WEST ALEXANDRIA — Twin Valley South recently announced the hire of its new varsity head football coach, Chris Fogle.
Fogle has been teaching and coaching at the school for 10 years, and he and his family have lived in Preble County for nearly 20 years.
Having been ingrained in the community and familiar with the recent struggles of Twin Valley South’s varsity football team, Fogle is ready to take his years of coaching and make a positive change for the Panthers.
“For right now, we want to try and get South on track, so it’s an all-in mentality,” Fogle said.
Fogle’s career on the field began at Valley View, where he graduated in 1990. Playing at just 130 pounds, however, he said was more cut out for wrestling, which he pursued at the next level.
He went on to attend Wilmington College and graduated in 1994, wrestling for the Quakers and involving himself in the football program as well.
“Just wasn’t the biggest guy in the world. I wrestled like 130 pounds in high school. I wrestled like 126 in college,” Fogle said. “So, me being a college football player probably was not in the cards. I went on and wrestled an okay career, but I had a lot of fun.”
As for his coaching career, he’s held various roles including offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, run game coordinator and running backs coach at numerous schools throughout his years coaching.
The love of the game is apparent, as well as for wrestling and track and field which he coaches for Twin Valley South, but the prospect of coaching excited Fogle because of the interaction with students.
“I think it came just from my love for teaching, obviously. I still love sports and honestly, I didn’t want to give up on it and a lot of the people in my life when I was growing up, my teachers were also coaches that inspired me,” Fogle said. “So I felt that I should give back by coaching, by teaching. Just being with the kids kind of – my drive, my joy.”
Fogle has been on the job for less than a month and hasn’t gotten to meet with his players beyond a virtual setting, but he has his plan in place for how he wants to run the Twin Valley South football program once everything gets back to normal.
“I kind of have ideas about everything. I’ll be doing the game calling over the offense. I’m going to be working with my defensive coordinator, my special teams coordinator, but I don’t want to step on their toes either,” Fogle said. “There’s a style that I want them to implement, obviously, but it’s going to be their game calls on Friday nights. Everywhere I’ve coached it’s been open communication on Fridays that we all help each other: offense, defense, whatever. You see something, then let’s roll with it. Still kind of the same philosophy even as a head coach here. It’s got to be an open line of communication amongst all the coaches.”
As for his philosophy concerning the players, he wants them to share his mentality of being all-in for the school and for the program.
“I’m trying to convince them you need to put everything in. Whatever you do, football, whatever sport you do, I want your full efforts,” Fogle said. “You give me your full effort, win or lose, at the end of the day, we’re going to be pleased, and that’s the big thing we’re looking at right there. Full effort, make sure we are, as our phrase is this year, just all-in. Everything that we have.”
As a former player, he and the returning players for Twin Valley South know the feeling of being on the field and hearing the roar of the home crowd. Fogle has a lot to look forward to in his first season as head coach, but it could come with one unfortunate caveat due to COVID-19 restrictions: no fans.
“It’s not going to be the same. I’m going to tell you that the kids want to play. But it wouldn’t be the same,” Fogle said. “Financially it’s going to be — across the board, for all high schools, the athletic departments depend on football to kind of drive the rest of the sports for the year. Basketball brings in money, but football brings in a lot of the budget for every school for the rest of the sports. It’ll be financially devastating to athletic departments if we have football without fans.”
Twin Valley South has struggled in recent years, not finishing with more than five wins since 2015 where they completed the season with a 6-4 record.
The season is still a couple of months out and there are questions surrounding how high school football might look this year due to COVID-19, but Fogle still has a plan in mind for what he wants his first season as head coach to look like.
“You know, as long as we’re out learning and competing, like I said, wins will take care of themselves,” Fogle said. “Obviously, I’d like to be at least 0.500. At least 5-5. I think that’s a good shot. I think we could probably be better than that, but considering we just came off a 3-7 season, 2-8 season, you know, it’s a lofty goal. But I’m not going to back down and say, ‘Well, I just want to win three games.’ That’s not my mentality.”
Twin Valley South students interested in playing or parents of students interested in playing can contact the high school or Chris Fogle directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @BradenMoles