The football program at London High School is about to get a major shot of youthful intensity and passion.
The London School Board approved the hiring of Kyle Cutler as the school’s new varsity football coach.
Cutler, 30, who has no prior head coaching experience, spent last season as the defensive coordinator and strength and conditioning coach at Bishop Ready High School in Columbus where he coached under his brother Joel. Cutler is a 2003 graduate of Jonathan Alder where he earned All-State honors and went on to play linebacker at Bowling Green State University.
“What we saw in Kyle was a confident coach with a lot of energy and passion,” London director of athletics Jimmy Wolverton said. “He hasn’t been a head coach before, but we think this is an excellent opportunity for him to establish himself and build a program.”
A selection committee that consisted of teachers, members of the community, school board members, administrators, building administrators and even student athletes all agreed that Cutler was the best man for the job.
“Not only did we get a good coach, but Kyle’s an even better person and will be a great addition to our staff,” Wolverton said. “He’s ready to lead and be the face of our football program.”
Cutler is excited about once again being part of the community he grew up in.
“There are good people in London, it’s always been that way,” Cutler said. “This wasn’t my first job offer but it was one I felt compelled to take. There’s a strong work ethic the people of London have and that’s something I definitely understand. I’m excited about this opportunity.
The district received more than 20 applicants for the position left vacant by the resignation of Jerry Wasserman less than a month ago. But it was Cutler, the Madison County native, who also served as an assistant at Dublin Coffman who stood out among the rest.
“All of us on the committee were in favor of hiring him,” Wolverton said. “His intensity and passion came through in the interview process. He’s ready to bring that same energy and passion to our football program.”
One of the biggest struggles London has had in recent years is tapping into and keeping younger athletes involved in the Red Raiders football program from the middle school through the high school level. Cutler’s youthful enthusiasm and positive energy should resonate well with the younger athletes he will be targeting for the program.
“I know he’s done his homework,” the athletic director said. “He’s already been talking about increasing numbers. In the past the kids in our program have seen the writing on the wall and know that they could keep their jobs without giving maximum effort all the time because there wasn’t anyone behind them.
“I think Coach Cutler will get people excited about our football program and maybe get some of those athletes that might not have been interested in football before to think about playing.”
“The good people never left London,” Cutler said. “Their interest in the football program might have over the years, but this is a proud community that supports its athletics and will definitely support the football program again.
“There’s no doubt we have to get the numbers back up. You do that by connecting with people and creating meaningful relationships and I plan on doing that. I want to make sure playing football is a valuable experience.”
Cutler played football at Jonathan Alder under coach Barry Blackstone, was a linebacker at Bowling Green State University and was a graduate assistant under Tim Beckman at the University of Toledo. He coached under his brother Joel at Ready, where the Silver Knights were 12-2 and made the state playoffs last fall, losing in the state semifinal.
Wolverton expects Cutler’s strength and conditioning background to benefit the Red Raiders immediately.
“I think once kids get stronger they gain a little more confidence in themselves. Our kids have been making strides in the weight room and I definitely expect that to continue with Coach Cutler.”
“Our strength and conditioning program will be based on the needs of the program,” the coach said. “It will be an injury-prevention approach. We’re going to train to be safe, that’s not necessarily performance based.
“If a parent puts a kid in my care I want to make sure he’s safe. Weight lifting and conditioning will help our kids learn a daily work ethic.”
The strength and conditioning program will surely help the new coach form a team to his liking.
“Our teams will be physical and disciplined, that will give us the best chance to win,” he said. “I will be extremely organized and will not be outworked. I’ve worked hard my whole life and I learned that from my parents.”
Cutler’s father is a dairy and grain farmer and his mother a teacher.
“I was impressed with the process London went through in finding a new coach,” he said. “Seeing how involved everyone was tells me everyone is on the same page. I think we can be successful here.”
Chris Miles can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 18 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.