Before even the first practice session for the 2014 Bay High Varsity Rockets Football team, its new head coach, Ron Rutt, has a well-informed, strategic plan for exploiting the team’s strengths, shoring up its weaknesses, and putting it on a focused path for a successful season. The Board of Education hired Rutt for the position at its regular meeting on Monday, April 14.
Rutt, who was hired as a technology teacher at Bay Middle School in 2005 and then at Bay High in 2010, spent a number of years coaching the school district’s middle school football, freshman football, and freshman boys basketball teams. He has served as assistant football coach at Bay High since 2008 and head coach of boys track at the school since 2010.
“We were thoroughly impressed by Mr. Rutt’s proactive and articulate presentation of how we can have a successful football team,” said Clint Keener, superintendent of the Bay Village City School District. “In addition to being our assistant varsity football coach, he has also coached middle school football and summer youth football camps. We want a cohesive program from 7th through 12th grade, and Ron is particularly well positioned to make that happen.”
Rutt said his unique experience in working for years with Bay Village’s youth football camps as well as its high school programs gives him that long-term vision. “I believe the youth football experience is an extremely important factor in the development and sustainability of the overall program,” he said.
While he has a close familiarity with the district’s current players, Rutt himself is an alumnus of Bay High and its athletic programs and appreciates the school’s athletic traditions and spirit. He played several sports in high school and was a Rockets Varsity Football player, playing positions of wide receiver, cornerback and a kick and punt returner under then-Coach Kaiser. He was also co-captain of his senior team.
“What you know as a coach is not as important as what you can get your players to understand and execute,” said Rutt. “A coach can call the perfect play, but if the players are not prepared to execute through coaching and repetition, it will not work. Success in practice translates to success in games.”
Matt Spellman, director of athletics and activities for the district, said that he has observed a strong consistency in Rutt’s promotion of a positive attitude and high energy in all his coaching positions, whether track or football. “You never hear a negative word come from him,” Spellman said. “Ron promotes many great things about our student athletes and he builds their confidence.”
From a technical standpoint, Spellman said that Rutt is a well-rounded coach. “He coaches offensive as well as defensive really well,” he said. “It’s important our head coach be able to make us strong in both.”
Rutt earned his master’s degree in school administration and supervision from Bowling Green State University and his bachelor’s degree in technology education from Kent State University.
The Bay Village City School District Athletics Department has a mission statement and belief statements that stress sportsmanship, leadership and teamwork. The district has received the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSSA) Harold A. Meyer Award for Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity every year since the award’s inception in 1992, being the only Ohio school to do so. More on the Bay Village City School District philosophy on athletics can be found at:bayvillageschools.com/Sportsmanship.
“School athletics is a continuation of what we teach in our classrooms,” said Keener. “You have to study and work hard to be successful on the field and off. Mr. Rutt has terrific relationships with his students and his players. I am absolutely satisfied that in him we have the best possible fit for our high school varsity head football coach. I look forward to a wonderful football season this fall.”