Reardon welcomed back at Ursuline
Irish officially welcome back Reardon as football coach
By Dan Hiner
With familiar faces in the audience, Dan Reardon was welcomed back to Ursuline. The former Irish football coach was officially introduced as Ursuline’s new coach on Wednesday at Ursuline High School.
The Irish went 72-29 under Reardon from 2004-10. Ursuline went to four straight state titles and won three in a row from 2008-10.
He left for Colorado the following year and coached three seasons, compiling a 11-20 record out west.
While at Canton McKinley, Reardon posted a 30-15 record and took a share of the Federal League title each of the last two years.
“There were a lot of things that aligned, both personally and professionally,” Reardon said. “It was a full family decision on how things aligned and I felt like this was the right thing at this point.”
Reardon hasn’t met with the team because of Martin Luther King Day on Monday and weather-related closings Tuesday and Wednesday. He said his goal is to create a “culture of competition” that focuses on mental toughness.
“I know we’re going to come in here, we’re going to work hard — I mentioned building a culture of competition and mental toughness — and that’s something I tried to do everywhere I’ve been,” Reardon said.
“A big part of the process is analyzing the state of the state of the team, state of the union, so to speak. That’s going to be a big part of it over probably the next month — getting to know some of these kids, trying to see who they are and develop some rapport. Then we’ll have some more specific direction of where we’ll try to be headed.”
Junior guard Kylar Morgan was one of several players who attended the press conference. Following his speech, Reardon shook hands and talked briefly with the players.
“He’ll test us physically, mentally,” Morgan said. “I think he’ll build our character as the players. I believe this year will be a great season.”
Reardon didn’t get into details on the future of the program. He said the offense will be created around the skill position players. Defensively, the team will focus on tackling, creating pressure and getting to the football.
“If you do that, it doesn’t matter what defense we play,” Reardon said.
According to Reardon, “there were some people” associated with Ursuline that talked to him about returning.
Reardon joins Tom Carey as coaches to be rehired by the Irish. Carey coached from 1949-60 and 1964-68.
Reardon will teach starting in the 2019-20 academic year, but he and the school have yet to determine his courses. He will not work in the athletic department and will only be a teacher.
The Irish didn’t renew former head coach Larry Kempe’s contract in November. Offensive line coach Ryan Kelly took over after Kempe left as the strength and conditioning coach. Kelly was one of Reardon’s first hires in 2004.
“I know what he’s about, I know what he brings,” Kelly said. “The family aspect of it is the most important thing. It’s all about the Ursuline family. I don’t want to say getting back to it, but really hammering it home because we need these kids to understand and buy into it. So I’m very excited.”
The Irish went 1-9 last season. Reardon doesn’t want the players to focus on the record next season or use it as a goal.
During his speech, Reardon called for the Ursuline community to help rebuild the program.
“This is not me,” Reardon said. “This is what we are going to do, not what I’m going to do.”