For the third time since March, a Kanawha County high school has changed its football coach.
Chad Lovejoy has taken over as coach at Sissonville, replacing Marc Wilson, who left after six seasons and three Class AA playoff berths. Lovejoy has served as the Indians’ offensive coordinator the past three seasons, during which time they averaged more than 32 points per game.
The 41-year-old Lovejoy is a 1998 graduate of Nitro, where he played slot and cornerback on some of the Wildcats’ most successful teams, a stretch that led into their 1998 Class AAA championship team.
Lovejoy said he hoped to build on some of the successes he and Wilson had put together in recent years.
“Marc and I are best friends, and I hated for him to go,’’ Lovejoy said. “A lot of the things he and I established here is what we’re going to continue to do. Offensively, we’ll be pretty much the same, though we may have to get a little creative since we don’t have [graduated All-Stater] Dylan Griffith or that kind of kid in the backfield. Defensively, we’ve brought in Wes Price from Scott High and West Virginia State [to coach].’’
Since stepping down at Sissonville, Wilson has taken a job teaching at Mifflin High School in Columbus, Ohio, and will coach at Johnstown-Monroe in nearby Johnstown, Ohio. Wilson previously coached in the Columbus area before coming to the Kanawha Valley to serve as an assistant on Donnie Mays’ staff at South Charleston. In 2015, Wilson took over at Sissonville.
Wilson went 38-20 in his six seasons at Sissonville and never posted a losing record. He led the Indians to a 5-0 regular-season mark and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs last season before a 42-27 loss to No. 16 Elkins in the first round.
“I’m happy for him,’’ Lovejoy said, “and I know he had to take what he did, and I’m glad he did. But if it was up to me, my son would have played for him, and he’s only in the fifth grade.’’
Lovejoy, who’s also a pastor, said he’d like to bring some of that background into his current position.
“Marc and I felt that kind of stuff is important,’’ Lovejoy said, “and I know it’s cliche to say, but it’s not just football. We’re trying to raise tomorrow’s fathers and tomorrow’s husbands and trying to teach them the bigger picture.
“When I get into them, they know I’m yelling to them and not at them. The best way to say it is that Marc planted a lot of seeds, and I look forward to planting a few of our own seeds, but to also water and cultivate a lot of the seeds planted under him.’’
In late June, Capital coach Jon Carpenter resigned after 11 seasons and 92 wins, including the 2014 Class AAA state championship. A replacement for Carpenter has yet to be determined by Kanawha County Schools, though longtime assistant Mark Mason is a candidate.
Mason has been running the Cougars’ workouts during the current three-week summer practice period.
In March, Nitro coach Zach Davis was asked to resign after three seasons.
He was replaced by one of his assistants, James “Boom’’ McKinney.
Davis, who was appointed coach at Buckhannon-Upshur on May 11, also served as coach at Riverside for three seasons before taking over at Nitro in 2018.