Former Blanchester High School coach Jack O’Rourke will be the new Hillsboro High School Indians football coach this coming season. O’Rourke will begin his 37th year as a football coach when he starts for the Indians, his 30th year as a head coach.
O’Rourke hopes to bring a lot to the football program of Hillsboro including years of coaching experience and the know-how of rebuilding a program. Coach O’Rourke is excited to be coaching at Hillsboro and is hoping to bring back tradition to the team and the town.
“I’ve been on-and-off interested in the coaching job at Hillsboro a few times,” said O’Rourke. “The job was there this time and I was still interested and thought it would be a good match for me so I took it. I’m a small town guy myself and have been in a similar situation as Hillsboro is. Getting a football team back on track does a lot for a school in a community like this. I’d like to bring back the football tradition like it was in the days of Jim Horne. I’ve had experience rebuilding teams. A lot of times it went well, and sometimes not. But I’ve never been afraid of a challenge.”
Coach O’Rourke, overall, wants to make football fun. The first step to doing that is to instill basic fundamentals.
“First of all, I want to emphasize team concepts,” said O’Rourke. “To me, football is one of the most team-based games so we have to have teamwork. I want to improve in all parts of our game each and everyday. I know these guys want to win more ball games but we also have to get better everyday. If we do that, then some more wins will come our way. But we have to focus on the basics first.”
Being from the area, Coach O’Rourke is also very familiar with the South Central Ohio League and most of the teams that compete within it.
“I know a lot about the teams in the SCOL,” explained O’Rourke. “For the last several years, we’ve had Clinton-Massie as our season opener at Blanchester. We’ve played a couple other schools from the SCOL and I’m friends or familiar with a lot of the coaches as well. I know a good bit about the teams’ play styles and what they want to do on both sides of the ball.”
Overall, O’Rourke is very excited to start at his new home of Hillsboro High School where he will be a physical education coach. Hillsboro has had a history of good football programs and O’Rourke is looking to bring that back to the town and knows that the community is ready for it.
“What we have is a team, a school, and a town that is hungry and wants to succeed,” O’Rourke said of Hillsboro and its team. “Again, I want to make football fun and bring back the football tradition to this town. I’ve already been with the guys about a week and a half now and from what I see, there’s a team here that wants to and is willing what it takes to make that happen. I’m looking forward to the challenges that come with being a new coach and looking forward to a successful season with the Indians.”
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.