In the midst of a countrywide shutdown, Hayden Kilgore is getting to work.
The 24-year-old Churubusco graduate was named the new head coach of the Central Noble High School football program earlier this week, replacing Trevor Tipton, who stepped down in January.
“With everything on hold I have been able to go back and really examine what we did last year, not just on defense but as an entire team,” Kilgore said. “Coach Tipton leaves a good foundation that we can build on.”
Kilgore was the defensive coordinator for Central Noble in 2019. It was his first year on the staff after coaching middle school football in Churubusco at his alma mater following his graduation from Ball State University.
The announcement was almost a mere formality after Kilgore stepped up to lead the off-season weight program for the Cougars. With him already in the building, it made sense to turn to him to lead the team forward.
With Tipton and other experienced coaches in the building, and his high school coach Paul Sade just a call or text away, Kilgore feels ready for the opportunity.
Moving into the 2020 season, Kilgore hopes to instill an offensive attack that can stretch defenses a bit more through the air. Defensively, the Cougars lined up in a 5-2 base in 2019, a scheme that will likely stick around due to both Kilgore’s familiarity with it while at Churubusco and its versatility in sub packages.
Central Noble went 2-8 a season ago, one year after posting seven victories as Tipton returned to the Cougar sidelines.
Quarterback Sawyer Yoder will be a senior in 2020, while seniors Noah Christopher (76 rushes, 224 yards, TD) and Trey Hearld (7 receptions, 156 yards, TD) will be looked upon to improve an offense that scored just 11.4 points per game.
“I have been asked maybe 97 times over the last few days on if I am ready for this being so young,” Kilgore said. “With the guys I have around me I believe I am. I am ready and it is a good opportunity.”
Image courtesy of Hayden Kligore