By Mitch Spinell
NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio - New Philadelphia High School will recommend Mike Johnson as its next head football coach at the next regular Board of Education meeting on Jan. 11, the school announced Monday.
Johnson, a 2001 graduate of New Philadelphia, has been a teacher and assistant coach with the school since 2009 and had recently served as the Quakers' offensive coordinator. He will succeed current New Philadelphia administrator Matt Dennison after Dennison resigned as head coach following the 2020 season.
The goal will be to maintain what we have here with our football program and to build on that success,” Johnson told the Times-Reporter on Monday. “I’m really excited to get started. We have a great staff and a great bunch of kids and they already know how to work hard – we’re really blessed to have the dedicated coaches and players that we do here.”
Dennison stated in the announcement that Johnson "is a perfect fit for our program right now. He is energetic, organized, and builds great relationships with the players. We look forward to him continuing our proud tradition and building upon it. I am confident that the program will grow and flourish under Coach Johnson’s leadership."
"Through a very competitive candidate pool Coach Johnson was clearly the right person to lead our football program,’ stated Superintendent Dave Brand. ‘Coach Johnson is a great coach and an even better person. We look forward to him leading our Quaker student-athletes to victory both on and off the field.”
Johnson, a graduate of The Ohio State University, takes over after an 18-year run for Dennison with the Quakers, in which the latter compiled a school-record 142 wins, along with twelve playoff appearances and four East Central Ohio League championships. This past season, the Quakers finished at 7-2 with a run to the Division III, Region 9, regional semifinal. They also finished ranked No. 9 in the state poll and accomplished a rivalry win over Dover (21-13) and an upset 31-0 shutout to Steubenville.