Ross Hannon has been hired as the next head varsity football coach at Howard High School.
Hannon was the Lions' secondary coach last season and replaces Bruce Strunk, who resigned Jan. 19 after leading the Lions to a 73-29 overall record and six playoff appearances in nine seasons.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to come to Howard," Hannon said. "Working with the kids the past year, it was a very exciting season. There's a great football culture and I'm glad to be a part of it."
Howard athletic and activities manager Michael Duffy said Hannon is "the right guy for the job."
"We like what he brings to the program and the skills he has to build on what we have and continue the growth of our program," he added. "He's an integral part of our staff and we believe that our coaching staff is top notch, and we think that coach Hannon will keep us moving in the right direction and take us from where we are and help the program make the next step."
Hannon, who was head coach at Centennial 2002-03 and at Mt. Hebron 2008-11 and is currently a teacher at Mt. Hebron, said he hopes to bring a strong work ethic and a commitment and passion for the sport.
"I'm in the business of building good young men through football, and business is good at Howard High," he said. "Obviously having head coaching experience and understanding all the Howard County policies and practices and procedures helps. It's year-round programs now with fundraising, seven-on-sevens, a lot of opportunities for combines and exposure. ... I think I bring a wealth of experience to Howard High."
Duffy said the current expectation is that the rest of the staff from last year's team will remain intact.
"We like the people who are working with our students," he said. "We feel like they are a great group of people who are committed to the betterment of our students beyond just football. We feel that coach Hannon epitomizes that for us."
Hannon, 49, met with his team for the first time after school on March 7. He said he understands that expectations within the program are high after three-straight 4A North region titles and four consecutive playoff appearances.
"Their commitment is second to none. They really brought a different kind of love to the game for me and made me appreciate high school football," he said. "We certainly want to move onward and upward. We've got a great program here, a great culture, and tremendous work ethic. Kids know what is expected of them. We have a tremendous coaching staff and we want to build on that. Really I'm looking at Week 1 against Glenelg. That's what's on my mind here on March 7."