Needing to find a head varsity football coach late in the spring, Willard High School turned to a familiar name in Sandusky Bay Conference circles on Friday.
The school announced the hiring of 23-year old Kade Long, a 2015 Clyde graduate, as the new head coach of the Crimson Flashes.
“Coach Long brings a fantastic football pedigree along with a passion and enthusiasm for the game,” Willard athletic director Joe Crawford said. “He is one of the best young coaching minds in our area and the state of Ohio.
“Our student-athletes are fortunate to have him as their head coach,” he added. “We’re excited to welcome Coach Long to our Willard community.”
Long replaces Britton Devier, who resigned on May 6 after three seasons at the school. Devier was hired on May 13 as the head coach at Riverdale High School in Mount Blanchard. After recently earning his doctorate, he will also be a professor of Technological Studies at Ohio Northern University in Ada.
An All-Ohio linebacker for the Fliers, Long continued his education and athletic career at NCAA Division II Tiffin University.
In 2016, Long served as the linebackers and offensive line coach at SBC River Division member Lakota. He was the defensive coordinator for the Raiders in 2017, along with the junior varsity head coach.
Last season, Long was co-defensive coordinator at Tiffin Columbian, helping the Tornadoes go from 0-10 to 8-3 and SBC Lake co-champions.
As a senior at Clyde, Long finished with 138 tackles (16 for loss) in 2014. He started on the Fliers’ state semifinal team (Div. III) in 2013 and their regional runners-up team in 2014.
Willard is coming off a 5-5 season in 2018, which included a 4-3 mark in the River Division. The Flashes lost two games by a combined eight points.
In 2019, Willard will move up to the SBC Bay Division with the likes of Edison, Huron, Oak Harbor, Port Clinton and Vermilion.
The Flashes also take on South Central, Plymouth, Seneca East, Ravenna Southeast and Lucas in non-league games.