OVAC All-Star Game Coaching Staff Announced
When Ian Whittington was approached about taking the West Virginia squad in the 70th annual Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Football Game, selling his coaching staff wasn’t a tough job.
The Oak Glen staff simply looked at it as an opportunity to work with “the best the Ohio Valley has to offer.”
And from there, it jumped at the opportunity.
Now, the staff has the roster in place and is now preparing to get to Bethany College on July 19 to begin camp for the game, which will be contested a week later at Wheeling Island Stadium.
“It’s a great opportunity to get to coach your own kids, but being able to coach great players at all positions is special,” Whittington said. “It’s just exciting when you think that some of these kids are going to be going on to play at the college level and you get a chance to work with them for a week.”
Whittington will be joined on the West Virginia sideline by Ted Arneault, Johnny Bonar, Frank Crain, Michael Demster, Chris Hill, Tim Ickes and Nathan Parry.
Here’s a capsule look at the coaches:
IAN WHITTINGTON, Head Coach – This former Golden Bear standout has been at the helm for three seasons and has six years of total coaching experience.
Through his career, Whittington has put together a 29-29 career record.
Along with his football responsibilities, Whittington also serves on the Oak Glen wrestling staff.
The West Liberty graduate has also coached track during his relatively young career.
Ian is engaged to Amber Littler and has one daughter, Kayleigh.
TED ARNEAULT, Assistant Coach – This first-year assistant will be joining the Golden Bears’ staff for the first time when the season gets underway next month.
A graduate of Forest Hills Central High School in Grand Rapids, Mich., Arneault has nine years of coaching experience with stops at Brooke, Weir, Madonna and Robert Morris University.
The owner of a degree from the University of Michigan and a Master’s from Franciscan, Arneault was named 2015 Oak Glen Teacher of the Year.
Ted played both football and rugby in his prep days.
JOHNNY BONAR, Assistant Coach – This current Bishop Donahue assistant will join Whittington’s staff for the OVAC Game.
Bonar was a standout player at John Marshall and went on to play at West Liberty where he played wide receiver.
Bonar has been a coach for five years, all of which have been spent with the Bishops.
Johnny and his wife Katrina have two children, a son, Jackson (6) and a daughter, Kennedy (3).
FRANK CRAIN, Assistant Coach – This former OVAC Class 3A coach of the year has spent four years with the Golden Bears football staff.
Crain attended Oak Glen and then went on to graduate with a degree from the University of South Florida.
Along with football, Crain has also coached wrestling. Both are sports played during his prep career.
Frank and his wife Constance have three children, Devon Chadwick, James Crain and Zach Springer.
MICHAEL DEMSTER, Assistant Coach – This veteran coach has 10 years of experience, but just one as a member of the Oak Glen staff.
Prior to joining Whittington with the Golden Bears, Demster coached for nine seasons in North Carolina. He also served as a track coach and was named Rocky River Conference Track Coach of the Year.
Demster, who attended Fairless High School and Mount Union, owns a master’s degree from Wingate University. Demster played football for the Purple Raiders.
Michael and his wife, Stephanie have one daughter (Delaney).
CHRIS HILL, Assistant Coach – This former Weir High standout has been a football coach for nine seasons, including the last three with Whittington at Oak Glen.
Prior to that, he’s worked at Weir High and Brooke. He still coaches track and swimming at Brooke.
After his high school graduation, Hill earned a degree from Fairmont State and a master’s at Wheeling Jesuit.
Hill and his wife Nicolette reside in Follansbee.
TIM ICKES, Assistant Coach – This current Wheeling Park assistant owns five years of experience, including four with the Patriots.
Ickes other season of football coaching came at West Liberty University.
Along with football, Ickes currently coaches tennis.
Ickes is a graduate of Northwestern High School in Salem, Oh. He earned his degree at West Liberty.
Tim and his wife, Mia, reside in Martins Ferry.
NATHAN PARRY, Assistant Coach – This relatively new coach has just two years of experience, including a season at Oak Glen. He spent last season at his alma mater, McGuffey, Pa.
Along with football, Parry currently coaches basketball and baseball.
After high school, Parry headed to West Liberty where he played football. He attended the Pitt for graduate school.
With his roster set, Ohio head coach Jeremy McElroy has announced the coaching staff that will join him on the sidelines for the 70th annual Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Football Game, which is set for Sunday, July 26 at Wheeling Island Stadium.
McElroy believes his staff is “chomping at the bit” to get to Bethany College on July 19th to begin preparations for the game.
“Our coaches are excited,” McElroy said. “We have our hands full trying to get Beaver Local ready, but we went and watched the Penn-Ohio game for the Quad County Coaches and it really excited us for this opportunity.”
It’s an opportunity that many on the staff will be experiencing for the first time. Only three members of the staff has had any past involvement with the OVAC Game and that all came as players.
“We’re looking forward to getting to camp and getting to know the kids and start working with them,” McElroy said. “We’ve been trying to touch base with the kids to see what they’re all about and start building a relationship.”
Slated to help guide the Ohio squad are: Charlie Dolnosich, Rich Shilling, Aaron West, David Allen, Jeffery Weidger, T.J. Osbon and Steve Mercer.
Here’s a capsule look at the coaches who submitted their biographical information:
JEREMY McELROY, Head Coach – This Beaver mentor just completed his third season at the school in 2014 and his sixth overall as a head coach.
Along with his tenure at Beaver Local, McElroy has also coached football at Lisbon, Kettering Fairmont, Piqua and his alma mater, East Palestine. He’s also made two coaching stops at the collegiate level, working at California University of Pa. and Mount Union. All told, he has 13 years of coaching experience.
McElroy, who owns a degree from Mount Union and California, has also coached basketball and track during his career.
Jeremy and his wife, Rebecca have four children (Libby, Tucker, John Parker and Ava).
CHARLIE DOLNOSICH, assistant coach – This Meadville High School graduate is preparing for his first venture into the OVAC Game.
Dolnosich has worked on the Beaver Local staff for one year, which is the lone season of football coaching experience he owns. After high school, he went to Gannon University.
Along with football, Dolnosich has also coached basketball in his career.
RICH SHILLING, Assistant Coach – Potter turned Beaver is the path this Ohio assistant coach has taken.
After graduating from East Liverpool, Shilling headed to Muskingum College where he earned his degree.
Along with football, Shilling is also a softball coach and has previously coached wrestling.
Rich and his wife, Liz, reside in East Liverpool.
AARON WEST, Assistant Coach – The OVAC All-Star Game will be a brand new adventure for this Leetonia High School product.
West has four years of football coaching experience and has been on McElroy’s staff at Beaver since his hiring. Prior to arriving at Beaver, he coached his alma mater.
Along with football, West has experience in coaching basketball.
Aaron and his wife, Arianne, have three children (Austin, Noah and Aubre).
DAVID ALLEN, Assistant Coach – This East Liverpool High School graduate has been around the coaching business for 17 seasons.
Allen has spent the last two of those seasons with McElroy at Beaver Local and prior to that he coached with the Potters.
Allen was a member of the 1990 Ohio All-Star Squad after his prep career.
David and his wife, Deena have three children (Shane, Danielle and Payne).
JEFFERY WEIDGER, Assistant Coach – With four years of coaching experience, McElroy hired this assistant coach prior to last season.
Before arriving to the Beavers’ program, Weidger had coached four seasons at Toronto, which is where he went to school.
Weidger is a graduate of the University of Akron.