Brandon Sammons, a former assistant football coach at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, was hired Tuesday night as the varsity head football coach at Blanchester High School.
“Brandon had an excellent interview where his knowledge of the game was evident,” said BHS athletic director Bryan Pennix. “His character, passion and understanding of how to positively influence young people stood out.
“I am excited to introduce Brandon as our new coach and excited for him to get the opportunity to work with our student athletes.”
Pennix said more than 40 candidates applied for the job. Ten applicants were selected to be interviewed. Among the eight interviewed, Pennix said two were invited back for a second interview. In the end, Pennix, BHS principal Rick Hosler and Blanchester Supt. Dean Lynch “agreed that Brandon would be a great fit for Blanchester.”
“I am a guy that likes to lead. I still have a lot to learn, but I am eager to do it and feel like now is as good a time to go for it as any,” said Sammons, who lives in Clarksville with his wife Betsy and children Prince, Sophia, Micah and Adyline. “Long-term goals are to turn this program into one that is competing for the league title every year and a perennial playoff team and to advance in the playoffs and see from there.”
Sammons replaces Jack O’Rourke Jr. who resigned following seven seasons as the BHS varsity coach.
Sammons will be the Blanchester Middle School Career Technical Education teacher. He has been a varsity assistant football coach eight years — two at Mason High School, one at Little Miami and the last five at CHCA.
At CHCA, Sammons has been part of a program that has reached the regional semifinals three times and the state semifinals once. Among his CHCA football duties, Sammons has been receivers coach seven years and special teams coordinator four years.
He also has experience coaching basketball and lacrosse while at CHCA.
Jumping into a new situation with a large group of young men can be challenging at times. Sammons will not only be able to draw on his past experience as a football coach but as an adoptive father to help him make a smooth transition.
“Everyone one of my football kids is like a child in many ways to me,” said Sammons. “I get to know a lot of them well and have an opportunity to share in their development as young men and who they become as adults. The impact a coach can have is tremendous and also a huge responsibility, which I and my staff will not take lightly.
“Most importantly and firstly, to help foster positive role modeling to these young men on how to be successful not only in football but life and represent themselves and their family name with class and respect.”
Sammons’ son, Prince, who will graduate from CHCA this spring, was adopted in July 2012. Prince grew up in Nigeria. He has signed to play football at Auburn. The Sammons family is in the process of adopting Prince’s two younger brothers, Izuchukwa and Emmanuel.
”It just happened to work out well with Blanchester coming open at the same time,” said Sammons. “Definitely an easier situation than if he (Prince) were still in high school. I don’t believe it was a coincidence though, the timing of it all.”
Sammons’ football philosophy is flexible.
“I am a spread offense guy,” he said. “We’ll run the ball and pass it as well depending on what we are good at and what the defense does well. Defensively, we’ll be in multiple fronts, but right now we need to see what personnel we have to determine if we’ll be a 3-4 or 4-3.”
Sammons said CHCA head coach Eric Taylor has been one of the biggest influences in shaping his own football and life ideals.
“I have learned a ton from him the last five years on his staff and six years in the same building with him,” said Sammons. “I have seen him handle many situations and learned what I believe to be effective ways to lead a program and will surely find some of my own tweaks to implement in leading Blanchester.”
In addition, Sammons said his fellow assistants at CHCA have played a huge role in his coaching development.
“Every coach who has been on staff here at CHCA for the last five years, some former head coaches, some lifelong coaches who have multiple state titles, have been very instrumental in me becoming who I am as a coach,” said Sammons. “I carry their thoughts and ideas with me and am grateful for having had the chance to work with them, as I feel many of them are fantastic football guys.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.