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All-Time ThisWeek Football Team

Top Coaches: Impressive resumes abundant

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The "All-Time ThisWeek Football Team" wouldn't be complete without recognizing those who helped develop the greatest players of the last 23 seasons.

In the fifth week of ThisWeek Community News' summer series, we rank the coaches who we believe have been the most successful since 1990 -- from Nos. 10-2.

The No. 1-ranked coach will be released during the sixth and final installment of the series, which also will include the best offensive and defensive players of the ThisWeek era.

The coaches ranked Nos. 10-2 have combined to win seven state championships and 164 playoff games since 1990.

To determine the rankings, the ThisWeek staff considered everything from playoff wins to longevity to the stage each coach amassed those accomplishments.

Below is a list of coaches who just missed the top 10, followed by Nos. 10-2:

•HONORABLE MENTION -- Tom Blake (Independence, Thomas Worthington, Brookhaven), Mike Carter (Johnstown), Brian Cross (Grove City, Olentangy Orange), Tom Dunlap (Beechcroft), Brian Haffele (Marion-Franklin), Jeff Gafford (Worthington Kilbourne, Marysville), Jack Johnson (Pickerington, Harvest Prep), Karl Johnson (Dublin Scioto), Mike Lanza (Whitehall, Gahanna), Gregg Miller (Brookhaven, Mifflin), Jim Miranda (Northland, Eastmoor Academy), Mark Mueller (New Albany), Rocky Pentello (Westerville South), Ed Terwilliger (Olentangy) and Larry Wolf (Columbus Academy, Ready).

Among the coaches listed above, Blake coached Thomas to its last winning season in 1999 and Brookhaven to the only state championship won by a City League program in 2004.

Miranda led Eastmoor to a state runner-up finish in 2008 and Pentello coached Westerville South to a state runner-up in 1994.

Since 1990, Pentello has the fifth-most wins among central Ohio coaches with 151. Dunlap won 148 games during his final 19 seasons, and Terwilliger recently retired from coaching with 138 wins.

10. Dan Bjelac, Watterson (2003-present).

There wasn't a softer landing spot for a new coach than Watterson when Bjelac took over in 2003 considering it was coming off a Division III state title, but Bjelac has more than kept the program going.

He has coached the Eagles to a state championship in 2010, a state semifinal finish in 2004 and eight playoff appearances in 10 seasons.

Bjelac's 15-7 playoff record ranks him seventh among central Ohio coaches since 1990 in postseason wins. He has an 83-38 career record.

9. Bill Franks, Newark (1997-2001) and Newark Catholic (2002-present).

While Newark Catholic has won eight state titles, the only one since 1991 was led by Franks in 2007.

Franks also coached the Green Wave to a state runner-up finish a year ago and to state semifinal appearances in 2002, 2003 and 2005. In ThisWeek's coverage area, only Bob Jacoby and Randy Baughman have coached in more state semifinals and finals than Franks since 1990.

Franks, who has a 19-6 playoff record and is 119-68 overall, also led Newark to a 9-1 finish in 1997, although the Wildcats missed the playoffs.

8. Brad Burchfield, Centerburg (2003-07) and Hartley (2008-present).

Another current coach who could keep climbing up this list is Burchfield, who took over a perennially strong Hartley team when Dick Geyer retired after the 2007 season and led it to new heights.

The Hawks have gone 51-11 since Burchfield took over, winning the Division IV state title in 2010 and losing in a state semifinal last fall.

Burchfield is 82-36 in 10 seasons, including a five-year tenure at Centerburg from 2003-07 that included a state semifinal finish in 2005. He is 14-5 in six playoff appearances.

7. Scott Wetzel, Buckeye Valley (1992-96) and Big Walnut (1998-2008).

One year after Big Walnut left the BAC to join the OCC, Wetzel was handed the reins of a program in need of a strong leader as it adjusted to tougher competition.

