Larry Getts resigned Monday as Crawfordsville’s head football coach just three weeks before the first day of practice for the upcoming season. Sean Gerold will replace Getts on an interim basis this year.
Bryce Barton, director of athletics, said Getts “felt that it was in everyone’s best interest to resign,” citing philosophical differences. Getts also struggled to put together a coaching staff after losing all of his assistants after the 2017 season.
“To be a football coach, it’s a major time requirement when you include meetings, film sessions and summer workouts,” Barton said. “I think many of the staff members from previous years will come back to serve on the staff because there probably won’t be as much of the demand from the time standpoint and it probably won’t be quite as strenuous. And I think there probably were some philosophical differences that kept them from wanting to fulfill that role. I think it’s all just philosophical and time.”
The first day of practice for the 2018 season is July 30 and the season opener at Greencastle is Aug. 17. And while the timing for a coaching change is less than ideal, things are expected to go relatively smooth with Gerold. He’s been a part of the program as a varsity assistant since 2014. Before that, Gerold had previously filled the Athenians head coaching position for four seasons, from 2009-12.
“It’s been a whirlwind, putting together a coaching staff and getting people on board,” Gerold said. “Now it’s going to be about recruiting the kids.”
It starts with a player/parent meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Crawfordsville High School auditorium. The team scrimmage originally scheduled for Thursday has been canceled and Gerold plans to really hit the ground running next week.
“Getting in the basics of what we want to do offensively and defensively,” Gerold said. “Sure, we’ve missed out on five weeks beforehand, but it can be done. The season is geared straight for the kids. It’s doing what’s best for our school, our community and our kids.”
Gerold said he had five assistant coaches lined up by Monday morning, which Barton hopes to make official after Thursday’s school board meeting. Gerold was one of six assistants listed on last year’s roster who had stepped away in the offseason. The athletic department had been trying to recruit a new staff since at least mid-May.
Getts did not return messages seeking comment, but he’s expected to remain at Crawfordsville in his current teaching role in the physical education department.
Getts was hired in January 2015 to replace Mike Hammons and rebuild a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2007 when the Athenians went 7-4. In Getts’ two years, the team went 2-18, including 0-10 last season.
Getts came to Crawfordsville after five years at Bellmont, where he got the football back on track and went 10-3 with a sectional title and Northeast 8 Conference championship in his final season there. He had also turned around a struggling program at Fort Wayne Wayne that was 2-28 in the three years prior to 2005 when he took over. By the time Getts left in 2009, the Generals had a winning record and twice landed in the sectional finals.
He left Fort Wayne Wayne when he was laid off due to budget and personnel cuts. He was hired as the football coach at South Bend Adams in February 2011 but then left for Bellmont that May, without ever coaching a game in South Bend, after the school corporation failed to come up with a teaching position for him to fill.