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Everything in my life is an analogy to sports. I grew up playing sports. I played professional roller hockey in my 30s and traveled all over the country, and I played ice hockey in England. So, building here at Gillette, as someone who’s been a Patriots fan my whole life, is the opportunity of a lifetime. And coaching this team is really special. The job is hard, but they’re eager to learn and they’re taking on a lot. That’s by design, really. I’m toward the end of my career, so what I’m doing is setting them up for success. I would be doing all of us a disservice if I wasn't mentoring my younger teammates to go on and become better leaders than me.
I had several superintendents early in my career that I looked up to, and they each taught me a different way of doing things. There were engineers that had an engineering mind. There were technical people with a hands-on approach. I took what I saw as the best qualities of each one of those and tried to roll it into what I did. Because you can’t be someone you’re not. My approach is more on the human side. I think the most important thing that we have to recognize is that people build buildings.
When they do need help, that’s what I’m here for.
That approach, that compassion and empathy, first and foremost came from my parents. I’m the youngest of four boys in an Italian family, and my parents both sacrificed a lot to keep us in school and playing sports. My father was my hero. I don’t think I ever heard one person say a bad word about him. He was such a hard worker and he went without to give to us boys. But, we never had dinner without him. If he was home late from work, my mom had us wait until 8 p.m. to all have dinner together. So, my mother and father were just always a big part of my life. I trusted them, and the values they gave me make me who I am.
To me, success is a funny word. Your success is different than my success. What defines me is my family. My wife and I raised three great daughters. And that's my success. I want this team to realize that we live to work, not work to live, so they know that I’m going to support what they need in their personal lives. As a coach or a cheerleader or whatever role I’m playing, I want to give them the confidence that they can go out and be successful. When they do need help, that’s what I’m here for.
When you have a team with that attitude, like the team we’ve got here, you can really move mountains. When everybody can rely on one another, be open about making mistakes, fix them together and trust one another to do the right thing? That’s really special. We’ve been able to build this beautiful building and not interrupt any concerts or any football. I don’t think what we’ve accomplished will sink in until I’m at home watching a game on TV. We’ve made it so the show can go on here.
David Mollicone, who has spent 20 years at Suffolk, is a senior superintendent on our Gillette Stadium project. On weekends, he captains his boat off the coast of Rhode Island and professionally deejays.
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