TROY – Troy Everhart still remembers his first visit to Troy Memorial Stadium.
It was Sept. 2, 2011, and Everhart brought his Middletown High School football team to Troy to take on the Trojans in a contest between two teams that would both make the playoffs that year. Everhart and the Middies came out on top 29-21 that night, but knew they had been in a battle.
“I don’t know that I ever had a team get hit like we did that night. We did our share of hitting, too, but that Troy team just came out and smacked you. That’s what I remember about coming to Troy – tough, hard-nosed kids who weren’t afraid to come out and hit you. It was a typical Steve Nolan-coached team; it was his blueprint on that team.”
That one game – as well as his familiarity with Troy’s rich football tradition – left an impact on Everhart, and he hoped to one day coach at a program like Troy.
He’s going to get his wish.
The next time Everhart stands on the sidelines at Troy Memorial Stadium, it will be this fall – and he’ll be standing on the home side. Everhart, who most recently coached at Fallbrook Union High School in San Diego, but has deep coaching roots in Ohio, has agreed to become the next Troy High School football coach.
Everhart replaces Dan Gress, who coached the Trojans to a 19-9 record the past three seasons.
“I think what excites me about coming to Troy is that it is a community that values football,” Everhart said. “It’s a community that understands the important role football plays as a part of the educational process. Troy has a history of success, which plays an important part in kids wanting to be a part of the football program.”
More than 30 applicants from states across the nation applied for the coaching job. Everhart emerged as the top candidate after an exhaustive interview process.
“We are very excited for Troy to join the Trojan Family here at Troy High School,” Troy High School principal Dave Dilbone said. “He understands the importance of building relationships with our students in the classroom and on the field. We look forward to the positive impact that he will have on our school community.”
Everhart, a graduate of Saint Joseph’s College in Indiana, began his head coaching career at Winton Woods High School, becoming just the second head coach in program history in 1999. He would lead Winton Woods to four conference titles and five-straight playoff appearances, culminating in a Division II state championship in 2009.
“We were impressed with Coach Everhart’s proven track record of success and feel confident he will be able to do the same things here at Troy,” Troy athletic director Dave Palmer said. “We believe he is going to work hard with our student-athletes to build a program the entire community can be proud of. We are excited to have him coming to Troy.”
Following his time at Winton Woods, Everhart would move on to spend two seasons at the University of Cincinnati football team’s Director of Recruiting Services. He would return to high school coaching from 2011-13, coaching at Middletown High School. He returned to college coaching in 2014, with stops at the United States Military Academy, Indiana University and Ohio Northern University. He would take over at Fallbrook Union in 2019, where he would lead his team to its first playoff appearance since 2015 and its deepest playoff run since 2003.
Now he’s looking to continue that success at Troy, which he described as a “dream coaching job.” To attain that success, he said he wants a team built on toughness and accountability.
“I think one of the things people can expect from our teams will be toughness,” Everhart said. “I haven’t always had the best athletes, but I think there’s a difference between being a really good football player and a really good athlete. I think you can develop football players and you can develop toughness, and I think that starts in the weightroom.
“We are going to have a high demand and a high level of accountability from our players. I believe in being on time and where you are supposed to be. I think sometimes in our society we expect things to be given to us. We want our young men to understand you have to work for what you want and you have to be accountable. We not only want our players to be accountable on the football field, we want them to do the right things in the weightroom and the classroom.”
Troy City Schools Superintendent Chris Piper said he’s excited about the future of Troy football under Everhart.
“We definitely feel as though we have found the right person for the job,” Piper said. “We are confident Coach Everhart is going to do an outstanding job with our student-athletes and will prepare them for success not only on the football field, but for life after football. He embodies what we want for our kids here in Troy.”
Everhart said he plans to move to Troy in the next few weeks and wants to get to work immediately. His first order of business will be meeting with his future players and their families.
“As a coach, you look forward to coaching at a place like Troy your whole life. I’m hoping to get out there at the end of February or beginning of March and meet with the kids and their families as soon as possible. I want to meet with the seniors first, whether it be individually or in their homes.
“I try to be as consistent as possible. I think people want to know what to expect from a coach, whether the situation be X, Y or Z. I want to treat a kid who rushes for 1,000 yards the same as I treat a kid who rushes for 10 yards. I want all the kids to have a sense of worth on the team.”