New Castle didn’t have to look far to find its new football coach.
After receiving what athletic director Brandon Ecker described as a larger-than-expected applicant pool, the Trojans hired a coach who already teaches at the school. Will Ragle, a former New Castle assistant who teaches physical education, was unanimously approved by the school board on Monday.
Ragle replaces Mark Luzadder, who resigned shortly after last season. Luzadder went 1-9 in his one season at the helm.
In his 14th year as a teacher at New Castle, Ragle has held a variety of positions on the New Castle coaching staff in the past, including defensive coordinator. Given his defensive background, he described himself as a defensive-minded coach.
“You can have a great offense, but if you can’t stop anyone, you’re going to lose a lot of your games,” Ragle said. “So a big emphasis is going to be on defense. But in the same regard, you’ve got to look at three phases of the game. I believe you’ve got to throw in the special teams. So you’ve got to work on all three aspects of the game.
“But I am a defensive guy most of my career, so that’s something I’m passionate about, and I think that’s something that’s going to help us win ballgames.”
Ragle served as head coach at Tri last season, going 0-10 in his lone season there.
Ecker said he hopes Ragle’s hire will help bring some stability to New Castle’s program. Ragle will be the Trojans’ fourth coach in five years. Kyle Hall served as coach for two seasons prior to Luzadder’s tenure. Warren Cook’s final season was in 2009.
“That’s a big part of what we were looking for, too,” Ecker said. “As we put our committee together, one of the big components for us, we needed somebody that understood where New Castle football has been and hopes to build on that in the future.”
New Castle has won a combined three games in the past four seasons, and its last multi-win season was a two-win campaign in 2008.
Ragle, who has two sons who go to school in the New Castle district, said he hopes to be the coach to bring some stability to the program, saying he used it as a selling point during the interview process.
“We’re not looking to go anywhere else; we feel very comfortable here,” Ragle said of his family. “We feel called to be here. And so that’s definitely one of my selling points. … I’m not going anywhere. I know the kids, I know the youth coaches here in the community. I know the middle-school coaches already.”