Weeks of speculation came to an end on September 4 with the formal announcement that Will Wolford will take over as St. Xavier High Schoolâ€™s football coach beginning in 2013.
Wolford, a 1982 St. X graduate and 13-year NFL veteran, will succeed Mike Glaser, who announced last month that this season â€“ his 31st â€“ would be his last.
Although heâ€™s long held an interest in the head coaching position at his alma mater, Wolford admitted he isnâ€™t crazy about following Glaser, who has won seven state championships and boasts a 331-74 career record.
â€œItâ€™s not ideal to follow the greatest coach in the history of the school,â€ said Wolford. â€œIâ€™m the guy following Bear Bryant.â€
An all-state selection his senior season at St. X, Wolford played at Vanderbilt before an outstanding NFL career at offensive line with the Bills (seven years), Colts (three years) and Steelers (three years). He appeared in three Super Bowls and was a three-time Pro-Bowl selection.
â€œI know what Iâ€™m getting into,â€ Wolford said. â€œIâ€™ll have my finger on every aspect of the job and will never have more fun in my life.â€
Wolford, 48, plans to keep his job as a financial advisor with the Perrone Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, but is unsure if he will continue as a radio color analyst for the Indianapolis Colts, a position he has held since 2007.
Wolford was an assistant with the freshman team at St. X from 2005-07 and has served on the schoolâ€™s board of directors. After years of close association with St. X, he is keenly aware of its rivalry with another Catholic prep school in the area.
â€œYou mark time by Christmas, you mark time by the Derby, and you mark time by the St. X-Trinity game when you grow up the way I did, so I fully understand the importance of that ballgame,â€ Wolford said.
Trinity has won the last four meetings by a combined score of 166-19 and Wolford said only time will tell if and when the gap can be closed.
â€œNot only are they the team to beat in Louisville, they are the team to beat in the Midwest,â€ he said â€œWeâ€™re just going to have to wait and see.â€
Meantime, Wolford will be preparing quietly in the wings.
â€œUntil January, I have to be respectful of the fact that this yearâ€™s team is very good and loaded with some quality seniors. I donâ€™t want to be a distraction to them andâ€¦the coaching staff,â€ he said.
â€œWhen my time comes to take over in January, Iâ€™ll be ready for it.â€
Taylor Paulson recorded eight kills and Alyssa Cavanaugh added five more as top-ranked Assumption downed No. 3 Sacred Heart 25-14, 25-19 to win the Louisville Invitational Volleyball Tournament at Ohio Valley Volleyball Center on Sept. 8.
Even after the convincing win, Rockets coach Ron Kordes said there was room for improvement.
â€œI thought particularly in the first part of that match we were playing not to get beat. Weâ€™ve got to go after people a little bit,â€ said Kordes, whose team has not lost a match since falling to Chattahoochee (Ga.) in last yearâ€™s LIVT final.
Chattahoochee went 0-3 in this yearâ€™s event, which featured 14 teams in Kentuckyâ€™s top 25 and several elite programs from neighboring states.
In the final, Assumption (16-0) rattled off eight points in a row to close the first set, and then raced out to a 5-1 lead in the second before cruising to its 44th straight win.
Defensive specialist Kristen Brashear led the Valkyries with 14 digs and Ashley Askin added seven kills.
Both Assumption and Sacred Heart head to Las Vegas this weekend for the 48-team Durango Fall Classic, one of the countryâ€™s most prestigious volleyball events. Assumption is the defending champion.
â€œI canâ€™t imagine itâ€™s not the strongest high school tournament in the country,â€ said Kordes. â€œWeâ€™re going to see some very big people out there â€“ very big teams â€“ and I think weâ€™re going to have to play a little more aggressively.â€
State Tournament Draw
The KHSAA recently held its draw for the state volleyball tournament to be played Oct. 26-27 at Valley Highâ€™s new J.C. Cantrell Gymnasium.
Region Six â€“ which features No. 2 Mercy and No. 8 Holy Cross â€“ and Region 7 â€“ home of Assumption, Sacred Heart and No. 5 Manual â€“ were drawn into opposite halves of the bracket.
7th Region vs. 2nd Region
13th Region vs. 1st Region
15th Region vs. 4th Region
16th Region vs. 11th Region
3rd Region vs. 10th Region
5th Region vs. 8th Region
14th Region vs. 9th Region
12th Region vs. 6th Region
Contact columnist Chris Cahill at email@example.com.