2009 Football: Catawba churning out Rowan coaches
By Ronnie Gallagher
Joe Pinyan called Catawba coach Chip Hester recently, inquiring about a possible hire for his Salisbury Hornets ó Hester’s former offensive lineman Daniel Yow.
“I said, ‘Hire him now,’ ” Hester said emphatically.
Pinyan did, giving Yow possession of the offensive line. Pinyan and Hester didn’t think about it at the time, but Yow’s hiring completed a Catawba sweep of Rowan County high schools.
All six have at least one former Indian that Hester coached or coached with.
“It makes me feel good that (high school) coaches in the county would think so much of our players,” Hester said. “I’m really proud of these guys.”
Yow, the latest of the bunch, played his last season at Catawba in 2007. But he jumped right in and already seems like a seasoned veteran.
“I told the guys the first day that I don’t necessarily know the whole (wishbone) offense right now, but I know how to get the job done,” Yow said. “I know the angles and where they’re supposed to be. I can help with technique.”
Hester smiled when he heard that.
“Daniel wasn’t the biggest guy but he made up for it with technique and his love for the game,” Hester said. “He knows what to do and how to do it.”
Hester looked at the list of former Catawba players coaching in Rowan County and was totally impressed. Eleven were with him in some capacity on the field. Add South’s Tim Corriher and you have 12 coaches. Add North Rowan’s Robert Myers, Bobby’s dad, who still runs the clock and scoreboard in football and basketball for Catawba, and you have 13. Add Carson’s Barry Mitchem, who started under Pete Stout and left with Stout, and you have 14. Add Carson coach Mark Woody, who played baseball at Catawba, and you have 15.
Hester didn’t mind talking about the Catawba guys:
The Mustangs have the most former Indians: four. Assistants Gary Bass, Piotr Kalinowski and James House all toil for head coach Brian Hinson.
Hester on Hinson, an All-American offensive lineman: “When Brian was around, he got along with everyone. He was respected by everyone. He had a great personality, was a great football player, and a smart football player. That’s a slam dunk.”
On Bass, an offensive lineman: “He was a guy who worked extremely hard. He’s got that specialty in the weight room. I thought he was a good fit with Brian.”
On Kalinowski, a defensive lineman: “I’m sure Bass and Kalinowski had some wars when they were here. It’s good to see them on the same side. Piotr played for (Jim) Tomsula here and his father-in-law is Mike Ayers (at Wofford). He’s got some great experience.”
On House, a defensive lineman: “When you think of James House, you think of that positive attitude. You can’t have enough of those guys around a football team. House would be a lot of fun to play for. He has a very good football mind.”
The Falcons have Joe Nixon and Stevie Williams assisting Scott Young.
Hester on Nixon, an All-American offensive lineman: “He’s extremely loyal to Coach Young and that program over there, but he’s ready to be a head coach. His grandfather was a famous coach in Clayton so he’s had football in his blood for a long time.”
On Williams, a defensive lineman: “He’s one of the best football minds I’ve ever been around. He has a great eye for what you need to do defensively.”
Head coach Tasker Fleming has Rodney Goodine and Bobby Myers.
Hester on Goodine, an All-American linebacker: “Goodine was a volunteer assistant coach with me when I started here. He’s just an outstanding guy, and a guy I tried to hire when I became head coach. But his heart is at the high school level.”
On Myers, a quarterback: “He is the quarterback guru, if there ever was one. Today, he still probably throws as pretty a ball and has as pretty a motion and you’ll ever see. His resume speaks for itself. He has turned out quarterback after quarterback.”
Joining Corriher on Jason Rollins’ staff at South is Devonte Peterson.
Hester on Peterson, an All-American defensive lineman: “The thing that comes to mind is intensity. He has played professional football all over the place so he brings a wealth of knowledge.”
Along with Mitchem, Justin McIntyre is assisting Woody.
Hester on McIntyre, a defensive lineman: “He has been around some good defensive linemen in (Khanis) Hubbard, (Radell) Lockhart and Peterson and he was coached by Tomsula. He’s that hard-working guy.”
And last, but not least, Yow is with Pinyan.
Hester on Yow: “He’s such a technician. I told Joe when he called, ‘You couldn’t do any better.’ ”
Hinson says he made the right choice in staying in the county after graduation.
“I’m raising my family here and that’s a good thing,” he said. “It’s the same for everybody. You get your roots down and it becomes home.”
Hinson peers at the list and notices there are some burly guys.
“Look at me, Bass, Nixon and Yow,” he said. “That’s four offensive lineman. I think it’s a fat-guy thing. We don’t want to leave the barbecue or the breakfast at Hendrix’s.”
They’ve all had such success as coaches that the latest Indian, Yow, will probably stick around too.
“I’m enjoying it,” Yow said. “The kids are willing to learn. I think they look up to me and understand I know what I’m talking about.”
Hester couldn’t stop gushing about all of them.
“You look at that list and they all have different specialties,” he said. “Together, that’s a heck of a staff.”