Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
By Robb Hemmelgarn
Luthman hired as head football coach at St. Henry
In the past decade, Brad Luthman has been elbows-deep in high school football programs rich with tradition, but as of last evening he is now the head coach of one.
Following approval at Tuesday night's school board meeting in St. Henry, Luthman is officially the sixth head coach in the history of the Redskins' football program.
"I am very excited to coach at a school that I have played and coached against in the past. To be a part of something with as much tradition as they have at St. Henry is wonderful," said Luthman. "I completed my student teaching at St. Henry when I was in college and became familiar with many people on the staff as well as some of the kids, so I am very much looking forward to working with a great group of people."
As a two-year letterman under Hall of Fame coach Al Hetrick, Luthman was an All-Ohio offensive lineman at Versailles and played on three playoff teams, including the 2003 Division V state championship squad.
After moving on to the University of Toledo following graduation in 2006, Luthman was still football-hungry so he joined the Toledo Rocket coaching staff as a student assistant while earning a degree in education. Following graduation, Luthman landed a position on Tim Goodwin's staff at Marion Local, where for the past two seasons he helped guide the Flyers to back-to-back Division VI state championships.
While there was no doubt the newly-appointed head coach had aspirations to be in charge at a school in the Midwest Athletic Conference, he wasn't sure when or where that opportunity would unfold.
"I always knew that I wanted to coach in the MAC," said Luthman. "The quality of teams, outstanding competition and great parental and community support is second to none in our league. Fortunately, I have always been blessed to be around remarkable coaches - coach Hetrick in Versailles and Tim Goodwin at Marion Local. I hope to take what I learned from them over the years and implement it into my own style of coaching."
Luthman will inherit the St. Henry program from 10-year veteran Jeff Starkey, who resigned a few weeks ago to pursue a principal position at LaBrae High School in northeast Ohio. In 2012, the Redskins finished 9-4 overall, after losing in the Division VI regional final to Marion Local.
"The biggest priority of being a good head coach is to have a solid staff around you and I know with Jeff leaving and both Don Post and Frank Griesdorn retiring, along with Dennis Wendel becoming athletic director, that there are some big spots to fill," admitted Luthman. "I am confident that we will work hard to fill those, and along with the assistants we have coming back, we will be in good shape.
"As far as other philosophies, I have always felt that a good game plan starts with a solid running game and defense. Don't get me wrong, having a strong passing attack is very important, but sometimes there are games where the quarterback or receivers just aren't clicking, and if that is the case you could be in trouble. Running games and defenses have a little more difficult time getting into a slump."
Although graduation and an uncharacteristic coaching turnover are concerns for the St. Henry program, Luthman is pumped to get his new endeavor underway.
"I plan to meet with the other coaches and the team on Wednesday (today) and start putting our game plan into motion," he said. "I definitely plan to coach to what our strengths are each season. I don't want to be in a situation where we try to put a square peg in a round hole just because we have always done it that way. We will look at game day as the result of what we do in the offseason through hard work in the weight room and on the practice field. The competition we will see is always going to be the best there is, so we will need to make an investment in ourselves to get better every day we prepare, no matter what it is that we do. If we accomplish that, good things will happen."
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