Dunbar hires alumnus Mitchell to coach football Position to be temporary, pending probe of Pompey

August 14, 1993|By Jerry Bembry and Lem Satterfield | Jerry Bembry and Lem Satterfield,Staff Writers

When Stan Mitchell was asked a week ago if he would be interested in the football coaching job at Dunbar High School, he considered himself a long-shot at best. Yet after throwing his hat into the ring he spent the next several days making phone calls to some of his buddies.

"I said, 'maybe I need to start putting a coaching staff together,' " Mitchell said yesterday. "Just in case."

It all became a reality yesterday as Mitchell, after a 45-minute interview with Dunbar principal Charlotte Brown, was hired as interim football coach. In accepting the part-time position, Mitchell will replace Pete Pompey, who is on administrative leave with pay while an investigation considers allegations of misuse of athletic department funds.

"It feels real good, and I'm anxious to get started," said Mitchell, who is an assistant director of facility operations and resident life at Morgan State. "You never think that you'll get a chance to coach at your alma mater. I'm happy to be with such a high profile program."

When Mitchell meets with his team for the first day of practice this morning, it will be a big change from the coaching responsibilities he is accustomed to.

The 45-year-old alumnus of Dunbar and Morgan State has gained his reputation coaching the Northwood Rams Pop Warner team, an 11-13 year-old team that two years ago won a national championship.

"I know it's different, but I don't think it will be that much of an adjustment period," Mitchell said. "I was a volunteer assistant under both [former Dunbar coach Bob Wade] and Pompey.

Some of the players know me because some of the players have played for me. It should be no problem at all."

Several area coaches who were asked yesterday about Dunbar's new hire had nothing but praise for the program Mitchell helped build at Northwood Recreation Center.

"He ran an excellent program," said Obie Barnes, coach at Forest Park. "I've seen their games, and Stan's a good disciplinarian. He knows the game, and he relates well with kids. It hurts to see what happened with Pompey, but Stan's a good man."

Mark Schlenoff, athletic director at Poly, doesn't know Mitchell, but said he has seen enough of the Northwood team to have gained respect for Mitchell.

"The Northwood program has been one of the catalysts for the kids in the Northeast community improving their football skills," Schlenoff said.

Mitchell was a defensive back and linebacker at Dunbar, but didn't play football at Morgan. He later played five years with the Hanover (Pa.) Rhinos, a semipro football team, and was hired by the Northwood program when he had finished playing.

Anthony Clark, a former All-County player at Andover (now North County) and a 1989 graduate of Morgan State, will join the staff as an assistant varsity coach. Rodney Coffield, a 1981 Dunbar graduate who was an All-Metro quarterback, will coach the junior varsity and also will be a substitute teacher.

"These are interim positions we're hiring for," said Brown, who added she has no timetable to find an athletic director or a basketball coach, pending the the current investigation. "Our emphasis is on the academic program. Any student who wants to play sports at Dunbar must also be successful in academics."

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