Chris Wells has found a new football challenge.
The former Middletown High School head coach has accepted another head coaching position, this one with the Middletown Christian club program.
“It just feels like that’s what I’m supposed to do,” Wells said. “It feels right, so I’m kind of excited about it. I think it’s going to be a pretty cool thing.”
He resigned after two seasons as Middletown’s head man, going 8-12 at his alma mater and 13-17 in three years at Madison.
Wells, 43, is the head of the PRIDE Academy at Middletown and plans to remain in that teaching position while he coaches the club team.
“Coaching has been a pretty big part of my life ever since I finished my college career,” Wells said. “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do as far as coaching after Middletown. But being a Christian, it didn’t take me too long to think about this.
“I had a few other options at a couple places, but I think Middletown Christian is a really neat place. I think there’s some great things that can come out of it for the kids.”
Wells said the goal is to get to a point where it can rejoin the Ohio High School Athletic Association in the next couple years. Club status allows the team to draw students that don’t attend MCS.
Middletown Christian athletic director Bobby Childs said the club program is a ministry of Grace Baptist Church. He doesn’t deal with program specifics because it’s not affiliated with the OHSAA.
“We don’t want to be in any violations, so we try super hard to make sure those lines aren’t blurred,” Childs said. “Right now, we don’t have enough Middletown Christian students to form our own team on the school side, so this gives our students the opportunity to play football, which is a good thing.
“We’re always exploring whatever we can do to add more OHSAA sports to the program. We’re probably at least two years out on adding football, if not further.”
Wells is in the process of finalizing his staff. He will have Bill Egner, former Middletown Christian head coach, on his staff, with Egner running the offense and Wells directing the defense.
Wells said small-school football is just as rewarding as big-school ball.
“Once the game starts and you get out there, all the division stuff is meaningless,” he said. “You’re playing for your teammates and you’re playing to win, and winning is just enjoyable.
“A lot of kids and their parents have college aspirations. When we do become a school program, that’s one of the things I hope people realize. A kid will get every bit of the college look at a small private school that he will at a Division I school. It comes down to the coaches making sure they speak to the college recruiters, and ultimately the college recruiters have to see something they like in the kid.”