Youth served: Columbia looks to Brady Mathias as next football head coach | high school football


At the ripe old age of 25, Brady Mathias was given the keys to his own Lancaster-Lebanon League football programme. And it’s a story.

The former Hempfield football player and wrestler and Millersville University graduate has won school board approval to become Columbia coach, as Mathias takes over from Bud Kyle, who resigned from his post earlier this year after guiding the Crimson Tide to the Section 4 Championship and District Playoffs last fall.

Kyle then took the vacant football coaching job across the river at Eastern York in Wrightsville, and Mathias, who has coached in the Hempfield and Columbia programs for the past eight years, now has Tide’s big football office chair.

“I’m delighted with this opportunity,” said Mathias, a 2015 Hempfield graduate. “Yes, I’m 25. I am a young coach. And that’s the question I got the most from everyone: are you ready for this? I have a great opportunity here, and I have great support here, with everything. Administration. The community. You need these support groups to keep a program going.

Under Kyle, Columbia is 19-29 the past five seasons, including an 8-2 record last fall when the Tide won their first division crown since 2002 and advanced to the Class 2A District 3 playoffs as the No. 2 seed.

Columbia fell to Upper Dauphin in that game, but the Tide averaged 45 points and a league-high 447 yards per game, and several players on that team are set to return later this fall when Mathias calls the shots. .

Mathias, now the youngest head coach in the LL League, was a linebacker and long snapper during his playing days for Hempfield, where he captained the team in his senior season. While working on his high school graduation in Millersville, Mathias returned to the Black Knights program to serve as assistant defensive coordinator and inside linebacker coach for the ninth-grade team, and defensive assistant with the university.

The past two years he’s been an offensive and defensive line assistant under Kyle on the Columbia staff, and Mathias has spent the past three years serving as McCaskey’s assistant wrestling coach, while teaching high school social studies at Columbia. Columbia.

“They were all great experience creators,” Mathias told LNP. “I’ve been coaching since I graduated from high school, and even though I’m 25, I felt like I had the experience to get into head coaching, and after discussing it with my wife, I applied. Being in the building is definitely a positive. And our kids are great. Taking over now after Bud’s success over the past two years here, I hope I will can continue to drive.

The Tide will have to do it minus the all-state quarterback Robert Footman, who will bring his talents to Millersville in the fall. But tough running back Steven Rivas, talented receivers Dominic Diaz-Ellis, Darius Diaz-Ellis and Artie Poindexter, and a trio of starting offensive linemen are all scheduled to return for Columbia summer camp drills.

“We are in a good position,” said Mathias. “The children are enthusiastic about our football program. There is a buzz around the program. We’ll probably see some changes in regards to the scheme because we won’t have that all-state quarterback coming back. But we have returning kids who will definitely fit into our programs and be ready for Friday night football under the lights.

With the hiring of Mathias, this leaves a vacant coaching position in LL League football circles: Conestoga Valley. The Buckskins brass are currently in the maintenance phase, while the CV seems replacing longtime skipper Gerad Novak.

Earlier this offseason, McCaskey retired the interim tag and named Ben Thompson as full-time coach; Keith Stokes took over the Elizabethtown program after the departure of Andy Breault; and Mike Choi returned to his post in Pequea Valleyafter the resignation of Jeff Werner.

TWITTER: @JeffReinhart77

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