Beset by a “myriad of odd things,” Bob DeLong has resigned as the head football coach at Xenia High School.
DeLong, 53, submitted his resignation last week. He had coached the Buccaneers for eight years, going 3-7 this past season after a 0-6 start.
“It was a miserable year, the toughest one I’ve ever had,” DeLong said. “We had some odd things happen. Behavior things and parental issues. I can tell you in 21 years as a head coach some of those things I’ve never seen before. It was a tough year.”
Xenia had just two winning seasons under DeLong, going 6-4 in 2012 and ’14. The Buccaneers were a combined 33-47 from 2009-16. Xenia was reassigned to the Greater Western Ohio Conference American South Division this fall, losing only to divisional champ and Division III state runner-up Trotwood-Madison. Xenia beat Fairborn, West Carrollton and newcomer Stebbins to place runner-up in the division (3-1).
DeLong previously had revived the program at Tecumseh. In 13 seasons at the New Carlisle and Central Buckeye Conference member the Arrows were a combined 85-49, including a 10-0 team in 1998 that was ranked No. 2 in the D-II final state rankings. But he didn’t come close to that kind of success at Xenia after succeeding Ed Mignery as head coach.
A Toledo-area native, DeLong played scholarship baseball at Wright State University for former Raiders head coach Ron Nischwitz. He’ll remain as a science teacher at the high school. He was instrumental in boosting the Doug Adams Foundation. Funds from hosting D-I state power Cincinnati Moeller in consecutive seasons were used to renovate Cox Stadium with FieldTurf and a new scoreboard.
Xenia junior receiver Meechi Harris was a D-II first team All-Ohioan this past season. But the Bucs lost another standout receiver in Ray James as a transfer to Wayne last spring. James was All-GWOC as a junior and a senior starter at Wayne.
“It was the beginning of a snow-ball effect of a lot of things that happened,” said DeLong.
First-year Xenia athletic director Nathan Kopp said the position will be posted both internally and externally on the Ohio High School Athletic Association website.
“We feel we play in the best conference in the area, if not the state,” said Kopp, who succeeded Mark Stoll as AD. “We’re looking for somebody to put a new view on it.”
DeLong said he’d like to continue coaching, but only “at a place where everybody’s rowing the boat in the same direction. If you could get that, it sure would be fun again.”
He’s the first GWOC coach to resign or not be retained after last season. GWOC members Fairborn, Fairmont and Vandalia-Butler all had new head coaches this past season.