Zebb Schroeder was announced as the new head football coach at Olentangy Orange earlier this week — a gig he said he couldn’t be more excited about.
“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “I’m honored to take over the program … it’s a privilege. (Former Orange coach) Brian Cross is a professional friend of mine — he has probably forgotten more football than I’ve learned in my entire career — and it’s an honor to kind of follow in his footsteps.”
The job has tons of exciting aspects, Schroeder added. The only bummer, though, will be leaving the Delaware community he’s come to love while coaching Hayes each of the last three seasons, compiling a career overall record of 11-19 and OCC-Capital Division mark of 7-14. The Pacers finished 5-5 last fall, the best showing among the three with Schroeder at the helm, and closed fifth in the league.
“I loved my time at Delaware,” he said. “Delaware has great kids, great parents and great administrative leaders. I can’t thank them enough.
“There are over 700 schools in Ohio,” he continued, “and in my three years at Delaware I never though about any openings. The Orange opening, though, was just special to me. It’s close to where my family and I live and I have a lot of professional friends at Orange and within the Olentangy School District.”
The district is also where he got his coaching start. Schroeder spent his first 10 years coaching in the district, two at Olentangy and eight as an assistant at Liberty before taking over at Hayes three seasons ago.
Schroeder, who beat out more than 100 other applicants to land the job, takes over for Cross, who was 33-30 in six seasons at Orange. Last season was easily Cross’ toughest, as the Pioneers finished 1-9 overall and seventh in the OCC-Capital Division. His best seasons came in 2009 and 2011, when his teams won league championships and went on to make the OHSAA playoffs.
Schroeder said his immediate goal is to get Orange back to the top.
“We are going to strive for excellence,” he said. “We are going to push the kids both in the classroom and on the field, and we want to do everything it takes to be the best we can be every Friday night.”
More information on the Hayes opening, and how the school plans to fill it, will be published when available.