Vermilion didn’t have to go far to find its next head football coach. In fact, athletic director Andrew Stillman just needed to look within the program to discover his guy.
After the sudden death of Matt Kobal on Nov. 17 left the Sailors without a coach, Stillman promoted offensive coordinator Brett Colahan. The Vermilion school board announced the hiring Monday.
“Humble, yet exciting,” Colahan said. “With the circumstance (of Kobal’s death), that’s not how I envisioned becoming the head coach.”
Stillman was happy the search for Kobal’s replacement didn’t take long.
“Brett is very experienced and he’s a very good fit for us,” Stillman said. “We wanted someone who knew the community and Brett lives in the community. He’s a teacher in the district and has children enrolled in the district.”
Colahan teaches mathematics at the high school. He will take over a Sailors team that went 5-5 overall and 1-5 in the Sandusky Bay Conference’s Bay Division last season.
“Everyone endorsed Brett to become the head coach,” Stillman said. “Everyone in the program is excited too for him to become the head coach.
“I didn’t want to announce the hiring of the new head coach too soon because of the passing of Coach Kobal. The kids already knew about the hiring of Coach Colahan, but I wanted to wait to announce it at the right time.”
Colahan joined Kobal’s staff last season after spending six seasons as an assistant coach at Huron High.
At Huron, he coached the defensive line, wide receivers and special teams. During his time with the Tigers, Huron made it to the playoffs three times, including two Division V appearances in 2013-14. The Tigers lost to Coldwater in the 2013 regional final. They also made a Division IV postseason appearance in 2011.
Colahan is in his second stint as a Vermilion coach. He coached the Sailors from 2005-10, where he served as the offensive coordinator from 2005-09 and the defensive coordinator in 2010.
Colahan’s best success as a coach came during his time at Piqua High from 1994-2004. He coached outside linebackers and kickers for the Indians from 1994-96, then became the team’s offensive coordinators in 1997. He was instrumental in helping the Indians reach the Division II state championship game in 2000, where they lost 21-0 to Olmsted Falls.
Colahan wants to continue to build on the success the Sailors saw in 2017. With the return of All-Lorain County quarterback Seth Hurd, the Sailors are aiming for a run at an SBC Bay Division championship next season.
“The staff we had last year will be the same,” Colahan said. “Offensively, we will be a spread formation and defensively, we will have an odd 3-4 look.
“I’m excited for the community and look forward to keep improving from last year.”