Posted: 8:14 pm Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
By Jason Lieser
The man who built Inlet Grove football from “ground zero” is leaving.
After five seasons running the Hurricanes, head coach Kevin McLeod said he resigned to take a position at Silver Oak Academy in Hanover, Pa., where he will be the head football coach and headmaster.
“I’m leaving to further my career,” he said. “I have a great opportunity to be responsible and have some ownership over a small private school.”
The Hurricanes did not win a game before McLeod arrived in 2004. The team struggled at the onset of his tenure, but reached the playoffs each of the past two seasons. McLeod went 18-28 in five seasons, including 13-9 over his last two.
McLeod is happy to head back to the northeast — he is from New York City — but it was hard for him to leave Inlet Grove.
“Big time. Are you kidding?” he said. “It was ground zero when I got there. It was enjoyable and I loved my little home down there. It was a special time in my life, which yielded some good things.”
McLeod said this move has been in the works for several weeks, but he wanted to stay on staff as long as possible to help get his players into college.
“We’re in the neighborhood of 17 kids now that are enrolled and playing college football because of Inlet Grove football,” he said. “That’s the most important thing.”
McLeod said his players have known about the change for a few weeks.
Inlet Grove athletic director Jack Crumity said offensive coordinator Ed Etheridge has been named interim coach and is expected to lead the team through spring practices.
Crumity said the school has not set a timetable for naming a permanent replacement for McLeod, and he has not decided if he will open the job to outside candidates to stay in-house.
Either way, he was disappointed to see McLeod leave.
“He struggled his first couple years, but then he got going,” Crumity said. “It was a slow grind, but our program is looking up right now, and I credit him and his staff for that.”