Less than two months after Rod Huffman resigned as the West Greene High School head football coach, the district hired his replacement.
The district hired Brian Hanson as the new coach in a meeting late last week.
“We were absolutely flattered to have the pool of candidates for the position,” said West Greene athletic director Bill Simms. “Sometimes in Class A, you don’t attract a large number of candidates. We nearly had double digits.”
Hanson spent the last three seasons as the head coach at Wicomico High School in Salisbury, Md. He has previous coaching experience in indoor leagues and spent three years at York County School of Technology, including one season as the interim head coach.
“I saw the West Greene job was open and always wanted to coach in the WPIAL,” Hanson said. “The kids out there have some grit and the team is just on an upswing.”
From Eastern Pennsylvania, Hanson wrestled for a brief stint in the 1990s at then Waynesburg College before transferring to Pitt to play football as a walk-on.
He has spent several years as an offensive and defensive coordinator but having head coaching experience at the high school level was a factor that led to his hiring.
“We knew he would be use to the same pressures,” Simms said. “Some other candidates had it at some level but he had been a head coach at the varsity level. He is a bucket full of energy. He has a great approach. His overall nature, along with the football knowledge.”
Hanson will take over a program that was turned around by Huffman over the last four seasons. West Greene, which hadn’t made the playoffs since 1993, qualified for the postseason each of the past two seasons and finished with 7-4 records.
Huffman went 17-24 in four seasons at West Greene before resigning in January.
The Pioneers only lose six seniors to graduation. Quarterback Gavin Scott and running back Ben Jackson will return for their senior seasons behind an experienced offensive line. In the second game of last season, Jackson became the sixth running back in Greene County history to eclipse 4,000 career rushing yards. He ran for 1,541 yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior despite missing several games with an injury.
“I think on a daily basis I’m going to try to elevate kids inside and outside of the classroom,” Hanson said. “I consider myself pretty demanding. I want to see kids reach their potential. I’m going to expect an environment based on hard work. That’s the recipe for success, being great for things that don’t require talent. I want to create a championship-winning culture.”