New Fenwick football coach promises to bring ‘positive enthusiasm’

Michael Coleman hopes he’s found some stability for the Fenwick High School football program.

John Aregood stepped in as interim head coach last May after the sudden resignation of Joe Snively and led the Falcons to a 6-4 season. Now Aregood is out and St. Xavier assistant Dan Haverkamp is Fenwick’s new head coach.

“We’re looking long term,” said Coleman, the FHS athletic director. “The one thing we really need for our kids is a guy we can build with. Dan’s going to bring a lot to the table. I think Fenwick is a great place to have him for a while.”

Haverkamp is only 30 years old, but the 2006 St. X graduate has been coaching for eight years at his alma mater and was the assistant head coach under Steve Specht for the last three seasons.

There is a connection between Haverkamp — who has collegiate degrees from Cincinnati and Xavier — and the Falcons. His wife, the former Kate Stanifer, is a Fenwick grad.

“From my experiences, I think it’s a very tight-knit community,” Haverkamp said. “They’re great people and that’s what you want to surround yourself with, especially in a new opportunity like this. That’s probably the biggest thing I see as a great fit for me.

“From a football perspective, it’s a growing population, a growing school, and I think there’s a lot of potential to build something here in the long haul that can be really, really successful.”

Aregood’s situation has been a difficult one. His 19-year-old daughter Michaela was killed in a November car crash, and her parents are still reeling from the loss.

“I just hope nobody else ever goes through this. I can’t even describe how tough it is,” John Aregood said. “We know we can’t make any decisions right now. Day by day, we’re just trying to get by.

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“The AD at Fenwick decided that I was not capable of coming back and running the program because of our loss, and I’m OK with it. I’m not involved with football at all. I don’t think I know (Haverkamp), but I’ll wish him well when I see him and that’s all I’ll have to do with it.”

Coleman said the search for a new head coach began in mid-February.

“Everybody loves John. He did an awesome job,” Coleman said. “Losing his daughter was a heavy blow for he and his wife. Because of the timing of that, we had to make some choices. It was more prudent for us to go ahead and start a search for a long-term head coach.

“With John in the building as a teacher, with the knowledge and wisdom that he has, we’d love to have him be a part (of the football program) in some way, shape or form if he would choose to do so.”

Coleman said he received between 40 and 50 applications for the head coaching position. Haverkamp is a math teacher at St. X and will fill the same role at Fenwick in the fall.

“He’s really a quality guy,” said Coleman, noting that Haverkamp was an honor student in high school and college. “He’s a high-energy, stand-up guy with a lot of great referrals and recommendations from some really good people that said he’s ready for this.

“He comes from good stock, and it just kind of helped that he was a rock star in the classroom too. When you make that football hire nowadays, a lot of times the whole dynamics of it come down to, does the guy fit all the way around? Math teachers don’t always come in the size and shape of a football coach, and we just happened to have a math opening.”

Specht said the St. X program will miss Haverkamp, who was the Bombers’ passing game coordinator the last two years.

“Danny’s a young, aggressive, incredibly smart football coach,” Specht said. “He would call our up-tempo game. Our offensive coordinator is Bob Klotz, but he gave Danny a lot of freedom to create with the passing game. He’s one of those analytics guys. He’s ahead of the curve in a lot of ways offensively.

“I think back to the old Wing-T that Fenwick used to run, and I just kind of chuckle. You’re not going to see the Wing-T with Danny. You’re going to see a wide-open spread attack. He will throw it around and get everybody involved. It’ll be exciting offense.

“It’ll be interesting for me to see what Danny wants to do defensively because he’s an offensive guy, but it’ll be fun football for the kids at Fenwick. I’m going to miss all the behind-the-scenes stuff that Danny would do for me. I wouldn’t have just given anybody the title of assistant head coach. I knew what his goals were in terms of becoming a head coach, and I wanted to try to fast-track that as much as I could.”

Haverkamp said he doesn’t necessarily want to run the Fenwick offense. He hopes to find somebody who thinks like him offensively.

What will the Falcons run on both sides of the ball?

“Offensively, I think in the recent past the school has had success running elements of the option,” Haverkamp said. “My experience is largely with the spread, so trying to marry those two things together is probably what I would hope to be putting forward.

“Defensively, right now I’ll defer to whoever I hire as defensive coordinator. I’ll trust their expertise and experience.”

Haverkamp was a wide receiver at St. X and part of the school’s 2005 Division I state championship team. He also won a state title with the Bombers in 2016.

He enjoyed his playing days, but conceded they weren’t exactly noteworthy.

“My career stat line is one special-teams tackle,” said Haverkamp, who worked in the football office at UC as a student assistant helping with recruiting. “I will say my senior year, I got in more games than I didn’t because we were so good. But the outcome was never in question when I was getting in the game.”

He’s lived in a couple different places in Greater Cincinnati, but said Anderson Township is where he grew up. He currently lives in Covington, Ky., and hopes to move closer to Fenwick.

Haverkamp said he’s not looking at his new coaching position as a stepping-stone. His coaching style is characterized by “positive enthusiasm.”

“It’s a very energetic, enthusiastic approach, but it’s positive,” Haverkamp said. “I want us to be aggressive in everything we do on the field. I don’t view this as a spot where you have to blow everything up and start from scratch. It’s building upon a lot of the things that are already in place and making them as positive as possible.”

The Dan Haverkamp file

Age: 30

Residence: Covington, Ky.

Family: Wife Kate (Stanifer)

High school: St. Xavier, Class of 2006

College: Bacheler's degree in operations management from Cincinnati, master's degree in education from Xavier

Job: Math teacher at St. Xavier

St. Xavier coaching history: 2010-11, freshman tight ends coach; 2012-13, junior varsity quarterbacks and running backs coach; 2014, varsity quarterbacks coach; 2015, varsity assistant head coach, running backs coach; 2016, varsity assistant head coach, running backs coach, passing game coordinator; 2017, varsity assistant head coach, wide receivers coach, passing game coordinator

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