|G. Michael Graham|
This is not a secret in Fort Thomas.
For years, people have been saying Brian Weinrich will succeed Dale Mueller as the Head Coach of the highly-successful Highlands Bluebirds football team one day. That one day could soon become a reality. I have no true say in this, but it does make sense to me for many reasons and keep in mind this is just one man’s opinion.
Take a look at his background:
The Bluebirds finished 250-36 in Mueller’s 20-year tenure as Head Coach. That included an 11-3 mark in state championship games.
First of all, Weinrich has been on Mueller’s staff for 19 years, including those 14 trips to the state championship games. He came on staff in 1995 as a volunteer assistant and worked his way up to Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator. He’s been the Defensive Coordinator since 2002.
Mueller even told me he learned the playbook quickly after he became an assistant. That alone shows you Weinrich’s dedication.
Promoting from within:
I’ve always believed in this when a long-time head coach retires or moves on from a program coming off a lot of success.
When coaches come from outside, they generally bring their own ideas. But when teams were successful, I’ve often seen this backfire more often than not.
Hiring Weinrich to take over the Highlands program would be the safest move in this case. The players are already familiar with him after all.
Weinrich might tweak some things, but he would not mess with the core things the Bluebirds did to get to the level of success they’ve enjoyed in recent years. That includes the offseason weight programs.
Mueller and Highlands High Principal Brian Robinson could not go into details about the coaching search at this point. But they both spoke highly of Weinrich.
Success as a Player as well:
Weinrich also saw success as a player at Highlands. He played on the 1989 Class AAA Highlands state championship team. The Bluebirds beat Paducah Tilghman, 7-3 to win the title that year.
I don’t know if he applied or received offers from other places during his time as an assistant. It would have been easy for him to take over his own program.
But Weinrich stayed the course at Highlands and has even shown he can lead the team. Don’t forget the last state championship in 2012.
Mueller could not go down to Bowling Green because he attended his mother-in-law’s funeral in New York state. Mueller got credit for the state championship win, but Weinrich led the team that night.
That alone shows me he is worthy of becoming the next head coach. Current and former players even speak highly of his abilities.
Mueller said he no longer had the energy to run the program at a high level at his current age of 59 like he did when he was in his late 30s when he became head coach in 1994.
Weinrich is in his early 40s and has that energy needed to run the program. Weinrich played against former Paducah Tilghman Head Coach Randy Wyatt. In the fall, Wyatt said the Bluebirds take order and carry them out to the best of their abilities. That’s especially the case when taking orders from Weinrich.
One could make a case for others to take over this program. But in my personal opinion, no one outside of someone who has college or professional coaching experience, is as qualified for the job as Weinrich.
But regardless of what the search committee that will include Mueller and Robinson decides, I feel like the Highlands program will continue to succeed. The community support and dedication is there and not many places can say that.