Lancaster Golden Gales Coaching Search

sportfan97

Active member
I wish I had inside info on all the applications that have been received for this job. I feel like this would be an attractive job for someone. D1 program with 120 years of history, newer facilities, low participation fees, some good talent in the lower levels ( Freshman team went 9-0-1 this past season).

they have received 24 applications so far and will be accepting them through Friday December 4th.
 

sportfan97

Active member
It will be interesting to see who they get. And also what type of offense they run.
I’m hearing rumblings that a front runner for the job is a former Lancaster offensive coordinator that has 7 seasons as a D1 coach at another central Ohio school and is also a former D1 Ohio coach of the year. If it’s true the Gales would continue running the wing-t
 

sportfan97

Active member
Over 40 people applied for the position and the hiring committee narrowed it down to their top 7. Interviews are being conducted this week. Hopefully a coach is hired and approved by the January BOE meeting.
 

sportfan97

Active member
“They have a combined 69 years of coaching experience and 443 wins, won 32 conference championships, including 10 undefeated regular seasons, 28 playoff appearances, as well as conference and state coach of the year awards.”

Sounds like a few good candidates to pick from.

Check out this article from Lancaster Eagle Gazette:

Search for new Lancaster football coach heading into final stages

 

The Dock

Well-known member
We are not surprised by the interest in this job," Lancaster principal Scott Burre said. We are the 30th largest high school in the state and we play in a premier conference. This is not a starter job for a young coach. We need someone with experience. Our football program is not broke, by any means."
His "our football program is not broke, by any means" t-shirt has people asking questions already answered by his shirt.

Come on, man! Enthusiasm, energy and excitement - that's all good. LHS folks and fans should have that in spades going into this next season and the spectacle of crowning a successor to Carpenter. Of course! But must every article on Gales athletics in terms of competitiveness and expectations carry constantly meandering narratives about what the Gales got and how they stand against the OCC? Playing in the OCC is either a good thing, or it isn't. It's not something that the folks on #GranvillePike can keep publicly changing their framing on every other year so that the stories Tom writes on the Gales keep them in a good light. One year its "oh, the OCC is really tough and that's why we don't get a lot of wins in football and basketball", the next year its "we're fine in the OCC but y'know that Pickerington Central school is just really good at basketball and football", the next year its "we beat Pickerington Central in football", then the next year its "we might just join the league idea with Logan and Teays Valley" and now its "we play in a premier conference." For a school that has a lot of good things about its athletic department, that gets an extremely generous amount of dedicated sports coverage compared to what their paper's sister publications give other "town" schools (e.g. Newark and Zanesville) and does decently well (generally) in their Leviathan conference, the Gales sure do love baking in weird grievances about the fact they play in the OCC.

It's a good job. It's a fine job. It's not Dublin Coffman, it's not Massillon Washington, it's not Mount Union, it's not Ohio State, it's not the Dallas Cowboys. It's Lancaster. It's probably a low-ceiling, high-floor job. It's a job where the expectations may not be that clearly-defined and were probably never at all consistent this previous decade, because the school let Carpenter decide everything program-related (including coaching) on his own terms. Which, they were (probably) correct to do so! It would've been wrong to have a 'hot seat' or Win/Loss metrics that direct renewal/non-renewal decisions. But, like, also, you get the past decade which had just such a widely disparate range of outcomes year-by-year (OCC split in '18-> 2-7 in '19 and 3-6 w/ a loss to Central Crossing in 2020; playoffs two other years and then some mediocre W/L's sprinkled around.) And it's hard to really tell how those teams would've done differently if they didn't run the dang Wing-T.

It's a large exurban high school competing against a thick brush of suburban high schools that have flourished as Columbus and its adjacencies have grown over the past 15 years. A public in a town with two private schools, and one that is flanked by multiple open-enrollments (including one that is very successful at every sport directly to the west.) Compared to other similarly-sized exurban schools (Delaware, Marysville, Mt. Vernon and Newark) that compete(d) in the OCC, schools with less competition in terms of the student-athlete game, Lancaster has been more impressive in terms of their product on the field. And that's a good thing. It's just hard to really tell what more is possibly achievable with Lancaster. And quotes like the above will just invoke eye-rolls.

BTW, Merry Christmas sportfan!
 

sportfan97

Active member
Dock,

You know me pretty well and I would think would agree when I say I’m as about as big of a supporter of the Gales that there is.

I see Lancaster athletics for what it is. A city of 40,000 that’s 30 miles southeast of Columbus. Definitely not a suburban destination that people are moving to for their kids to attend the schools for academic/athletics. The city has seen steady growth over the decades but nothing like the Dublins, Hilliards, etc.

Lots of homegrown kids from families that have lived in the district for decades with “newer” families sprinkled in. Football is average most years. They had a great run of regular season success in the early to mid 2000’s, before that the early 90’s. The success definitely has to do with the overall talent in the school those years. Some teams have underperformed as well.

