Tennyson Varney is returning to a familiar setting.
Pending school board approval, Varney will be the next football coach at Hamilton Township, athletics director Ryan Fitzgerald announced Dec. 20.
Varney, 37, stepped down after three seasons at Grove City, finishing with a 2-28 record. He is a 2000 graduate of Hamilton Township and former assistant coach in the program.
“I enjoyed being at Grove City,” Varney said. “It’s a great community. I made some really great relationships with both players and the parents. I believe everything happens for a reason. In the long run, I’m not sure how or why I ended up there, but I’m glad I ended up there. I feel like I did everything I could to try to help that program.”
Varney earned the respect of his players, including junior quarterback Jared Knight.
“He’s a phenomenal coach and all-around great person,” Knight said. “I came here from Groveport, transferring my freshman year, his first year here. Being able to start for him my sophomore year on varsity was a moment I will never forget and the conversations we had about me being ready and the 100 percent confidence he had in me. For a 15-year-old kid to get the keys to the program is something I will never forget.”
Before taking over at Grove City, Varney coached Franklin Heights for three seasons, helping the Falcons to their first postseason berth since 1989 and second overall in 2016. They finished 10-2 that season, earning the program’s first playoff win with a 40-32 victory over Licking Heights in a Division II, Region 7 first-round game.
Varney served as an assistant coach for Hamilton Township, including as offensive coordinator, before taking over at Franklin Heights.
He will replace Mike Savino, who stepped down after three seasons. The Rangers went 14-16 under Savino, including 5-5 overall and 3-3 in the MSL-Buckeye Division this fall.
“Now that that job is open, I wanted to go back to it,” Varney said. “I have a lot of family there. It’s definitely a place where I want to be.”
Varney is a history teacher at Grove City, but he expects to teach at Hamilton Township next school year.