After an extensive search, the school has chosen faculty member special education teacher George Masten to be the new head coach of the Varsity Football team. He will replace previous coach Gregory Sullivan.
Masten has a history of coaching at Marshall: he was on the varsity coaching staff for three years before becoming the assistant coach of the freshmen team in the fall.
“I feel like I know the kids in and out here,” Masten said.
Football has always been a part of Masten’s life. He played the sport at Plantation High School in South Florida and then at Ferrum College in Virginia.
“It really made a difference in my life,” Masten said. “If it wasn’t for football, I don’t know if I would be here right now.”
Masten has a specific plan to ensure the team’s success, through three main principles of “preparation, dedication, and determination.”
He will prepare the team as best as possible by eliminating variables that cause them to lose games, such as a lack of knowledge of plays.
“We will teach every player exactly what we want them to achieve in all facets of the game,” Masten said.
Varsity football player Michael Nadjmabadi who has been coached by Masten since his freshman year, is confident in Masten’s coaching abilities.
“He’ll definitely improve the team,” Nadjmabadi said. “He’s the most enthusiastic person I’ve ever met.”
Nadjmabadi also said that Masten’s dedication to his job and emphasis on the weight training will contribute to success for the team in the upcoming season.
The process of choosing the new head coach was selective. A panel of seven people, consisting of athletic staff, administrators and a parent, narrowed down fifteen resumes to five candidates, then chose the top two. These individuals were then sent to Principal Jay Pearson and Activities Director Joe Swarm for a final interview.
According to Swarm, the panel was looking for someone who showed excitement and a desire to build up the program.
“He’s a good person, and that’s the most important thing,” Swarm said.
Freshman football player Jhordy Molina expressed similar sentiments.
“He’s a really fun guy, he makes you work hard, but it pays off,” Molina said. “I’m really looking forward to him being my head coach.”
When asked what he enjoyed most about coaching football, Masten explained how it allowed him to prepare his players for life.
“If you get knocked down, then you have to get back up and if things don’t go your way, you have to strive to achieve something,” Masten said. “It’s life. Football is life. And I just love it.”