The timing was finally right for Scott Wetzel to interview for the position of Delaware Hayes High School football coach.

“It has always been on the short list of the schools where I’ve wanted to coach because I think it has a lot of potential and hard-nosed kids and it’s a Division I school in the city where I was born and where my grandparents lived,” Wetzel said. “I lived there for 17 years and a lot of my friends had kids who played football there.

“I thought about it twice before, but the timing was never right for one reason or another.”

Wetzel was named Delaware coach April 25, pending school board approval.

He was 5-15 the past two seasons at Westerville North but is 136-61 in 18 seasons, with 10 league titles and a Division III state championship in 2007 at Big Walnut.

Wetzel was 31-19 with four league titles at Buckeye Valley from 1992-96 and was an assistant at Dublin Scioto in 1997 before taking over at Big Walnut, where he spent 11 seasons and went 100-27 with six OCC titles. He stepped down as head coach, but returned to the Big Walnut sidelines as an assistant from 2010-15 before taking over at North.

“Delaware is one town and one team and the administration really wants to get things rolling,” Wetzel said. “It’s an opportunity to build from the ground up. The community is hungry for success.”

Wetzel replaces Mike Golden, who announced his resignation in March. Golden was 14-20 with the Pacers and had a career record of 217-98 in 29 seasons, with stints at Watterson (1988-2002), New Albany (2004) and Upper Arlington (2005-13) before being hired at Delaware in 2014.

“We’re really excited about the possibility of bringing sustained success to our program,” athletics director Steve Glesenkamp said. “We interviewed 10 candidates and all had ties to Delaware County, which was important to us. I did research all the way back to the 1960s, trying to figure out why we haven’t been able to sustain the successes we’ve had.

“We’ve had some great coaches, but we didn’t have guys who understood the culture of Delaware City Schools, our community or our county. Scott was born in Delaware and his kids attended Willis (Intermediate School) before he moved to Sunbury and I hired him as the coach at Big Walnut. He’s going to be a good fit for this program.”

Glesenkamp said all of the candidates who were interviewed had ties to the community.

“We had a lot of great candidates, including some former players and some great assistants on the staff and all of them had ties to Delaware,” he said. “Scott is going to be a good mentor for our assistants.”

Delaware finished 3-7 last season.

“I like my teams to be physical, so we will play an attack defense because it’s a trademark of my teams,” Wetzel said. “Offensively, we’re going to be tough up front. Our personnel will determine what schemes we use offensively.”

North went 2-8 last season.

“It’s tough to leave the kids at North because they gave me everything they had,” Wetzel said. “We didn’t have a great record, but I’m leaving there knowing that the program is better now than it was when I started with them.”

North senior linebacker Alek Downs enjoyed playing for Wetzel and called him a role model.

“He is an inspiring man, and one that loves to win,” Downs said. “He pushes everyone around him to match his intensity level and passion. I wish him all the best as he coaches at Delaware.”

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek