Centennial names Wagner football coach

Hill steps down as AD, to remain basketball coach

High Schools

March 26, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Jamie Wagner, Centennial's varsity defensive football coordinator last season, said he looked around the gym recently at the many championship banners that hang from the rafters and he failed to find a single one for football.

He'll have a chance to change that.

Wagner has been named to replace Ross Hannon as the Eagles football coach, said Centennial athletic director Jim Hill yesterday.

Hill also announced that he has resigned as athletic director effective at the end of this season. It is a job he has held less than one year. Hill will remain as the boys varsity basketball coach.

"After Ross resigned, I looked at our staff, which is very dedicated, and I was interested in the job right away," said Wagner. "There's no reason we can't be a respectable program immediately, and in the near future contend for a county title."

Wagner, 36, spent five years as the junior varsity coach at Centennial and one year coaching JV at Mount Hebron.

He teaches reading at Burleigh Manor Middle School, a job he began last August. Before that, he taught nine years at Northfield Elementary School.

"I've had some great role models, starting with when I played at Haverford High in Pa.," said Wagner. "I had three different coaches there. And when I first came to Centennial, Ed Holshue was the head coach, and I learned the way that he did things and that turned out to be the best move I ever made."

Holshue stepped down as head coach after the 2001 season.

"He [Wagner] did a tremendous job for me," said Holshue.

Wagner said he would stress accountability, work ethic, fundamentals and discipline.

He already has begun working with the team in the weight room.

"We're implementing the Bigger, Faster, Stronger Program that Glenelg uses and have kick-started that this week," Wagner said.

He will have three returning assistant coaches, including Chad Hollwedell, Ken Senisi and Chris Beil.

"He's an outstanding teacher and role model," said Hollwedell, a physics teacher. "I've worked with him for seven years and he has a great way of dealing with people and kids and knows how to get positive responses. He makes everyone around him a better coach. This is a great direction for the program."

Wagner is the third replacement football coach in the county for next fall. He joins Dave Glenn at Howard and Joe Lewis at Reservoir.

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