ELYRIA — Sean Arno will not be back next year as Elyria High’s football coach.
That decision was made Friday, according to athletic director Heather Beck, who said Arno’s contract as head football coach will not be renewed.
The Pioneers had just one win in two seasons under Arno and this year’s 0-10 mark was the first time the school didn’t win a game since 1911 when it finished 0-6-2.
“The kids tried hard,” said Arno, who will remain as Elyria’s athletic coordinator. “They really played hard. I had great support from the administration and good support from my coaching staff. I really think better days are coming for Elyria’s football team.”
“We appreciate his work the past two years,” Beck said. “The district is now exploring new opportunities for the next season.”
Beck said the position will be posted on the school’s website at www.elyriaschools.org beginning next week.
“We’ll start the process and hopefully start interviewing the first part of December,” Beck said.
Beck said she hadn’t talked to any of Elyria’s assistant coaches and did not know if any were interested in applying for the job. One of Arno’s assistants is longtime line coach Steve Hamilton, who held the head coaching position from 2007-10, going 11-29.
Arno’s other assistants include David Banyasz, Dominique Goodwin, Ryan Morgan, Anthony Quinn, Damon Stewart, Steve Vranic and Eric Zagrans.
The deck seemed stacked against Arno. The lack of depth and an extremely strong Greater Cleveland Conference schedule made it tough for the Pioneers to compete.
Elyria’s only win under Arno came last season against Shaker Heights when the Pioneers rallied from a 20-0 deficit to win 31-28. Since that game Elyria has lost 14 in a row.
Arno had returned to Elyria, where he was the freshman football coach before leaving in 2004.
He took over a losing program at Albany Alexander, which had lost 45 straight conference games when he got there. Arno built the program into a winner and was the conference Coach of the Year in 2009.
Just prior to being hired at Elyria, Arno spent three seasons at Wellington where he went 10-20 but improved the record from 2-8 to 3-7 and finally to 5-5 when he left.
This year the Pioneers were outscored 440-91. Two of Elyria’s opponents — Bedford and Brunswick — won only one game — but both shut out the Pioneers.
Arno took over the program from Kevin Fell, who is now the coach at Tri-Valley, which lost a playoff game to Wadsworth on Friday to finish 10-2. Fell was Elyria’s coach for six seasons and compiled a 37-26 record with three playoff appearances.
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.