According to MHS Athletic Director Darren Stevens, the newly available head coaching position for the Madison High School football team has received an impressive 54 different applications from hopeful coaches in surrounding areas.
One of the first to apply for the job was Madison’s Defensive coordinator Jeff Ripple. He did so shortly after the position was open within the district following former head coach Joel Lauer’s resignation which took place earlier this March.
Some of the prospective coaches include Middletown assistants Bret Stubbs and Joel Snivley. Snivley is the Middies’ offensive line coach and Stubbs is the defensive coordinator. Others include assistant coach Graham Halcomb from Fenwick, Talawanda assistant Mike Campbell, assistant Matt Hopkins from Eaton, Barak Faulk and Jason Austerman, both assistants at Mason, and Sumit Country Day assistant Sean McCormick. Among all these is also former New Lebanon Dixie James Jewett and former longtime Ross coach Dick Ballard.
“It’s going to be a difficult task, narrowing it down.” said Stevens who needs to get the list of 54 down to around 10 to 15 applicants who himself and Madison Principle Curtis Philpot are scheduled to interview next week. “It’s a nice task to have, though.” stated Stevens. “I’d rather have 50 applicants than 3.” According to Stevens, the ultimate goal is to “obviously find someone who best fits our program. Football is a big deal in our community and whomever the new coach is needs to understand that its all about the X’s and O’s.”
Philpot and Stevens will sit down this Monday and determine the applicants they will interview. They hope to get the interviews done next week while the chool is on Spring Break. Once that is done they will gather four to five finalists which will be interviewed by a group of eight to ten people. This group will consist of school administrators, at-large community members, members of the area youth sports organization, teachers, and boosters. This group will conduct interviews on the week of April 20 after which they will submit recommendations to Stevens and Philpot, who will in turn make the final decision.
“Our community will play a big part in helping us get the best coach” said Stevens. “They will have a different perspective in the interviews and it will be nice to have other opinions besides me and Curtis.” The goal of everyone is to have a new coach in position by the end of April, and with the long list of applicants, I do not think they will have any trouble finding someone to fit perfectly with how the program out at Madison runs.