Posted: 4:25 p.m. Friday, March 14, 2014

Madison’s football search down to four

By Rick Cassano

Staff Writer


Madison High School’s search for a head football coach has been pared to four men.

Athletic director Darren Stevens said the school received 34 applicants to replace Chris Wells, who left to become the head coach at Middletown.

Nine individuals were in the first round of interviews conducted by Stevens and principal Justin Smith.

“We’ve been very fortunate that all the candidates have been very good,” Stevens said. “We just feel like the remaining four fit the best at Madison.”

The finalists are:

Clint Bartlett. He is currently the special teams coordinator and assistant offensive coordinator at Washington Court House Miami Trace. Bartlett was previously the offensive coordinator at Beavercreek.

Steve Poff. An assistant on Wells’ Madison staff the past three seasons, Poff has also been involved with the district’s youth and junior high programs for several years. He does not work in the district.

Jeff Rippl. Currently an eighth-grade science teacher at Madison (16 years as a teacher) and head of the junior high program, Rippl was the defensive coordinator under former head coach Joel Lauer. He was previously an assistant coach at Franklin.

Chris Roark. The former head coach at Alter (1990-96) and Fenwick (1998-2001) is currently a lead teacher at the Center for Adolescent Services in New Lebanon. Roark was also an Alter assistant (2002-07).

The candidates will go in front of a community committee Tuesday night. The committee includes three coaches, two teachers, two parents of current players in the program, a youth football representative, a board member, a booster representative, a community member with no kids in the program, Stevens and Smith.

The committee will not be picking the new coach but will provide feedback to help Stevens and Smith make the selection. If there is no clear-cut candidate after the committee meets, a final interview will be conducted by Stevens, Smith, a board member and superintendent Curtis Philpot.

“Justin and I have asked all the questions we felt we needed to ask,” Stevens said. “We want to see if the committee is on the same page with us. If they are, then we’ll make the decision. If it’s not cut and dried, we’ll go to the next round.”

The goal is to name a new coach by Friday.

Wells posted a 13-17 record in three years at the Madison helm. The Mohawks’ last winning season came in 2000.


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