Wilmington, OH –The Wilmington College athletic department announced on December 19 that the new head football coach would be Stacey Hairston. Hairston, a former Ohio Athletic Conference football player and a player for both the Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys, has since had time to become acclimated with the city of Wilmington, the college and the Quaker football team. Fresh out of a Defensive Coordinator position at Bluefield College, in Virginia, Hairston is excited about being in Wilmington.
“I’ve been out to some restaurants and down to Wal-Mart and everybody is very nice and welcoming, and I try to introduce myself to as many people as possible. On campus—I can’t say enough good things about it —everybody is very excited. Miracles do not happen overnight but my goal is to do things my way and my style. Everything has been excellent.”
Hairston has also had time to solidify the rest of the coaching staff for the upcoming season. Greg Forest, will be taking over as the team’s Offensive Coordinator after two seasons at Buffalo State, where he held the same position. Forest, an Ohio Northern Graduate, worked under current Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly. Andrew Fries will take over as the offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. Fries is a former Otterbein athlete and also served a graduate assistant for the Cardinals. Hairston also adds Bryce Bozman, who will take over as the team strength and conditioning coordinator and defensive line coach. Bozman, another a Bluefield College alumnus, brings with him knowledge that he acquired during two years in the United States Army, in which he served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I think our coaching staff is very excited and they are looking forward to getting to work and getting some new faces in here, as far as recruiting, and making the current guys we have better,” said Hairston.
In his first weeks Hairston has also had the opportunity to meet his new team. The Quakers will return twelve offensive players with starting experience, including Quarterback Brandon Arehart, Running Back Alex Koyfis and an offensive line which includes two year starters Tyler DeVore, Jeremy McCoy, Scott Duncan and one year starter Tyler Johnson. The defensive also has fourteen returning players with varsity experience, including senior defensive linemen Donnie Ary and Chris Ferguson along with secondary players Joe Knecht and Trevor Hooker. The Quakers also return linebackers Gunner Calhoun and Jason Phillips.
“I have gotten to know guys on the team, as far as personality, and I also see we have some very good athletes. Guys are trying hard. My goal is to make sure we continue to grow them. We need to make them stronger and improve their mental toughness. I want to maximize our team potential.”
The football team comes into the season after finishing last season with a record 1-9 (1-8 in OAC competition) looking for ways to advance the program. The offensive averaged just nine points per game and the defense averaged giving up forty-four.
“I cannot talk a lot about football because we are not out on the field yet. My concern is making the team better now. We still have eight months until our first game. There’s a lot that will happen between now and then. Our guys will be built up mentally and physically and will gain toughness. When it comes to academics we will keep our guys focused because we have to improve our academic awareness in the classroom and our overall team GPA.”
Hairston adds many things to the football program, among them energy and experience but the one that seems to come out most dominantly in his personality is his unfaltering desire to win. He is a persistent competitor and sometimes admits it is to a fault.