Krol eager to strengthen bite of Bulldogs football

Ex-West Liberty assistant takes Bridgeport reins

WOLFHURST — Gary Krol now has a football team to coach.

The Bridgeport Board of Education Wednesday night, at its regular monthly meeting, named Krol as its new head grid boss. He replaces Zac Melton who resigned after two years in the post.

Krol comes to Bridgeport from St. John Central. He was hired in December of 2015 as the Fighting Irish’s head football coach and athletic director.

As fate would have it, the Bellaire-based school encountered a numbers crunch, resulting in the Irish being unable to field a team this past fall. Krol still handled athletic director duties while also teaching physical education at the school.

The former Martins Ferry High quarterback boasts an impressive coaching resume. He also brings unbridled passion to Bridgeport.

“I am extremely enthusiastic about this opportunity. I believe that Bridgeport has the talent to be very successful,” Krol said.

“The teams on last year’s schedule who we will play in 2017 had a combined record of 46-32. We were outscored 334-122. There is a lot of work to get the program where we expect it to be.

“I am looking forward to this challenge and super excited about the staff that we have put together. We will instill team chemistry and values that will put this team in a position to have success. Our teams will work hard and have fun,” he added. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for the administration that brought us on board and look forward to working with them to bring the community together for Friday night excitement.”

Krol has coaching stops at Western Connecticut State, Millersville University and Westminster College before landing a position at West Liberty. With the Hilltoppers, Krol?s offenses led Division II in scoring and total offense in both 2009 (47.3 points and 542.3 yards) and 2010 (46 points and 543.8 yards) per game.

”From the time I started in 1993 until 2013, I was always a college coach,” Krol said. ”But, whether you’re coaching fourth grade flag football or working at Ohio State with Urban Meyer, it’s still coaching football. The age level and maturity level tend to help you figure out how much you can teach.”

Krol has started to assemble a staff. Already on board are defensive coordinator James Cowart, special teams coach Brandon Shane and assistant coach Nate Maleski, a former Bridgeport High and West Liberty grid standout.

“Mr. Krol brings extensive knowledge of the game and leadership experience to the head football coaching position. During the interview process, Mr. Krol was able to articulate a long-term plan for our football program to our Athletic Board,” Bridgeport Schools Superintendent Zac Shutler said. “We believe that Mr. Krol will maximize our student-athletes abilities on the field and hold them accountable for their performance in the classroom.”

Krol, a University of Dayton graduate, has two children: Garyn (15) and Turner (12).

The Bulldogs went 1-9 last fall.