The first of at least three new Greater Western Ohio Conference high school head football coaches was settled when Vandalia-Butler chose Nathan Hyatt to succeed Greg Bush this week.
Hyatt successfully rebooted the small-school program at Bradford in his only season as the Railroaders’ coach last fall. An Oakwood graduate, he previously was the offensive coordinator at Chaminade Julienne (2011-13), assistant at Oakwood (2009-10) and Butler assistant (2000-08).
“It’s something I’ve dreamed about,” said Hyatt, 41. “I’m just excited to be a part of the community and the school as the head football coach. It fits too well not to take this opportunity.”
A math teacher, Hyatt has taught in the Vandalia-Butler City School District for 16 years.
Also needing new head football coaches are GWOC members Fairborn and Fairmont, which didn’t renew the coaching contracts of Roy Thobe (Skyhawks) and Andy Aracri (Firebirds). In addition, Northmont said it would repost its varsity head coach position after Tony Broering served as interim coach last season.
Like Hyatt, Bush, 52, also resurrected the Aviator into GWOC North Division contenders. Butler swept Piqua and Troy the last four seasons and qualified for the Division II playoffs two of the last three years.
He said it was his choice to resign.
“We were pleased with what we were able to accomplish,” said Bush, who coached a combined 28 seasons and also was an assistant at Miamisburg and Valley View. “I suspected it was time for me to move in a new direction. I wasn’t sure until the season ended. It didn’t have anything to do with the kids or anything like that.”
Butler (7-4) lost to eventual two-time state champ LaSalle in a D-II playoff opener last season. In 2013, Butler fell to unbeaten and eventual state champ Loveland in the D-II opening round. Bush didn’t rule out a return to coaching and said he’ll remain at Butler as a science teacher.
The Cross County Conference forced Bradford to drop to a JV program in 2014 for a lack of players. Hyatt inherited 17 players and built the program up to 52 players in grades 7-12 last season. Bradford (4-6) was in D-VII playoff contention through midseason and earned its second-highest playoff points in program history.
Butler will join Greenville, Piqua, Sidney, Troy and newcomer Tippecanoe in the revamped GWOC North next season. Butler will open at Massillon Perry, which fell to LaSalle in the 2015 state title game. Butler also will renew a rivalry with Northmont in a GWOC crossover game.
“You’re going to play against the best teams the Dayton area has to offer,” said Hyatt, a Butler assistant during the Steve Pelfrey and Dan Thobe head coach eras. “I think of Massillon as being the cradle of Ohio high school football. What an exciting time for us.”
• Miamisburg has three good reasons to be in a festive mood today.
Miamisburg grad and Broncos safety David Bruton Jr. will present an NFL Golden Football to school administration during a pep rally. This is an ongoing NFL initiative to have anyone who has played in a Super Bowl present the golden football and a grant opportunity to their high school alma mater.
Considered one of the NFL’s best special teams players, Bruton will miss Sunday’s NFC Championship game against the Patriots because he was put on injured reserve after breaking a leg against the Steelers on Dec. 20. Also a two-year starter at Notre Dame, he was on the field for 77 plays after the injury.
During tonight’s boys basketball game against rival West Carrollton, Miamisburg will retire Erica Allenspach’s No. 22 basketball jersey. She holds most of the individual season and career all-time Vikings records and also excelled at Marist College from 2007-11.
Finally, five new inductees will be added to the Miamisburg athletic hall of fame beginning with a ceremony at 5:30 p.m.: Stephanie Mahle-Davis (Class of 2000; soccer, basketball); Jay Arrington (‘94; football, track); Chris Hubbard (’92; football, track); Chris Pursiful (’87; football, soccer, track); and Ron Holp (community contributor).
Each will be introduced during halftime of the varsity game.
• Fairborn senior Jordan Pumroy surpassed 1,000 career points during Tuesday’s 62-49 loss at Centerville. A four-year starter, the 6-foot guard scored 22 points, which pushed his career total to 1,005.
Pumroy has led the Skyhawks in scoring the past two seasons and is averaging 18.2 points. Fairborn (7-7, 3-1 GWOC South) is at Xenia (10-3, 3-1) in a key divisional game today.
Pumroy’s older sister and Fairborn grad Brook Pumroy started all but one game at Marquette from 2012-14 then transferred to Louisiana Tech. A 5-9 guard, she’s averaging 10.7 points as a fixture in the Bulldogs’ (8-8) lineup.