Is this a good job for someone? Absolutely! Will the Gales get a Coach to stick around for another 20+ years? Absolutely not! I look for whoever they hire to either have 8-10 years left to coach or someone younger that has had success somewhere else but is going to use this job to land that bigger job in 5-6 seasons at the most.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
For sure. Didn’t mean to lecture ya, man! I was just ranting on what frustrates me as a reader of the paper and follower of area athletics. I'll never understand the leash LHS keeps giving itself on the whole "we play in the OCC" thing, and especially how or why the media keeps playing ball with it.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Eh, I wouldn’t assume that.
He would make sense on credentials and resume. But, Bloom-Carroll is probably a better gig than Lancaster honestly. B-C has a LOT going for them: growing district, great facilities, great academic reputation, enviable participation numbers, tremendous community support and a big competitive edge baked into the community's mindset. I believe they have middle school numbers in the classes of '25, '26 and '27 with ~40 players each.
 

Hartley1

Member
Lancaster's OCC division is now: Pickerington Central, Newark, Central Crossing, Reynoldsburg, Groveport. I think that is a solid league for them? Next year should be favorites against Gport, Newark, & CC. Toss up with the Burg and will be a heavy underdog against PC. I know one crossover is New Albany... a 50/50 game. Do not know the non-league but I think the league is set up well for success.

Great stadium/facilities. Great community support. I think it is a good job. Someone like the BC coach would be a good fit and a great move for him. I do not agree that BC is a better job. BC is bad pay. Stadium looks like a junior high facility. Will be moving up to D3 in the future and will have levy issues. And will probably never have success like they have the past few years. Now would be a great time to get out. I heard he interviewed and didn't make the second round. May have a chance at the Canal job? I hear Schoonover (old Gport coach) & Watters (old Licking hts coach) are the finalist.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Lancaster's OCC division is now: Pickerington Central, Newark, Central Crossing, Reynoldsburg, Groveport. I think that is a solid league for them? Next year should be favorites against Gport, Newark, & CC. Toss up with the Burg and will be a heavy underdog against PC. I know one crossover is New Albany... a 50/50 game. Do not know the non-league but I think the league is set up well for success.

Great stadium/facilities. Great community support. I think it is a good job. Someone like the BC coach would be a good fit and a great move for him. I do not agree that BC is a better job. BC is bad pay. Stadium looks like a junior high facility. Will be moving up to D3 in the future and will have levy issues. And will probably never have success like they have the past few years. Now would be a great time to get out. I heard he interviewed and didn't make the second round. May have a chance at the Canal job? I hear Schoonover (old Gport coach) & Watters (old Licking hts coach) are the finalist.
It's hard to prognosticate too far into the future where BC will be classification-wise. While the district is growing, it may be a few years before they get to D3 based on EMIS -- but there's also the issue of CBP that constantly harangues the D2-D4 section of schools that might keep raising the ceiling between D3 and D4 after EMIS + CBP numbers. BC having levy issues?? Hmmm. The district to the NW of BC is going to have even worse levy issues and problems with overcrowding soon... curious.

It's a sweet-spot district. Massive amounts of talent, bookended by Canal spillover to the west and open-enrollment transfers from the north, east and south. BC has massive advantages over the rest of their league and as long as they are in D4 (for however long they are) it's basically them vs Licking Valley for the region crown and what comes past that.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
LH was never that impressive. Most of his teams were big fishes in a small pond!

Bryan Johnson not a finalist, eh?
 

Hartley1

Member
It's hard to prognosticate too far into the future where BC will be classification-wise. While the district is growing, it may be a few years before they get to D3 based on EMIS -- but there's also the issue of CBP that constantly harangues the D2-D4 section of schools that might keep raising the ceiling between D3 and D4 after EMIS + CBP numbers. BC having levy issues?? Hmmm. The district to the NW of BC is going to have even worse levy issues and problems with overcrowding soon... curious.

It's a sweet-spot district. Massive amounts of talent, bookended by Canal spillover to the west and open-enrollment transfers from the north, east and south. BC has massive advantages over the rest of their league and as long as they are in D4 (for however long they are) it's basically them vs Licking Valley for the region crown and what comes past that.
BC is a great place. And the MSL has been down ever since Canal left... no idea what is going on at Circleville, LE, FU. And D4 is definitely the place to be... if Hartley was D4 (where they should be) there is a good chance another State Championship would have happened. And honestly, would have probably been a lot of running clocks all the way through the playoffs. And Hartley should be back down to D4 next time with the changes coming to competitive balance.

Yes levy issues could definitely come... they have some schools that are old. And are going to need more schools because of growth (in the next 5 or so years). Maybe the pass them, I have now idea. But BC really has no community. It seems split between Carroll & Lithopolis.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
BC is a great place. And the MSL has been down ever since Canal left... no idea what is going on at Circleville, LE, FU. And D4 is definitely the place to be... if Hartley was D4 (where they should be) there is a good chance another State Championship would have happened. And honestly, would have probably been a lot of running clocks all the way through the playoffs. And Hartley should be back down to D4 next time with the changes coming to competitive balance.

