Head Coach: Chris Phelps
Chris joined the Salisbury School community in the fall of 2010 and he is entering his third year on the Hilltop.
Chris is originally from Laconia, NH where he attended Laconia High School and captained the football, basketball and track teams. With a passion in history, athletics and education, Chris attended St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY) where he majored in History and became certified to teach social studies. During his time at St. Lawrence University, Chris was a four year starter at quarterback where he garnered ECAC Rookie of the Year honors (’87), All-American honors (’89) and served as a captain during his junior and senior years. Chris presently holds the St. Lawrence record for Most Yards Gained in a Career. Upon graduating Cum Laude from St. Lawrence University in 1991, Chris began a 19 year college coaching career by becoming a graduate assistant coach at the State University of New York at Albany. While coaching the Great Danes, Chris also attended graduate school at the SUNY Albany and earned his Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies in the fall of 1993.
In the fall of 1993, Chris would begin a coaching odyssey that would give him the opportunity to coach at many different institutions; allowing him to coach and recruit talented student-athletes from all across the country. These opportunities would take him to the University of New Hampshire (running backs and wide receiver coach), Hobart College (Offensive Coordinator), Siena College (Head Coach) and most recently back to his alma mater, St. Lawrence University, as the Head Coach for nine seasons. Looking for a professional change that would allow him to follow his true passions in life, working with young men in an educational setting and coaching football, Chris arrived on the Hilltop as the Head Football Coach and the Assistant Director of College Advising. As a college advisor, Chris has enjoyed using his college experience to help his students maneuver through the college search process. Understanding admissions from the college perspective has served as a valuable tool in working with Salisbury’s student. As a football Coach, the Knights Football Team completed three undefeated regular season (2010, 2012 and 2015), three Erickson League Championships (2010, 2012 and 2015) and two Class “A” New England Champions (2010 and 2012). More importantly, Chris has been proud of the number of student-athletes who have decided to continue playing football collegiately; playing at a variety of division 1, 2, and 3 schools. Click here to see where our players are attending college.
Chris and wife Kim live in Trustee House with their son Ryan (19), Salisbury class of 2015, who is presently in his second year at Hamilton College. Their daughter Bailey, a 2015 graduate of St. Lawrence University, is presently working in Boston
Varsity Defensive Coordinator: Brent Barbato | profile
Brent grew up in Exeter, NH, with his parents, older brother and younger sister. At Exeter High School, Brent was a three sport, all-state athlete in football, basketball and baseball. He was selected to participate in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl as a member of Team New Hampshire at the conclusion of his senior year. After graduating from Exeter High, Brent did a post-graduate year here on the Hilltop. Following his year at Salisbury, Brent went on to the University of New Hampshire. He was a starting member of the UNH Wildcat Football team all four years and a dominating presence on defense. He graduated from UNH in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.
After graduating from New Hampshire, Brent spent one year at Hamilton College coaching and recruiting for both the football and baseball programs.
Brent returned to the Hilltop in 2007. He is currently the Dean of the Class of 2019, works with students in the Learning Center, is defensive coordinator for the Salisbury Crimson Knight Football Team and coaches JV Basketball and Golf. Brent lives with his wife, Julia Barbato, and daughters, Blair and Bryn, in the Childs House Neighborhood.
Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs: James Simboli | profile
James joined the Salisbury School community in the fall of 2010.
James is originally from Brockport, NY, where he attended Brockport High School. With a passion in history, athletics and education, James attended St. John Fisher College (Pittsford, NY) where he majored in History with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies. During his time at St. John Fisher College, James was a member of the football team and helped the Cardinals reach their first ever post-season appearance. Upon graduating in 2004, James began a six-year college coaching career by becoming an assistant coach at St. John Fisher. After two years of coaching at his alma mater, James then attended St. Lawrence University where he earned his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. At St. Lawrence, James also spent four years coaching football for the Saints.
Looking for a professional change that would allow him to follow his true passions in life, working with and coaching student athletes, James arrived on the Hilltop working in the Rudd Learning Center and coaching. Since his arrival, James has moved to the classroom full-time in the History department teaching World History. James is also involved with Student Leadership, such as the Prefects and CLI programs. In athletics, James has helped coach the varsity football team to three Erickson League Championships (2010, 2012, and 2016). and two Class “A” New England Championships (2010 and 2012). James also works with the thirds basketball program.
James and his wife Caitlin live in the Class of 2006 House with their daughters Leah and Sadie and beagle buddy.
Offensive Line/Defensive Line: Adam Bunce | profile
Adam Bunce enters his seventh year on the hilltop as a member of the Salisbury School faculty. Adam grew up in nearby Canaan, CT. He attended The Hotchkiss School as a day student where he served as a prefect in the dorm and captain of the football and wrestling teams. He participated in football, wrestling and baseball, all at the varsity level while at Hotchkiss. After graduating in 2001, he enrolled at Wesleyan University and graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in American Government. While at Wesleyan, Adam played football, starting for three years, and serving as a captain his senior year.
After graduating, Adam began coaching football at Housatonic Valley Regional High School and coaching wrestling at The Hotchkiss School while earning his teaching certificate in History. At Salisbury, Adam works in the Rudd Learning Center as a tutor. He is also a varsity football coach and the head wrestling coach. He currently resides in Langdon House with his wife Tina, whom he married in 2007, his son Cooper, born in 2010 and daughter Annabelle, born in May 2013.
Tight Ends/Inside Linebackers: Jonathan Siff | profile
Jonathan is a graduate of Concord High School, Class of 2000. He then attended Phillips Exeter Academy as a postgraduate, where he matriculated to Williams College and was a member of the Class of 2005. While at Williams, Jonathan served as the captain of the football team and was a member of the committee chosen to select the new head coach before the 2003 season. Jonathan majored in political science, but participated in numerous courses in English, history, art history and philosophy.
Upon graduating, Jonathan took a job at the Wyoming Seminary School in Kingston, PA, where he worked for seven years. In his time at Wyoming Seminary, Jonathan taught courses in history, political science and philosophy. He served as a class dean for the freshmen and sophomore classes, spent two years as an associate director of admission, and four years as a college guidance counselor for the school's postgraduate students. Jonathan also participated in the Stanley King Counseling Institute at the Brooks School in the summer of 2011 and completed a Master's degree in Educational Administration with the University of Scranton. He married Jennifer in the summer of 2009. In 2017, Jonathan moved to the classroom full time when he became chair of the English Department. Currently, Jonathan serves as the school's interim Director of Studies.. The Siffs live in Ward House with their sons Rowan and Powell and golden retriever Remy.
James Brandon | profile
James is a native of Westchester, NY. He attended Lakeland High School where he played football, basketball, and lacrosse. James earned his B.A. from SUNY Geneseo, where he studied psychology and played lacrosse. He also developed an interest in eastern philosophy and religion, as well as history.
After college, James worked in the healthcare field and traveled through Central America and Asia. It was not until an opportunity arose at the Hyde School in Bath, Maine, that he discovered his passion to be an educator and coach. He began his career on the Hilltop as an ESL teacher at the Salisbury Summer School, which proved to be an enriching and inspirational experience for him. He was impressed with the dedication of his students to improve their English language skills, as well as the close-knit community on the Hilltop. He is a learning center instructor, teaches history, and coaches football and lacrosse. He lives in Ward dormitory with his wife, Kati Brandon.