By JD LONG
CADIZ – Within one week of losing their head football coach, Harrison Central has hired former Harrison Central assistant coach, Anthony Hayes.
The decision was made official last night at the Harrison Hills Board of Education meeting and announced as the board came out of executive session.
Hayes had been named Toronto’s new head football coach back in February but last night, was released from his obligation by Toronto officials.
Toronto Superintendent, Maureen Taggart wished Hayes well and announced that Josh Franke as interim coach at Toronto. Franke had been hired as their assistant but will now step into the head coaches role.
Hayes is now in the position he’s dreamed of since he attended Harrison Hills as a student and called it a dream come true to come home to your alma mater.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m not sure I can put it into words. This has always been my dream.”
Hayes said he discussed his Husky candidacy with Toronto officials to gauge their feelings as well as with Harrison Hills’ officials and their interest as well. He did admit he was a bit surprised Kropka did step down but acknowledged it was a big decision on his part considering how much time he’d devoted to Harrison Central High School.
Hayes said this is more than just about football noting how important the sport is to the community and added that his wife and kids involved in the community makes it that much more special. He said he’s anxious to get to work on Monday and expects some good talent to return to the team this coming season.
“I’m very grateful to the board of education who afforded me this opportunity,” Hayes said. “This is more than just a football job.”
“I feel he did the right thing by Toronto,” Taggart said of Hayes noting his transparency with Toronto officials and notified them that he was a candidate at Harrison. Taggart said they had a plan in place all along in case Hayes did leave. She said that according to Ohio law, Hayes had until July 10 to notify the school.
“We wish him no ill will and hope he has a great season,” Taggart said.