|Change goes on in Wildcat grid program|
|Wednesday, November 13, 2013 9:00 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
DELPHOS — The end of a season — in this case, football — usually carries with it the sadness of seniors playing their final scholastic gridiron games and others looking forward to either a winter sports or next season.
For the Jefferson football program, there is much more to it than that at this point.
When the Wildcats lost their Region 20 quarterfinal Friday night versus Ada, that saw the end — at least for now — of the varsity football coaching careers of at least three of its coaches.
The turnover began officially Monday when the resignations of head coach Larry “Bub” Lindeman and assistant coach/defensive coordinator Ben Rahrig were officially accepted by the Delphos City Schools Board of Education.
Wednesday, long-time assistant coach Jeff Stant joined his confreres as officially tendering his resignation.
Athletic Director/assistant coach Chris Sommers re-iterated the stated reason for the departures Wednesday.
“It was a family decision for all of them. I can’t say when for sure but sometime, they sat down with their families and decided it was time to step away and spend more time together once the season was over,” Sommers began. “I have heard all the rumors and such about this or that — when they made this decision and such — but I can only say what I know they told me about their decisions.”
At this point, he noted that former head coach and assistant coach Damon Ulm is also up in the air as to whether he will remain or resign but nothing official has been relayed to the AD.
That leaves a somber mood around the program as this time.
“It’s disappointing and surprising for everybody to have this happen now. We lost a tough playoff game Friday night, our first playoff game since 2008, and that’s always a disappointing way to end your season,” he continued. “One thing has to be made clear; all these coaches were going to be asked to come back next year. They have had a lot of success in their careers, they have done a great job as coaches in preparing the players, the kids like and respect them and we have a good program going. The head coaching position was Bub’s as long as he wanted it. Again, it was a family decision by all of these men.
“There is a lot of time commitment to have a successful football program — any athletic program. They just felt they have done this long enough at this time and they are giving us as much time as possible to find new coaches.”
Unfortunately, according to Sommers, change is never easy for anyone.
“That is especially true when you have a bunch of them decide to step down at the same time. That makes it even more difficult,” he explained.
Lindeman comes off a Northwest Conference Coach of the Year nod after his team shared the NWC title with a 9-2 overall record, 6-1 in the league.
Because of the nature of athletics being an all-year deal, plus with the OHSAA-mandated “no-touch” policy for the next 30 days where the student/athletes are off-limits, the process to find Lindeman’s replacement has begun already.
“We will post the position internally. If we get any applications, we will go through them and interview the candidates,” Sommers said. “If we cannot find a suitable replacement from within, we will then post it publicly.
“With that off-limits period, we do have some time. We want to do this as quickly as we can but our whole objective is to find the right candidate who fits our program, whether from within or without.”
That being said, it might not be that easy, either.
“Any time you have this happen, it gives you a chance to assess where you are as a program and where you need to go,” he added. “I believe we are in good shape as a program and that is because of the work of all our coaches. We need to find the right person to be the head coach, one who not only knows the game but can put a good staff around him, whomever that might be. Again, I’d like to think it could happen quickly but we are looking for the best possible candidate to fit our program at this time.”
|Last Updated on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 9:19 PM|