St. C. grad Nelson now head grid coach at Rittman

Levi Nelson has known for quite some time he wanted to be a head football coach.

After spending several seasons on the staff at Tallmadge, Nelson sent out several resumes and applications with the hopes of landing a head coaching position.

As it’s worked out, Nelson has now landed two.

The St. Clairsville High School graduate was hired late last month as the head coach at Conotton Valley.

Last week, he was formally introduced as the head coach at Rittman High School, which is in suburban Akron.

“It was a crazy turn of events,” Nelson said. “I truly believe the Lord works in mysterious and unpredictable ways.”

Nelson had interviewed at Rittman in December, but at that point there wasn’t an available teaching position.

“I had always been taught go through the interview process regardless because it’s good practice,” Nelson explained. “I went in not knowing what might happen.”

Since that interview, Nelson interviewed and was hired at Conotton Valley. However, the Rittman administration called him back when they learned of an opening in the physical education department.

“I really leaned on my inner circle of friends, coaches I respect, my family and my pastor for guidance,” Nelson said. “I’ve chased this dream (of being a head coach) for a long time and I was excited to have the opportunity to coach at Conotton Valley, but teaching in my content area was very important to me.”

Nelson had yet to meet with the Conotton Valley players, which made the decision to accept the Rittman job much easier.

“Since I hadn’t look the kids in the eye and made them any promises was a big deciding factor for me,” Nelson said.

Thus, Nelson resigned at Conotton Valley and was introduced at a recent Rittman boys’ basketball game as the new Indians’ head coach.

“I was blown away with the opportunity that there is at Rittman,” Nelson said. “It’s a new school with a young administration eager to get on the right page and do the right things. I was very impressed with their facilities.”

Rittman competes in Division VI and is coming off a 1-9 campaign.

“I am working on putting a coaching staff together and I’ve met with the kids,” Nelson said. “I’m expecting we’ll have more than 50 kids on the team. I am excited to be a part of their football community.”

Nelson, 26, is owns a degree and two master’s degrees from the University of Akron.

Nelson will bring his chief coaching philosophy of LEAD – Love, Effort, Attitude and Discipline – to Rittman.

“I am really excited to get started and about this opportunity,” Nelson said.