Greyhounds find top dawg

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 Matt Jordan, pictured above with his wife, Kate, will take over as head coach for the Grove City High School football team. He officially accepted the position on March 10. His main goal is to get the Greyhounds back on top.

Boasting seven years of head-coaching experience, three playoff berths, and a winning career record overall, the new head coach of the Grove City High School football team, Matt Jordan hopes to restore respect for the fallen powerhouse.

"Our job is to get this program turned around, because there is a great tradition in Grove City football," said Jordan.

After qualifying for the playoffs in 2005, the Dawgs endured back-to-back losing seasons, beginning in 2006 when they finished with a record of 4-6. Last season the team finished 2-8.

"They haven’t fallen that far, in my opinion," said an optimistic Jordan. "The plan is to get the off-season program in place first."

The Painesville, Ohio resident and his wife, Kate, along with two sons, 5-year-old David and 3-year-old Stephen, plan to move to Grove City in June after the school year ends, however, Jordan has made several trips to Grove City in order to hire a new coaching staff since accepting the position on March 10.

"I do think differently," said Jordan. "It will take a little bit of time for me to adjust to them (the staff), and for them to adjust to me."

Another concern for Jordan is team morale.

"The kids need to believe in themselves," said Jordan.

Once the season approaches, Jordan expects team members to engage in bonding activities, such as trips to the movies or sports tournaments, in order to interact with each other outside of practice.

Jordan’s methods are based in a combined seven years of head-coaching experience. He spent four years at Garrettsville High School, a Division IV school in Garfield, Ohio, before coaching the next three years, including this past season, at Riverside High School in Painesville, a Division I school. In that amount of time, Jordan accumulated a record of 37-36.

The new coach and his wife initially decided to move to Columbus in order to be closer to friends and family before Jordan was contacted for the job as head coach at Grove City High School.

"It was just a great opportunity to take over a school (program) that had a tradition of football excellence that had been on the downward slide," he said.

Along with the position of head coach, Jordan was given a non-specific teaching position by the South-Western City School District. He has taught history and government classes for 10 years.

Though Jordan has experience coaching for a Division I football team, he looks forward to coaching at the level of competition that the Ohio Capital Conference (OCC) offers.

"Every week is a pretty big week," said Jordan.

Ultimately, he hopes to put the Dawgs back on top.

"It’s our job to bring back respect and pride and get them (the players) fired up about football again. And that’s what we plan on doing."

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