New Fairborn High School and former Swanton head football coach Randy Kerns. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Kerns to oversee Fairborn’s football shift from GWOC to MVL

Randy Kerns has been approved as Fairborn High School’s varsity football coach. He’s the first of at least five Greater Western Ohio Conference football coaching changes since last season.

Kerns succeeds Chris Roark, who resigned after three seasons with the Skyhawks.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Kerns, 32. “It’s an opportunity to challenge myself.”

Kerns had a successful two-season run as Swanton’s head coach in 2017-18. His first season Swanton qualified for the Division V playoffs. He inherited the Toledo-area program that had consecutive 10-1 seasons before his arrival.

Prior to that Kerns was the head coach at his alma mater National Trail from 2015-16.

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Kerns will oversee a reboot of the Skyhawks program as it leaves the GWOC for the revised Miami Valley League beginning next season. Ten current GWOC teams will leave for the MVL at the end of this school year: Butler, Fairborn, Greenville, Piqua, Sidney, Stebbins, Tippecanoe, Troy, West Carrollton and Xenia.

“That’s going to be beneficial to everyone who’s moving into that, especially Fairborn,” Kerns said. “It’s a much more competitive league for us.”

Fairborn slumped to 2-8 in the GWOC American South last season after an 0-5 start. Roark’s best season was 4-6 in 2017 and his overall record with the Skyhawks was 8-32.

Roark left Jefferson to become Fairborn’s coach and succeeded longtime Skyhawks coach Roy Thobe, who was not retained after 14 seasons. Thobe has been a Centerville football assistant since then.

Fairborn athletic director Kevin Alexander was the AD at National Trail when Kerns was the Blazers’ head coach.

Fairborn is a Division II program that has never qualified for the playoffs. Its last winning season was in 2011 when the Skyhawks were 6-4 and tied Lebanon for the GWOC South title.

Kerns said he’ll begin his employment with the Fairborn City School District on March 1. Eventually, he’ll oversee a credit recovery program at the high school.

“The community is hungry for something and a consistent program,” he said. “I’m hoping to come in there and change things around and get the upward trajectory that we want.”

Other GWOC coaches who resigned after last season are Aaron Shaffer (Greenville), Steve Channell (Miamisburg), Joel Derge (Tippecanoe) and Derek Hauk (West Carrollton). None of those openings have been filled.

Shaffer has become Greenville’s athletic director.

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