RACINE, Ohio — Four years was long enough.
Mike Chancey, who after 19 seasons resigned as Meigs football coach in March of 2012, was hired on Monday to coach the Southern Tornadoes on the gridiron next fall.
“When I got out of coaching four years ago I really thought that I’d probably be done,” Chancey said. “Every year that’s gone by, I’ve missed it just a little bit more. I missed the kids, I missed the camaraderie of my coaching staff and I just missed the competitiveness of the game of football. When this job came open it gave me an opportunity to not only get back into coaching, but also be able to bring my staff back together.”
Chancey coached the Marauders to a 103-87 between the years of 1993 and 2011. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment at MHS was leading the Maroon and Gold to its first and only postseason appearance, in 2008. With Chancey at the helm, Meigs recorded 11 winning seasons and won two conference titles.
“Once the decision was made that the board was going to go after another football coach, we were going through candidates and Coach Chancey applied,” Southern Local Superintendent Anthony Deem said. “I mean, his qualifications are just unbelievable for a high school football coach. With his success in the past it was pretty much a no-brainer that we were going to bring him here.”
While Chancey may directly be linked with the Marauders — graduating from MHS in 1986 as an All-Ohioan in football and basketball — he also has some ties to his new destination.
“It kind of feels like coming back home a little bit,” said Chancey. “I grew up in Syracuse, and went to Southern Local Schools until I was in the sixth grade. There are a lot of good people here in the Southern Local School District, and there are a lot good kids. I’m just excited about the opportunity to coach football and work with these guys.”
Chancey will be replacing Kyle Wickline, whose renewal was voted down by a 4-to-1 count by the Southern Local Schools Board of Education, in December. Wickline, the 2013 AP Division VII co-coach of the year, amassed a 24-37 record in six seasons on the gridiron and led the Purple and Gold to their first and only playoff berth in 2013.
“We want to continue building a strong program,” Chancey said. “We want to work together with everybody and do our best to build a program that everybody here at Southern High School and in the community can be proud of.”
Chancey, who was a graduate assistant for the Ohio University football team for two seasons, will be joined at Southern by his staff that has a combined 90-plus years of coaching experience.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.