By Thomas Oide,
Additional reporting by Nate Curtis,
After reviewing over a pool of more than 20 applicants, the DHS football team has its new football coach: former Christian Brothers defensive coordinator John Wylie.
Wylie was selected over two of the greatest players to ever don a Blue Devil jersey: nose guard Jason Fisk, whose son Tucker will be sophomore tight end next year, and star running back Marc Hicks, who served as an interim coach during the 2013 season.
Hicks guided the Blue Devils to a 5-5 season.
Both players and coaches alike are already getting excited for the new season under the guidance of the former All-Southeastern conference defensive back, who played at Auburn University and also has some experience playing in the NFL.
“I don’t personally know coach Wylie yet, but I can tell you I have heard from numerous people that he is a great coach,” linebackers coach Joe Carnazzo said. “I know he has had success at high levels of football and I’m very excited for this upcoming season and the new culture that he will bring over. I think it’s gonna be a great season.”
The experience that Wylie has is what excites players for next season.
“Judging from his prior experience, I’m extremely excited to see how this season will play out,” sophomore Danny Medina said. “But I’m mostly looking forward to having a coach who actually played in the NFL.”
As for the changes made in the Blue Devil program, Carnazzo is not sure what Wylie will implement. The Blue Devils will be going through their third coach in three years, which usually means three changes in offensive and defensive schemes.
“Marc Hicks and Steve Smyte have done a great job building the program and laying the framework for coach Wylie to come in,” Carnazzo said. “I’m sure he will have some of his own thought and ideas that he will institute but for the most part I think the framework has been laid, and he will be able to come right in and be successful.”
And if Wylie’s success at Christian Brothers is any indication of his coaching talent, the Blue Devils could be a dark horse in next year’s Delta Valley League, which will include area powerhouses Pleasant Grove, Jesuit, Franklin, Elk Grove, and Grant.
Last year, Wylie’s defense recorded 123 tackles for loss, 14 picks, and averaged nearly three sacks per game, which led the Falcons to a 9-4 record, and a 4-1 record in league.
Wylie will have a talented group of defensive backs to work with, led by emerging safeties Nate Curtis and Bailey Yarrow, as well as last year’s JV shutdown cornerback Will Bodendorfer.