Football: Former Minster coach Geron Stokes to lead Dublin Coffman Shamrocks
Geron Stokes sees a challenge, and he’s not afraid to tackle it.
That’s one reason Stokes left Minster after eight fruitful seasons to lead the Dublin Coffman football program.
Pending school board approval, Stokes will succeed Mark Crabtree, who stepped down Jan. 14 after 20 seasons.
“Honestly, there are three reasons why I decided to come (to Coffman),” Stokes said. “First, it was the administration. I couldn’t find anyone that said anything bad about them.
“Secondly, it was the challenge. I was a little nervous about taking the job, and that was good. I always tell our kids to ‘Run to the roar.’ Lastly, Minster is so right, right now. They are going to win titles and they are in a good place. I wanted to leave the program in good shape.”
Stokes was 71-31 at Minster from 2013-20. He guided the Wildcats to the Division VI state championship in 2014 and the Division VII state title in 2017. Minster also was Division VII state runner-up in 2016.
The Wildcats reached the third round of the Division VI, Region 24 playoffs last fall and finished 5-6.
“We had over 80 applicants, and coach Stokes has a passion and an energy that really comes to the forefront,” Coffman athletics director Duane Sheldon said. “That along with the connections he has with people – especially with young people – and engage with them and connect, those are the things that really jumped out at us.”
Stokes was introduced to the team March 16. Junior Mason Maggs said Stokes has a dynamic personality.
“He’s a very energetic guy,” said Maggs, who was a tight end and the backup quarterback last fall. “His thing is that he wants to work and get after it with us. He’s really excited and energetic.”
Stokes also coached at his alma mater, Urbana, from 2009-12, compiling a 29-13 record. He was a quarterback who played college football at Urbana University before finishing at Wittenberg.
Crabtree was 179-55 overall leading Coffman, including 22-17 in 18 postseason appearances. His teams also won seven league championships.
The Shamrocks finished 8-1 last fall, losing to Olentangy Liberty 18-15 in a Division I, Region 2 semifinal.
Crabtree’s teams implemented a spread offense that produced strong-armed quarterbacks. He helped develop several college quarterbacks, including Brady Quinn (2003 graduate; Notre Dame), Jack Rafferty (2004; Western Kentucky/Otterbein), Josh Febus (2005; Ohio University), Zack Stoudt (2008; Louisville/Mississippi), Cole Stoudt (2011; Clemson), James Walsh (2013; Boston College) and Gunnar Hoak (2016; Kentucky/Ohio State).
Stokes said his offense is geared toward the talent on his roster.
“We’re going to line up and do what’s best for the kids,” he said. “At Minster, we ran a multiple offense. When we had a quarterback that could throw, we would throw the ball more. When we didn’t have a quarterback that could throw, we wouldn’t. Same with the running game. If we had a good running back, we would run the ball more than if we didn’t.”
Stokes lives in Urbana with his wife, Michele, and their 4-year-old daughter, Sam. He plans to move the family to Dublin and is slated to be an intervention specialist at Coffman.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m a people guy and I love doing things with people and doing hard things with people.
“I’ll be driving down every day for weightlifting and offseason conditioning. I’m excited to get to know everybody and go through what football players go through. I’m excited to get to work.”