Yes levy issues could definitely come... they have some schools that are old. And are going to need more schools because of growth (in the next 5 or so years). Maybe the pass them, I have now idea. But BC really has no community. It seems split between Carroll & Lithopolis.
MSL being down is a product of Teays and HT (more so Teays) underachieving. CV might be an economics of the town issue. LE was going into a waning period pipeline-wise before Holbert got there. FU has been in the gutter for the past decade -- new coach (going into his second year) might have things turned around (going from 23 players to 55 players in the matter of a year.) Hartley being in D4... different discussion for a different day.

BC just got a new junior high building about five years ago, and their grade school (currently under construction) will be ready for '21-22 school year.

I sort of disagree on "BC really has no community." The way I see it, the community is congealed: two small villages, lot of middle-class people living in Bloom and Greenfield Townships and sprinkled-in open enrollment families. The community breeds competition, competition breeds standards, standards breeds community. BC has had a decade-long run of really good athletics across all of their sports and its academics are strong. The community strongly supports winning efforts, and the efforts of the whole. Like I mentioned earlier, they have some big classes coming up in the middle school ranks. Lots of upside to the gig, the way I see it!

//

Curious if the new coach at LHS can get more of the better athletes out from across the other sports? Keep the same staff?
 

sportfan97

Active member
I believe there is another finalist? Not sure who... I heard the name Billy Burke? An alum who coached at Logan? Not sure if that is true??
Not sure if he is a finalist or not but Billy Burke is a great guy and excellent football coach. He graduated from Lancaster in 1988. Played at Akron for Lee Owens (former Lancaster head coach), was an assistant for Tom McCurdy (former Lancaster head coach) at Hilliard Darby, was head coach at Buckeye (Medina) High School, and was most recently the Head Coach at Logan. He spent a couple seasons since stepping down at Logan coaching in Lancaster’s youth football league and knows a lot of the younger players coming coming up.
 

LoganLocos

New member
Not sure if he is a finalist or not but Billy Burke is a great guy and excellent football coach. He graduated from Lancaster in 1988. Played at Akron for Lee Owens (former Lancaster head coach), was an assistant for Tom McCurdy (former Lancaster head coach) at Hilliard Darby, was head coach at Buckeye (Medina) High School, and was most recently the Head Coach at Logan. He spent a couple seasons since stepping down at Logan coaching in Lancaster’s youth football league and knows a lot of the younger players coming coming up.
I'll jump in here.

Billy Burke was a great coach to cover and I felt we had a good relationship when he was at Logan (I operate LoganFootball.com and did some part time work for the Logan Daily News.)

Burke also did a really great job at Logan, especially his first four seasons in charge. He won Logan's last league title in his first season (with Logan coming off a 3-7 record) despite losing his starting QB in game 1 to a collarbone injury.

His best team was 8-2 in 2015. That team suffered a disastrous injury on the first play of their loss to Jackson that cost a league title and a playoff spot.

2016 was one of the LEAST talented teams in school history, and I was afraid they could have been the first win-less team in history. But they went 3-7.



I think things may have gotten a little stale and the "juice" he created slowly left the building. I think everyone was burnt out by the end, but Billy always did best by the kids.



If Billy is ready to get back into coaching at that level, I believe he'll do a great job. He is a good leader and a great coach. He walked into a mess at Logan and cleaned it up. I think he'd do an even better job "sustaining" and improving the situation at Lancaster.
 
Not sure if he is a finalist or not but Billy Burke is a great guy and excellent football coach. He graduated from Lancaster in 1988. Played at Akron for Lee Owens (former Lancaster head coach), was an assistant for Tom McCurdy (former Lancaster head coach) at Hilliard Darby, was head coach at Buckeye (Medina) High School, and was most recently the Head Coach at Logan. He spent a couple seasons since stepping down at Logan coaching in Lancaster’s youth football league and knows a lot of the younger players coming coming up.
Not to nitpick but Burke is a 1995 Grad not 1988. Also, he would not be a bad choice but I am not sure that is where Lancaster is going as I do not know if he was even one of the final candidates getting a second interview this week. I was told Lancaster had nearly 50 apply for the job and the finalists all had success winning games including winning in the post season. Whoever is named and approved at the January BOE meeting ( I believe is a week from Monday), I hope that it brings excitement and new energy to what is already already a pretty good program with a new high school being built in the next couple of years. With all the upgrades that have been made at Fulton Field in recent years, who wouldn't want to coach at Lancaster. I cannot wait for the hire.
 

sportfan97

Active member
Not to nitpick but Burke is a 1995 Grad not 1988. Also, he would not be a bad choice but I am not sure that is where Lancaster is going as I do not know if he was even one of the final candidates getting a second interview this week. I was told Lancaster had nearly 50 apply for the job and the finalists all had success winning games including winning in the post season. Whoever is named and approved at the January BOE meeting ( I believe is a week from Monday), I hope that it brings excitement and new energy to what is already already a pretty good program with a new high school being built in the next couple of years. With all the upgrades that have been made at Fulton Field in recent years, who wouldn't want to coach at Lancaster. I cannot wait for the hire.
Not sure where I got that date from...I knew exactly when he graduated. I was only 2 years behind him in school...lol.
 
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