Hillsboro seeks new coach
By JEFF GILLILAND
HILLSBORO — The Hillsboro City Schools are looking for a new head football coach, superintendent Rick Earley confirmed late Friday.
The school posted the job opening on its website Thursday, but coach Brian Spicer said Friday he had actually informed the school a month ago that he was not interested in returning next year as football coach.
In four seasons at Hillsboro, Spicer’s team compiled an overall record 12-28, with consecutive records of 8-2, 2-8, 2-8 and 0-10.
Spicer said he decided to leave because he not happy with what he considered a lack of support.
“I asked for things and tried different things and I just don’t think I was really able to do what I wanted to do,” Spicer said. “It’s kind of like of divorce; irreconcilable differences.”
Spicer said he had a group of people that supported what he was trying to do, “but the bottom line is I work with the people in the building and if they don’t share the same ideas I have, it makes it kind of hard.”
It’s unlikely, Spicer said, that he would return to Hillsboro next year as a teacher. “I’m not done coaching and hopefully I’ll find a job this winter,” he said. “My biggest regret is that I’ll have to move, more than likely, and my kids, I’m sure they don’t want to move again.”
A graduate of Massillon Washington High School, a town where babies are given footballs when they are born, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Spicer came to Hillsboro after a one-year stint at Albany High School in New York. Prior to that, he had been an assistant coach at Waggener Traditional High School in Louisville, Ky. and Carrollton High School in Ohio, and a head coach for two years at East Canton HIgh School, three years at Marlington High School in Alliance, six years at Marietta High School and one year at Albany.
He said his biggest disappointments in Hillsboro were a change-over in administrative personnel, depleting athletic ability over the next few years, and that he never received a stipend for helping in the school’s weight room that he claims had been promised to him.
Spicer said his bluntness in saying that the school currently lacks enough football talent probably didn’t win him any supporters.
“I’m not a guy who blows smoke. I just ain’t,” he said. “If you’re not good enough, I’m going to tell you that. I think in the long term you’re doing the kids a disservice if don’t do that…”
Spicer said that while there might currently be a lack of football talent at Hillsboro, he loves the kids who are there currently, and have played for him in the past. He said his first year at HHS was wonderful.
“Of all the places I’ve been, my first year here was the best first year of all, by far. And I’m grateful for that,” Spicer said. “The players, coaches, parents, everybody bought in to what we were trying to do.”
According to the Hillsboro schools’ website, applications are being accepted for the head football coaching position through Dec. 29. Early said that after that, the applications will be reviewed and the administrative staff will try to make a decision.
“Right now we’re just opening it up and trying to find the best person possible,” Earley said.
He said the district is not set on hiring someone currently in the system or someone outside of it, but that if they hire someone outside the school system they’d also have to find a teaching position for them.
Spicer is a math teacher.
“I could stay here and try to work through everything and be miserable, or I can move on and try to find something a little better. That’s really all it is,” Spicer said. “I’m not bitter. It’s just not working out and that’s the way it is.”