Ron Ullery no longer is the head man of Centerville High School football. But he’s not leaving the Greater Western Ohio Conference.
Ullery recently accepted an assistant coaching position at Springboro. He’ll coach the offensive line for head coach Ryan Wilhite’s Panthers.
“(Wilhite) gave me the opportunity and I’m really grateful for that,” said Ullery, who was not retained after 37 years with the Centerville program, the last 14 as head coach.
“His assistants and players have graciously accepted me. I feel really good about it. I’m indebted to Ryan and everybody over there. They’ll get my best effort.”
Ullery, Wilhite and Springboro offensive coordinator Mike Fisher are at the University of Iowa football coaches’ clinic this weekend. Wilhite is among the featured speakers.
Ullery and Wilhite have former players with the Hawkeyes; defensive lineman Brant Gressel of Centerville and offensive lineman Sean Welsh of Springboro. Both are 2013 high school grads and will be red-shirt freshmen this fall.
Gressel and Welsh also were recruited by Iowa offensive line coach Brian Ferentz, the son of Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz.
Wilhite reached out to Ullery soon after he learned he would not be returning to the Elks. Their relationship goes back to when Wilhite was an assistant at Wittenberg University and he was recruiting Centerville players.
“I’d always hoped back then that we could get him on the staff at Centerville,” said Ullery.
Rodney Roberts resigned at Franklin to succeed Ullery at Centerville. Franklin has since promoted assistant Brad Childers to head coach.
“There are certain programs that you study and say, can our program learn from what they’re doing?” Wilhite explained. “(Centerville) was always one of them. It’s a lifetime opportunity to actually work with someone who you felt showed you the way as a young coach how to do things.”
Centerville has beaten Springboro in three of their four GWOC crossover games the last four seasons.
Ullery is retired from teaching. He was an offensive line coach for 20 seasons with the Elks before succeeding Bob Gregg as head coach.
“I always thought when I’m done being a head coach, I’d like to coach offensive line again,” Ullery said. “Even though it didn’t unfold the way I’d hoped it would, that’s what I’m doing. It turned out well for me.”
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