Dimitroff, Cooper join Wittenberg Tigers football staff

Former Upper Arlington offensive coordinator Jim Dimitroff will help Fincham coach the offensive line, and Southeastern High School graduate Brian Cooper will coach tight ends.

“They have great backgrounds as players and coaches,” Fincham said Thursday. “The thing I’m most excited about is we’re getting two really good people. With Jim, you get so much experience. We call them part-time guys, but they put in as much work as anybody else in our program. With Coop, he was as good athlete as has come out of Southeastern.”

Dimitroff, a Catholic Central graduate who teaches at Upper Arlington and lives in Springfield, coached under Ron Murphy at Wittenberg in the late 1980s. He celebrated his 40th year in coaching in 2015.

Dimitroff was an assistant coach for Catholic Central’s state runner-up team in 1991 and won a state championship at Upper Arlington in 2000. He was an assistant coach at Springfield High School last season.

The 6-foot-5 Cooper was a three-sport star at Southeastern. He was Clark County’s Mr. Basketball as a senior in 2002 and signed to play as a tight end for the Miami RedHawks but stopped playing after one season because of injuries. He was an assistant coach at Southeastern for six seasons and works as an intervention specialist at Keifer Alternative School in Springfield.

“Brian is a large human being,” Fincham said, “and like all guys who are scholarship athletes like he was, he’s surprisingly athletic for his size. He will command instant respect when he comes in.”

There are now three people with Southeastern connections on the coaching staff. Southeastern grad Reed Florence will coach wide receivers. Tom Mescher, a Versailles grad who teaches at Southeastern, coaches defensive ends.

Fincham announced two other coaching changes Thursday. Taylor Housewright left the staff to coach at Ashland. Wittenberg hired Brannon Dunn, who was a teammate of offensive coordinator Kevin Hoyng with the Dayton Flyers. Dunn will coach safeties.

Zack Jenkins, Wittenberg’s starting quarterback the last two seasons, will stay with the program and help Florence coach the receivers. Jenkins will also serve as a quality control coach.

Wittenberg starts practice for the 2016 season Aug. 11 and opens the season at home at 7 p.m. on Sept. 3 against Capital.

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