The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools board has confirmed former defensive coordinator Ryan Johnson as the 2015 football head coach for East Chapel Hill.
East Chapel Hill turned to Johnson almost immediately following 2014 head coach Mike Holderman’s announcement in late June that he would not return to the field this fall. With barely 30 days to go before the start of preseason practices Aug. 1, East’s athletics director Ray Hartsfield offered Johnson the post and the school board confirmed him at last Thursday’s meeting.
“It was a bit of a surprise,” Johnson said of being offered the position. He comes East Chapel Hill’s fourth head coach in four years.
Johnson served on Holderman’s staff last year as the Wildcats suffered through an 0-11 season.
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“Last year was discouraging,” Johnson said. “For those players coming back, it’s going to be in the back of their heads on the first day of practice. It’s going to motivate them to work hard and not let it happen again.”
In the classroom, Johnson works with exception children at East Chapel Hill.
Holderman and Jon Sherman each coached at East Chapel Hill for one season after Bill Renner retired following the 2012 season.
Renner volunteered the past two seasons at Pittsboro’s Northwood High School as an offensive coordinator. Sherman left East Chapel Hill to serve in 2013 as an assistant at Fayetteville Byrd and last spring was announced at the head football coach at Purnell Swett High School.
Holderman will continue to teach math at East Chapel Hill this coming school year and has no plans to join any football staff next season.
Johnson played on the defensive and offensive lines at Elon University. After graduating in 2004, he served as a football assistant at Graham, Eastern Guilford, Southwest Guilford, Southern Alamance and North Moore before arriving at East Chapel Hill. Last year, he also served as head coach of East's wrestling team.
The last three
East Chapel Hill will have its fourth football head coach in four years as soon as one is confirmed by the school board. The previous three (and their final regular-season’s record) are:
2012: Bill Renner (5-5*)
2013: Jon Sherman (3-8)
2014: Mike Holderman (0-11)
*East’s highest winning percentage for any season