Taz Wallace to serve as Morenci football coach 01.05.2011

Written by David Green.

taz.wallace.jpgMorenci has a new head football coach in place for 2011 season and he’ll turn his attention to lining up support staff.

Morenci’s board of education met in a special session Wednesday to hire the district’s athletic director, Taz Wallace, as head coach. Wallace’s role as AD presented a challenge.

Normally, the AD would be part of the hiring process, said Morenci superintendent Michael Osborne, but not when he was also an applicant. As soon as Wallace applied for the job, he was completely out of the hiring process.

“The first thing the board did was to make a decision on Taz,” he said. “If we said ‘no’ to him, then we would want to have him in on the process.”

Contact was made with some other districts that have athletic directors who also coach to see how they handle the situation. Concerns were expressed about evaluating the coach and also about the perception of fairness that the AD would show toward the district’s other sports.

Those discussions led the board to choose Wallace who is seen as a well-qualified person already on the school staff.

In discussing Wallace, Osborne said a concern was raised about his limited coaching experience—three years as an assistant with the Adrian High School team—but he was highly recommended by Adrian’s staff who wishes it had a way to work him into their own coaching staff.

“I think he’s talented enough that other schools would like to use him,” Osborne said, referring to Wallace’s coaching abilities as well as his other skills. He also serves as a behavioral specialist in Morenci.

“He’s already in the district, he has connections with the students, he cares about kids and his heart is in the right place,” Osborne said. “I spoke with the board members and they’re all confident in the decision made.”

The bottom line for him, Osborne said, is that Wallace is the sort of individual he want to have for his own children’s coach.

Osborne spoke of the need to have some continuity in both the athletic director and coach roles. Wallace shares that concern and said he intends to remain with the job.

Wallace went to high school at Madison and played football with Adrian College where he was a three-time All-American linebacker. Linebacker coaching was his primary duty when he was with Adrian High School’s program.

“I’m excited about it. I hope to get a coaching staff in place in the next few weeks,” Wallace said. “An offensive coordinator will be the first person.”

Wallace said he also spoke with a football coach who serves as athletic director and that conversation gave him the confidence that he could successfully handle both jobs.

Five candidates applied for the job, Osborne said, including two from out of state.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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