the defensive backs coach. Before coming to WestConn, Salisbury spent two years as the defensive coordinator at Coventry High School in Rhode Island, where he also served as the linebacker and running backs coach.  Prior to that, Salisbury coached at Plymouth State University, spending two years coaching the linebackers and one year coaching the defensive backs. During his time at Plymouth he coached two All Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) players and one MASCAC Rookie of the Year, as well has helping the Panthers win the 2017 MASCAC title.

Salisbury played his high school football at Simsbury High School in Connecticut and played football at Castleton University in Vermont. He served as an assistant coach at Castleton and at his high school.

Peter Bencivengo, a player on the WestConn team, was directly coached by Salisbury.

“He was one of the hardest working guys I knew and his passion for coaching resonated with all of us,” Bencivengo said. “He left an impact on this team that we will take with us for years to come. I am blessed to have known him and to have been coached by him. We loved having him be a part of the family and we will miss him tremendously.”

A wake will be held Friday, Feb. 11, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Tariffville, Connecticut. The funeral will be held Saturday, Feb. 12, at 11 a.m., also at Trinity Episcopal Church.

“Losing a member of our university family is always difficult,” said WCSU President Dr. John B. Clark.  “Sean will be greatly missed but certainly remembered for his outstanding work with our student athletes.”



Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.