By Steve ruman
Jeff Bayuk spent more than a decade developing the Hubbard Eagles into one of the premier football programs in Trumbull County.
Bayuk will now soar to another eagles nest in hopes of duplicating the feat.
On Wednesday, Bayuk was hired as the head coach of the Warren John F. Kennedy football program. In a press release issued by JFK, school president Brian Sinchak said that Bayuk was selected “after a thorough review of the current football program and an extensive selection process of over 35 applicants.”
Bayuk replaces Dave Pappada, whose contract was not renewed following a two-year stint. Pappada’s squad went 9-2 in 2012, including a playoff appearance. This past fall, the Eagles were 2-8.
“This sort of happened out of the blue for me, but this just feels like the right thing to do at the right time,” Bayuk said. “This feels like a perfect fit for me. I hope the Kennedy community feels the same way.”
A graduate of Kennedy Christian, Bayuk began his coaching career at the freshmen level at there under Dick Angle. He then went to Ursuline with Angle, where he was a freshman coach for three years before assuming the role of varsity defensive coordinator from 1983-85.
Buyak landed his first head coaching job at Canfield in 1986. Following a five-year stint with the Cardinals, he coached at Hubbard from 1991-2006. He then guided the Campbell program from 2007-09.
Canfield was 0-10 the year before Bayuk arrived and was in a five-year stretch where it went 12-38. By 1988, Buyak had the Cards at 8-2. In his final year at the school, his team went 7-3.
At Hubbard, Bayuk’s 120-46 record was easily the best winning percentage of any coach in school history. The 120 wins Bayuk accumulated were more than the previous eight Eagles coaches combined.
Campbell was suffering through a 3-27 stretch before Bayuk arrived. In just three years, Bayuk turned the Red Devils into a playoff team.
Bayuk spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons as an assistant at Howland. In 2012 he was the offensive coordinator at Warren Harding.
“Each time I walked away from coaching, I thought I did so for good,” Bayuk said. “But you miss the kids, you miss the coaches you worked with or coached against. It’s the love for those people that brings you back.
“This past fall was the first time I was away from coaching since 1978. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I was able to watch my own son coach at Struthers, which was a great experience. But I guess being away also rejuvenated my coaching spirit.”
Bayuk said that Kennedy’s winning tradition and family atmosphere were key factors in his decision to seek the job.
“I’ve coached against Kennedy kids all the way back to my Canfield days,” Bayuk said. “I have always been impressed with the tenacity and the dedication of the JFK athlete.
“It’s also a complete honor to be mentioned in the same breath as guys like Dennis Zolciak, Tony Napolet and Dave Pappada, who have made the Kennedy program what it is today.”
The Vindicator attempted to reach Sinchak and JFK Assistant to the President for Athletic Development Vincent Lyons throughout the hiring process. Numerous calls were not returned.