Vermilion will begin searching for a new football coach to lead the program in 2017.
The school confirmed that Rob Duray will not be back for a sixth season, in what athletic director Andrew Stillman described as a “mutual decision,” adding that the school decided not to renew his contract.
The position has not been posted, but Stillman said he is confident the school will be able to find a strong candidate as applications have already started filing in. Priorities for the program going forward will be to increase participation numbers and field a full junior varsity schedule.
Duray did not return calls seeking comment.
“We really appreciate what Rob has done as far as taking us to that next plateau,” Stillman said. “He was able to stabilize the program at a time of turmoil there. He’s been a good leader, and was 4-6 (in 2015), which was the most wins they’d seen in quite awhile. He did a really good job as far as being that leader and helping the program get to that next plateau.”
Duray joined Vermilion in May of 2012 and brought stability to the program. The Sailors had gone through three coaches in three years prior to his arrival with a
2-28 record during that span, ending 2011 on an eight-game losing streak.
The Sailors went 12-38 in Duray’s five seasons with the team. Vermilion started 2-0 in 2016, but ended the season on an eight-game losing streak — including a 0-7 record in its inaugural season as a member of the Sandusky Bay Conference.
Vermilion competed as an independent for three of Duray’s first four seasons, and played in the West Shore Conference his first year. Conference stability has already paid dividends for the program in giving it a stable schedule, a chance to build rivals and postseason accolades for players to shoot for.
“You get to see the same teams and get to know those kids from the surrounding communities and we just hadn’t had that,” Stillman said.
“Already we’re seeing across the board a huge benefit to us being in the SBC. I think it’s a great fit both community wise and athletics wise.”
Prior to his time with the Sailors, Duray spent 10 years in various assistant coaching roles — starting with Bishop Watterson and Westerville South High School. He was an assistant at Otterbein College, worked on the coaching staff at The Ohio State University’s summer football camp and spent the three years prior to taking the Vermilion job as the defensive coordinator for Rocky River.
Contact Chris Sweeney at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org