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Paden City Football Coach Resigns From Alma Mater

By Cody Tomer - for the Wetzel Chronicle | May 12, 2021

Zach Heasley

PADEN CITY — Sometimes in life the right decisions may be the hardest to make.

Zach Heasley found himself in that situation on Friday as he made the difficult choice to resign from his football head coaching duties at his alma mater of Paden City.

Heasley, 24, coached Paden City to a 3-7 record in his first year at the helm before the team only managed to play two games last year due to a lack of numbers.

After not seeing an increase in numbers this offseason, Heasley made the tough call to leave his dream job and pursue other coaching opportunities where he can attempt to learn and grow into the coach he wants to be.

“I wanted to try to grab the interest for kids to play at Paden City this offseason but after so long, I set a date,” Heasley said. “I told myself ‘if I don’t get more interest from kids by this date, I’m going to look elsewhere,’ and that’s what happened.

“I’m 24 and I was nervous about the upcoming year and possibly going another year without coaching. It was my dream at 22 to be the youngest coach in the state and possibly the country and to come to my alma mater but I’m going to carry on that dream of coaching and try to enhance my coaching experience.”

In his time at Paden City, Heasley has already learned a great deal about leading a football team and he will take those lessons with him to his next endeavor.

“I learned how to manage the game,” Heasley said. “I learned how to manage different situations and how to call an offense. I learned to create relationships and found out that different kids have different wants and needs that I need to focus on.

“I want to be a head coach again. I’m just going to keep my ears open and see what’s out there. I’m definitely going to be in the coaching business with football.

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to make an impact on another program and in another kid’s life.”

Although Heasley would like to have delivered more wins over the last two years, it’s what the kids were able to take away from their football playing experience that means the most to him.

“I’ve had kids tell me that I have made an impact on their lives,” Heasley said. “That means more to me than any 14-0 record or state championship ever will. That hits my heart more than anything else and that was one of our missions.

“Just to be able to come home and build the culture and coach these kids was amazing. The program hasn’t folded. There have been low numbers but the school is still going to try to work on kids to have a team this fall.”

Heasley had many thanks to go around to everyone who helped him get his coaching career started.

“I want to thank everyone who was involved in our program,” Heasley said. “The coaching staff, the parents, the Wildcat boosters, all the supportive people in the school, the community, the alumni and we appreciate the kids who have put in the work and dedication. They are going to be great football players and great men in life. They’re going to be successful.”