Football: Dublin Jerome Celtics searching for Bob Gecewich's successor as coach
Dublin Jerome athletics director Joe Bline believes the school’s next football coach will inherit a solid situation.
Bline must find a successor for Bob Gecewich, who stepped down Jan. 15 after six seasons to take over the program at Perry in northeast Ohio. Gecewich was approved by the Perry school board Jan. 19.
“We have some great kids coming,” Bline said. “Whoever comes in, much like Bob did, will take the bull by the horns and just work really hard and get to know the kids. Once the kids trust you and they know that you care about them, they’ll do anything for you.”
Under Gecewich, the Celtics had just one losing season.
“The weight room has been redone,” Gecewich said. “We had more kids in the program than we’ve ever had. We played a tremendous amount of young guys last year. There’s now an expectation here. There should be a decent amount of interest, and they should be able to get someone in here who’s going to do a really good job.”
With Bline promising a thorough search for the Celtics’ third coach, assistant coaches are guiding the offseason program.
“Some of the assistant coaches stepped up and they will begin lifting, so we’re not going to miss a beat there,” Bline said. “Our kids need all the lifting and conditioning we can get. We’re thankful to the assistant coaches for stepping up and helping out.”
Bline said the search could include assistance from school officials, coaches, players and the community.
David Adolph, a junior who played wide receiver and quarterback last season, is looking forward to playing for the new coach next fall and hopes to be part of the search.
“Hopefully I’m part of the process,” he said. “I don’t know who the next coach is going to be, but I’m sure he’ll be great.”
Under Gecewich, Jerome went 39-23 overall and 28-10 in OCC play with three league titles and four postseason appearances, reaching regional semifinals in 2016 and 2019.
The Celtics finished 2-5 overall last season, losing to Marysville 35-14 in the opening round of the Division I, Region 2 playoffs. Jerome went 2-3 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to finish fifth behind champion Marysville (4-1).
Jerome won the outright OCC-Cardinal title in 2019 and shared the title in 2015 and 2016.
The Celtics had losing seasons the previous four years to Gecewich taking over. He said the program nearly doubled the number of student-athletes under his tenure.
“We’re so thankful for coach Gecewich and his time here,” Bline said. “He did a great job with our kids and the program. He’s a great teacher in the classroom.”
Gecewich, 36, became the program’s second coach when he replaced Mark Hundley in January 2015. Hundley guided the Celtics for their first 11 seasons.
At Perry, which is a Division IV program, Gecewich succeeds Matt Rosati, who resigned after 14 seasons. The school is about 25 miles from Gecewich’s hometown of Euclid.
“It’s nice, but at the end of the day, location wasn’t the primary thing,” he said. “Location wasn’t as important to us as the fit.”
Gecewich served as an assistant coach at Maria Stein Marion Local in northwest Ohio in 2013 and 2014. Before that, he was an assistant at Nashville (Tennessee) McGavock for five seasons and Dorchester (South Carolina) Woodland for one.
Marion Local won Division VII state titles in 2013 and 2014.
Gecewich is a 2002 graduate of Euclid, where he played football, and a 2007 graduate of Bowling Green, where he played club rugby. He and his wife, Ashlee, have three children.
"Coach Gecewich is a great guy,” Adolph said. “He taught us a lot of things in life. He was more than a coach. He gave us a lot of life lessons. He wasn’t just my coach. He would help me in many ways with school and life.”