Chris Bassler is going back to his “roots” as Westminster High School’s new football coach.
The former all-county standout from Francis Scott Key, who spent the last four seasons as the offensive coordinator at McDaniel College, will be the 12th coach in Owls history.
“I’m unbelievably honored,” Bassler said. “I’ve been aware of Westminster football my whole life. I have a very deep appreciation for the tradition and history of that program both as someone who competed against them as a player and as a coach.”
Bassler, 34, played college football at West Virginia University before joining McDaniel’s coaching staff in 2008. He served as offensive line coach for seven years, then took over the coordinator’s role in 2015.
Bassler was a scholarship member of Mountaineers from 2003-06, playing offensive tackle on the 2004 and 2006 Gator Bowl teams and 2005 Sugar Bowl championship squad.
Bassler, a 2003 FSK graduate, returned to his alma mater as the offensive and defensive line coach for the varsity squad prior to joining the staff at McDaniel .
The Green Terror averaged 17.1 points per game last season under Bassler, and in the previous season put up 24.9 points per game with a running game that churned out more than 1,550 yards. Bassler coached McDaniel’s offensive line when Joe Rollins (Class of 2014) totaled 4,641 rushing yards — the second most in program history.
Bassler was a four-time All-Monocacy Valley Athletic League selection at Francis Scott Key, and earned Times all-county honors three times. A member of the Baltimore Touchdown Club Super 22 team in 2003, he was a two-time all-state tight end for the Eagles.
Westminster went 8-4 last season under Matt Study, who stepped down in the fall after four years as coach.
The Owls went 27-12 under Study, won a Carroll County Athletic League championship, and earned a spot in the Class 3A West Region final game for two consecutive seasons. The program is losing a handful of all-county picks to graduation, including five first-team selections quarterback Christian Etchison, receiver Tavian Montgomery, running back Jaden Louis, defensive end Jacob Busic, and linebacker Owen Babylon.
The Owls will likely return a fair share of talent in 2019, and Bassler said he is looking forward to the future in his rookie season as head coach.
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“I think the thing that really attracted me to Westminster was it being such an established program with the opportunity to take it to the next level,” Bassler said. “I didn’t have to start from the ground up. There are so many things in place there with the opportunity to compete at the highest level, and we want to try to compete and win a state championship.”