WEST PORTSMOUTH — There will be a new head football coach, and athletic director, on the West side next season.
That’s because Ben Johnson, the Senators’ mentor for the past seven years, has resigned those positions —as Johnson officially made the announcement on May 10.
Johnson is stepping down, and heading closer to home, as he has accepted the head football coaching position at Wayne High School — a Division I program in the greater Dayton area.
Johnson, with four state playoff appearances including a Division V regional semifinal berth and a 10-2 2017 record, went 38-36 in his seven seasons —including a 13-17 tally in the ever-difficult Southern Ohio Conference Division II.
He released an official statement expressing his “sincere thanks” to Washington-Nile Local Schools Superintendent Tony Bazler, the Washington-Nile Local Schools Board of Education, West High School Principal Chris Rapp, “and the community for their support throughout my time at West.”
“It has been a great honor and a dream come true for me to be the head football coach at West for the past seven seasons,” wrote Johnson. “I will be forever grateful for the opportunities I was given to grow professionally and personally and will cherish the experiences I have had. I am proud of the accomplishments the football program was able to achieve during my time as the head coach. I think our core values of discipline, sportsmanship, work ethic and personal responsibility were displayed each and every Friday night win or lose. Our team played hard, by the rules, and showed respect to our opponents and the officials. Our mission was to produce Good Men both on and off the field and I think we were very successful in that respect. While at West I was blessed to work with great assistant coaches and junior high coaches and I cannot thank them enough. Also, the parents and support staff have been a blessing to me. Finally, I want thank all of the present and former players for the dedication they gave to the West football program. I hope their experience was as positive as mine was. They helped me become a better coach and a better man. I wish them all the best in the future.”
He also thanked the district’s teachers and staff in his statement — “for supporting the football program and all of the athletic programs”.
Johnson won two playoff games as the Senators’ sideline boss, including this past season when West rolled past the Chesapeake Panthers in the Division V Region 19 opening round.
Of course, the 2020 season saw all teams automatically entered into the playoffs —unless they chose to opt out.
Since Johnson’s resignation was submitted, the district has been actively advertising for the position.
Official mandatory practice for the 2021 campaign begins on Aug. 1.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved