Phil Mauro, who guided the Canal Winchester High School football team to an unprecedented level of success from 2007 to 2010, has accepted an offer to return as coach.
Mauro, whose hiring is expected to be approved by the school board in January, was introduced to the Canal Winchester players during a team meeting Dec. 20, one day after resigning as coach at Bloom-Carroll.
"I don't have a negative thing to say about Bloom-Carroll," said Mauro, who plans to continue to teach health and academic intervention at Bloom-Carroll. "We enjoyed a winning season together this fall and their future is bright. But my family lives in Canal Winchester and I have a lot of time invested in the community, and it just feels like home for me here. We never sold our house after I stopped coaching at Canal Winchester and we live about a mile from the high school. It feels good to return home."
In four seasons at Canal Winchester, Mauro led the Indians to a 36-9 record, two MSL-Buckeye Division championships and four playoff appearances. Before his arrival, the Indians hadn't had a winning season since 2001 and had qualified for the playoffs only twice (1986, 1988).
"We had four good years with Phil as our coach and we're happy to get him back," athletics director Kent Riggs said. "The football community and entire community are excited to get him back because Phil has been involved with a lot of human services, including working with senior citizens."
Mauro resigned as coach at Canal Winchester in April 2011 after being informed that his teaching position might be eliminated for the 2011-12 school year because of state budget cuts.
Mauro coached Trenton Edgewood to a 3-7 record in 2011 before moving on to Bloom-Carroll, where he went 12-12 with two Division IV playoff appearances the past two seasons.
Prior to his arrival, Bloom-Carroll hadn't qualified for the playoffs since 2000.
Mauro replaces Shawn Hinkle, who compiled a 16-16 record the past three seasons with the Indians. Hinkle resigned in November after the Indians finished 0-10, including 0-7 in their first season in the OCC-Cardinal Division. It marked their first losing season since 2006 and their first winless season since 1999.
"I've been fortunate to work with a lot of good players and that's who wins football games," Mauro said. "There was no master plan to return to coach (Canal Winchester) again someday. Life's funny and a lot of different things happen that lead you down a certain path."
Mauro is looking forward to rebuilding Canal Winchester as it continues to adjust to competing in the OCC-Cardinal.
"We're not going to dwell on what's happened here in the past, good or bad," he said. "Our eyes were put in the front of our heads for a reason, and that's because we are meant to move forward. I'm ready to move forward with this program."