In seemingly just the last decade or so, the recruiting scene in college football has gone from something only the crazy NCAA football fan had interest in, to a full blown season itself where fan bases clamor over the latest top prospect and hundreds of “experts” try to project their future.
The announcement of where a recruit is going on social media has become a made-for-TV production at times depending on the recruit, where the hopes and dreams of entire fan bases rest on which hat a player puts on.
Rarely, if ever, do you see the same type of announcement for a coach, but Maynard’s Johnny Midey may have changed the game on Sunday night.
Midey, a senior at Maynard High School, announced his commitment to Ohio University on Twitter, but he won’t be joining them as a player. Midey is joining the staff as a student assistant.
Midey, like many who cover and coach the game, never played, but has studied it relentlessly and has spent most of his time working with the receivers and long snappers at Maynard. He was also able to embrace play calling duties for the JV team at one point.
More importantly, Midey has shown that the recruiting process and growth of the game doesn’t have to solely be about the on-field product. In a time where young coaches are making a huge impact at the highest levels, the development of more “football minds” can only be a good thing.
“My first season of coaching was during my junior year, which unfortunately was during the Fall II season in the spring, where went 3-3,” Midey explained via email on Monday morning. “This year was much closer to being a regular season of fall football. We went 6-2 in the regular season, 7-4 overall. We made the playoffs, one of only two teams in D5 who were from CMASS to do so. Sadly we lost in the first round to Bishop Fenwick. I ended my high school coaching career on a high note with a win over Littleton on Thanksgiving Day.
“I have to thank head coach Nick Pileeki for giving me this rare opportunity, I could not have gotten where I am today without him.”
The biggest thing any player or coach looking to work at the next level should take away from Midey’s story is the willingness to make yourself available to anyone. Midey talked to nearly 30 schools and coaching staffs, trying to establish himself among the top programs.
“I applied to a bunch of schools, 26 to be exact,” he said. “My philosophy was to find schools where I had possible connections, which were made by networking with other coaches, and apply to them. Some of the more notable schools I applied to were the University of Tennessee, the University of Louisville, West Virginia University, and the University of Arizona.
“I wanted to have a wide selection of schools because for a while I wasn’t sure where the opportunity to coach would be. I wanted to have already applied to the college if the opportunity did present itself.”
The persistence paid off and the Ohio staff is set to welcome Midey with open arms. Midey is hoping his rare coaching commitment will give others hope that they can stay involved in the sport they love even if it isn’t on the field.
“I ultimately chose Ohio for a multitude of factors, but one of the main reasons was the coaching staff,” Midey added. “The staff at Ohio had almost everything I was looking for, a good coaching atmosphere, job stability, long history of success, and most importantly, they were willing, open, and excited to take me on as a student assistant coach. Athens is a great place with a beautiful campus and a great uptown, the communications program and the overall atmosphere.
“I hope this announcement shows that anyone, regardless of if they have played the game or not, if they work hard and take the time to truly learn the game, they can coach at the next level if they put their mind to it.”