Who Could Replace Coach Kyle?
Updated: Aug 30
About an hour from my home is St. Ignatius High School. It is recognized across the United States as a high school football factory and is arguably the best place to play high school football in the great state of Ohio.
Last year, their legendary coach Chuck Kyle announced he was retiring.
Why? Squeaky clean Coach Kyle was turning 70. In an interview last year, he talked alot about waning energy. Now if you're St. Ignatius, where are you going to find a replacement for one of the best coaches in the nation, who at one time was ranked as the 6th best high school coach of all time?
And what is the Ignatius check list for a replacement? A top notch football coach, who can connect with young, distracted athletes, and can wax poetically about the subleties of Shakespeare? That person doesn't exist anymore.
I don't think that Ignatius wants to hire from within, I think they want to steal a hungry public school coach who is a consistent winner and may want a change of scenary. Someone who could take them back to the state championship game within 2-3 years. Speculation is that coach is Avon's Mike Elder.
Back in 2019, Coach Elder said it wasn't "about winning championships, but developing young men." Here's the catch though, in Avon, the city limits dictate the young men that he gets to develop. If Elder took the job at Ignatius, he could CHOOSE the young men he gets to develop. He could coach AND recruit. That is a huge distinction.
Listen, I don't know Coach Elder's personal sitution, but take away the title of coach for a second. Say you were happy with your job, but the best job in the state came open. Even if you weren't necessarily looking for another job, if that other job came looking for YOU, you would have to listen, right?
Quietly, Avon has been re-shuffling their administration. Now you could argue that Covid caused many districts to re-shuffle their heirarchy. Okay, what other established coach would Ignatius target?
You would also argue: Who would replace Coach Elder in Avon?
Ah, ah, ah, that's irrelevant. No one cares outside of Avon cares who the next coach at Avon would be.
If you're Ignatius, you don't even have to give Coach Elder a real daytime job, you could give him a make believe title, like the Director of Continuous Improvement, and just have him focus on football and making motivational speeches. Ask any high school football coach if they would just like to focus on football, and I'd bet 99% of them would say yes. (Well, other than Coach Kyle.) Your arguement is that Ignatius has alreday named a replacement in Defensive Coordinator Ryan Franzinger? I don't know if I believe that.
If Ignatius hired Elder today, they would be in the Division I State Championship Game at least 5 times in the next decade. I know that. Elder knows that. And St. Ignitus knows that.