Sudden changes leads Lynott to resign as football coach

By Garrett Baker, Round Table reporter

In the weight room after any given school day, Middletown High School football players can be seen putting in work for the upcoming season. It’s only spring, but the season is never over for most players as they work toward the ultimate goal: a State Championship.

On the front wall of the chain-link fence, separating the balcony from the weights, hang three banners. The banners display the teams that captured the three football State Championships in MHS history, in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The head coach for all three of those championships: Kevin Lynott. So it came as a surprise and disappointment to many when Lynott announced on Feb. 28 that he would be stepping down from his coaching position.

During his nine-year stretch as head coach, Lynott had a career record of 86-27, winning 36 straight games over three years, as well as coaching multiple players who later played at the collegiate level. Some of the players include Justin Falcinelli, Ricky Leonard and Ben Lewis, playing at Clemson University, Florida State University and Syracuse University, respectively.

Besides being the varsity head football coach, Lynott’s is the MHS’s school support counselor, a position that Frederick Country Public Schools has decided to excess in the coming school year. Despite the loss of his position, Lynott will stay at MHS but instead be in the new role of CCR (college and career readiness teacher). As CCR he will be expected to help students meet graduation requirements, proctor tests, create bridge plans for struggling students, as well as continue working on 504 plans within the building.

“In a career it’s nice to sometimes take on new challenges and this certainly is going to be a new challenge, a new skill set,” Lynott said. “It’s going to require me to be all in about doing the best I can to help serve our school community.”

After Lynott’s job was excessed, it was still clear to him that he wanted to remain at MHS and in the community. He said that he loves the MHS community and the people involved within it and when he saw the opportunity to continue his career at MHS, he took the job.

But with the new occupation comes a completely new workload, which, at least in the short term, will be more demanding than his previous role. Lynott said that the demands on his time, especially as he learns the new job, will not allow him enough time to focus on both his job and coaching.

The elimination of the school support position and its overall effect on Lynott’s role came as a surprise to members of the football team. Sean Mullican, a senior football player, said, “I was kind of shocked that his job was being excessed and that he couldn’t get a job that would allow him to still be coaching.”

Through the process of stepping down from the coaching position Lynott turned to his faith for help in the changing situation. “I have something I rely on,” he said, “a verse from the good book that says trust in God with all your heart, lean on his understanding and he will guide you on the right path and that’s what I did.” He also went into more detail of his journey through the process and decision in his letter to the community.

Despite the championships, successful players and win streaks, Lynott considered something else as the most memorable of his coaching career: his relationships with the players. He said that the relationships he built with the players he had coached was extremely special and that seeing them visit the school in the years after graduation is rewarding.

Junior Ethan Joseph, a current MHS football player, said, “ He does make sure that every single one of his players, no matter if they’re the stud or won’t see the field at all through the year, is always helped out and has everything done for them that can make them a better person and a better player.”

Coinciding with Lynott’s resignation was the retirement of Lorne Ridenour as a coach. Ridenour will remain as a physical education teacher at MHS. Joseph said that his announcement was upsetting because Ridenour had always been a role model in his eyes and that he pushes Joseph to work harder than anyone else.

Lynott said that Ridenour “has served our community with unbelievable effort” and that “you can take all the success and everything that was accomplished that has my name as head coach, erase it off and you could put Coach Ridenour’s name on there.”

The future looks bright through Lynott’s eyes. “I believe things are going to work out for the best and we have a great community,” he said. “We have a great football community that’s going to support the new coach and I believe in all good things for the future.”