By ANDREW WILLIAMS
The Riverdale Local Schools board of education approved the supplemental contract of new head football coach Mark Frey at its meeting Tuesday night.
Frey is an Indiana native and was a four-year member of the football team at Hanover College, where he graduated with a bachelors of arts in mathematics in 2011.
He spent time as an assistant coach at Concord High School in Elkhart, Indiana and Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa before moving to his most recent position as an assistant at Ohio Northern University.
“High school’s always been in my blood,” Frey said. “I come from a family of coaches so I always knew I wanted to coach at the high school level. I really appreciate and am honored by the time that I’ve had at the college level, but I think the high school level is for me. Eventually it’s going to work better for my family’s schedule and myself so I wanted to come back.”
Frey, who lives in Ada with his wife Rachel, will work as a substitute teacher at Riverdale and also help with the school’s strength program.
The 25-year-old is taking over for Jeremy Kloepfer, who cited a desire to spend more time with his family when he resigned last month. Kloepfer was 32-49 in eight years at Riverdale and took the Falcons to the postseason in 2008.
After spending time recruiting the area during his tenure at ONU, Frey said he understands the caliber of area players and of the Blanchard Valley Conference, which the Falcons will begin competing in this fall.
“The first thing is we have to emphasize getting better every day and just taking that step by step,” he said. “The wins will come along. Moving to the (BVC), that’s a great move for us. I think we have a good opportunity to make a name for ourselves.
“It’s just going to take a little bit of time getting there. But I’m really excited to see what our guys can do and how we’re going to fare this season.”
Frey has experience coaching all three facets of the game, working with receivers and tight ends on offense, secondary players on defense and kickers and punters on special teams.
The secondary at ONU finished first in the Ohio Athletic Conference and 10th in the nation in interceptions under Frey’s tutelage last season.
Riverdale is coming off a 1-9 record in 2013 and is just 7-23 in its last three seasons.
Frey said he is excited about the direction of the program with the move to the BVC and is ready to get started working with the kids.
“I just look forward to getting in there and getting to meet the guys,” Frey said.
“We’ve got a long way to go but we’re excited to hit the ground running.”
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