Search for Replacement Football Coach Continues

Lou Malmgren, Co-Editor-In-Chief

The time ticks away for the school varsity football team, which suffered an early loss to Chantilly High School in the first round of the playoffs. Finishing the regular season with a 5-4 record, something many schools might consider an average season. However, this would end up credited to Coach Taylor, ultimately ending with him being relieved of his coaching duty, two weeks after the season’s end. This decision now leaves his revered position as football coach open. The search is already in full swing.

The announcement broke before principal Dan Meier could share the news, with Twitter and Facebook posts lighting up and rumors circulating around the halls. Meier, along with other coaches, spoke to student football players at an afterschool meeting to share the facts with them. Mixed reactions followed Taylor’s release and the news generated enough buzz to be featured on the Washington Post website shortly after the announcement. In a Washington Post interview, Taylor said, “For me, I couldn’t believe we were only given 18 months from the time I was hired to now being fired. I felt like we were moving in the right direction.”

After the dust had settled, the school appointed Athletic Director Jeff Ferrell as head of the search for Taylor’s replacement. Ferrell shared his opinion in a Post interview, stating, “Robinson High School has high standards for its programs and we felt that our football program was not meeting those standards, so we decided to make a change.”

With a leader at the wheel, the school began its search for coaches by posting an advertisement displaying the much-sought position. “I have received plenty of applications, dozens and dozens of resumes,” Meier said, holding up a large folder full of them.

With so many applications, students need not worry about there being an empty slot on the field come next fall. In fact, with the high interest in the job, the position might be filled before the end of the winter sports season.

“We believe this is one of the best football jobs in America,” Meier said.

With his coaching duties terminated, Taylor said he plans to pursue a coaching job at another school, hopefully by the end of this year.

“During my 18 months here, I very much enjoyed working with the players,” Taylor said. “There are some great young men here who I will miss coaching.”

Though the choice shocked many students were shocked, several felt that the change would be worthwhile or stated they were not close to Taylor, such as freshman James Lalone, who practiced under Taylor during post-season.

“I was looking forward to having him as a coach a little bit but even after practicing, I wasn’t really attached to him,” Lalone said, “I’m definitely looking forward to who the new coach is.”

The new coach could be anyone, but applicants with past championships or long playoff seasons will have a distinct advantage. Taylor leaving is only part of many coaching departures, with Loudon coach Mick Mullins and Potomac Falls coach Mike Gims both leaving their programs. When asked if he would be considering moving a different-level coach if no ideal applicant was available, Meier said, “We are wide open and we are looking for the best possible man for the job.”