Coaching staff took time to build

Shawn Stinson|Daily Journal Andy Shuler, a former Richmond Senior football and baseball player, will be an assistant coach on Mike Castellano’s staff this season.

New Richmond Senior football coach Mike Castellano gathered his team before beginning practice Monday morning.

He talked about his expectations for the day, but he also did something else very important — he had his coaches introduce themselves.

Sort of. The assistants just mentioned the positions they would be coaching so players would know where to go.

It was fitting that Castellano got that out of the way, because the majority of the players were accustomed to seeing former coach Paul Hoggard and his staff on the practice field every day.

There are some holdovers from the previous varsity coaching staff like Brad Denson, Eric Gould and Milton Sweenie, but they were in the minority. There were more new faces than old, but one of the new coaches is a former Richmond football and baseball player — Andy Shuler.

Since being hired on May 20, Castellano has been in a holding pattern with putting together his coaching staff. Unlike on the collegiate level when a new head coach generally has a clean slate to hire his own assistants, this isn’t the case in high school. These coaches are actually teachers and their first job is in the classroom, not on the gridiron.

Once all the pieces started to come together, Castellano was able to move forward and his coaching staff began to take shape.

It hasn’t been easy and it didn’t happen overnight. It was just a few weeks ago when Richmond had its spring individual position workouts, several of the coaches who were on the practice field at that time are no longer with the program.

Castellano knew he wanted to bring some of his staff with him from Middle Creek, but he had to play the waiting game. First, he had to see if any of those coaches were going to be in line to become his replacement. If so, then how many assistants would elect to remain at Middle Creek?

In addition, Castellano also had to wait and see if any of Hoggard’s assistants would follow him to John A. Holmes in Edenton. Others, like Mark Arthur, Mike James and David Johnson, pursued and accepted positions with other schools. While a handful of others elected to step away from coaching, but plan on continuing to teach within Richmond County Schools at this time.

But just like anything else in the world today, things are subject to change.

Reach managing editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 and follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.