Wetzel, who had gone 31-19 in five seasons at Buckeye Valley, broke through with his first playoff appearance in 2000 and led the Golden Eagles to five other postseasons.

Big Walnut reached the pinnacle in 2007 when it won the Division III state championship and also reached a state semifinal in his final season.

Wetzel's teams went 131-47 in 12 seasons, including 100-28 at Big Walnut with a 12-5 playoff record.

6. Randy Baughman, Licking Valley (1990-present).

The only thing missing from Baughman's distinguished resume is a state championship.

Set to begin his 32nd season as Licking Valley's coach, he has gone 197-60 over the past 23 seasons with 12 playoff appearances.

The Panthers have gone 25-12 in the postseason since 1990, were state runners-up in 2001 and 2007 and lost in a state semifinal in 1990, 2000, 2003 and 2008.

He ranks first in overall wins and third in playoff victories among central Ohio coaches since 1990 and has had 10 seasons of at least 10 wins.

5. Jay Sharrett, Pickerington Central (2003-present).

Among the aspects of Sharrett's sparkling resume are his .828 winning percentage (101-21) and nine playoff appearances in 10 seasons.

Under Sharrett, Central earned a Division II state runner-up finish in 2006 and lost in the Division I state championship game in 2011. He also guided the Tigers to a state semifinal in 2008 and has an overall playoff record of 16-9.

A year ago when the Tigers had new starters at almost every position, Central reached the playoffs and won a league title for the seventh consecutive season.

4. Mark Crabtree, Fisher Catholic (1995-98), St. Charles (1999-2000) and Dublin Coffman (2001-present).

Crabtree proved he was ready for something bigger when he led Fisher Catholic to a Division VI state runner-up finish in 1998.

He led St. Charles to one of the four playoff appearances in its history in 2000 and has turned Coffman into a perennial playoff qualifier.

Since 1990, Crabtree is third among central Ohio coaches in playoff appearances with 14 and fourth in wins with 156.

His biggest successes at Coffman, besides turning it into a quarterback factory, have included state semifinal appearances in 2001 and 2007 and 12 postseason wins.

3. Mike Golden, Watterson (1990-2002), New Albany (2004) and Upper Arlington (2005-present).

Although Golden's crowning achievement was the state championship he won during his final season at Watterson in 2002, he also is tied with Jacoby for the most playoff appearances since 1990 with 15 and is second only to Baughman in overall wins since that time with 190. He is second in playoff wins with 26.

While Golden was at Watterson, his teams went 119-43 while earning state runner-up finishes in 1999 and 2001 and reaching a state semifinal in 1997.

He took a year away from coaching before returning in 2004 to lead New Albany to an 11-2 mark that included a Division IV regional runner-up finish.

Since taking over at UA in 2005, the Golden Bears have gone 60-28 and reached the playoffs five times.

2. Bob Jacoby, DeSales (1990-2006), Hamilton Township (2007-09).

For the first time in more than three decades, Jacoby isn't coaching this fall.

That might not last for long, though.

"I think I've got a good 10 years (of coaching) left in me," said Jacoby, who is 56 and recently moved back to central Ohio after leading Hamilton to a 14-17 record with one playoff appearance over the last three seasons.

During Jacoby's tenure at DeSales, the Stallions won state championships in 1997 and 1998 and were state runners-up in 1990, 1996, 2001 and 2005. DeSales made the playoffs every year from 1990-2006 except for in 1992 and 1993, compiling a 157-52 record that included a 25-11 mark in the playoffs.

Jacoby then coached Hamilton Township to a 10-20 record from 2007-09.

Current high school coaches such as Crabtree, Carter, Brian White (Hilliard Davidson), Tim Bahen (Fairfield Union) and Ryan Wiggins (DeSales), as well as first-year Kent State head coach Paul Haynes, all served on DeSales staffs under Jacoby.

"Nobody's got better qualifications than Bob," Crabtree said.

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