East Chapel Hill High School plans to announce Mike Holderman of Conway (N.H.) Kennett as the Wildcats’ new football head coach Monday.
Holderman will be East Chapel Hill’s third head coach in three years. He will step into a job left vacant last spring after 2013 coach Jon Sherman opted to leave East Chapel Hill following a 3-8 finish in his one season as head coach.
“I’m really, really looking forward to the challenge,” Holderman said Friday.
Kennett finished 5-4 in each of Holderman’s three seasons at the New Hampshire high school, reaching the state’s Division III playoffs last fall.
Holderman, 37, grew up in football-rich eastern Pennsylvania and played football at Hazelton (Pa.) Area High School. He was an all-conference tight end at Delaware Valley College in 1998 and then served four years on the football staff at his alma mater. Holderman began his prep coaching career as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Boyertown Area (Pa.) Senior High School from 2004 to 2009, then took over at Kennett.
Holderman informed Kennett’s players Thursday of his decision.
“It was definitely a very emotional meeting. There weren’t a lot of dry eyes in the room,” Holderman said. “I haven’t cried that much in a long, long time.”
Ray Hartsfield, athletics director for East Chapel Hill, said Holderman had both the expertise and enthusiasm the Wildcats were seeking.
“We didn’t want a one- or two-year person. We wanted somebody who really wanted to be part of our community,” Hartsfied said. “This is where he wants to be and wants to raise his children.”
Holderman and his wife, Jessica, have two children: Faith, age 4, and 5-month-old Colbie.
Holderman still must be confirmed by the local school board as a math teacher at East before he can assume his duties officially.
The teaching position was a factor in Holderman’s selection, Hartsfield said. East wants its football coach to be on the full-time faculty.
Sherman taught civics and U.S. history at East before leaving to take an assistant coaching job at Fayetteville Byrd. He was preceded as East head coach by Bill Renner, who taught physical education and compiled a 9-24 record in his three years coaching at East.