Palestine’s search for coach continues

EAST PALESTINE – The next person to coach varsity football for the Bulldogs should be energetic and have a “solid” knowledge of the game, Superintendent George Fisk said Monday.

Fisk confirmed the board of education met behind closed doors last Saturday to go over the roughly more than 30 applications that have poured in since Gare Mattes resigned as head coach in October. No action was taken after the meeting, and Fisk said the board is still going over the applications.

“The interest in the high school football coaching position has been amazing,” he said.

People began showing an interest before the position was officially posted as open, and Fisk speculated it was a result of the article in the newspaper announcing Mattes had resigned at the close of his third season with the district.

Mattes said then that he chose to resign after Fisk told him to stand down prior to the last game in which defensive coordinator Dave Rankin led the Bulldogs to a season-ending win over Lisbon.

The team was 7-23 during Mattes’ three seasons as head coach and lost 63-0 to Crestview during the last game he coached. In that game, the third and fourth quarters were shortened to six minutes each.

Fisk said Monday that he and the board are in agreement that above all else the next coach should possess high energy.

“We’re looking for a high energy person to draw kids out. That’s the no. 1 quality we are looking for. (They) should definitely be solid on the X’s and O’s of football,” he said.

The position is drawing interest from all over, with several of the applications coming from out of state, he added.

Whether the new coach will be hired in the coming weeks or months is still to be determined. Fisk said he hopes someone will be selected “very soon.”

Mattes was making roughly $5,080 a year on his most recent contract.