The football program at Elyria Catholic will now be led by a trio of Buckeyes.
Elyria Catholic High School announced Thursday night that it had hired former Ohio State offensive lineman Chase Farris as its new head football coach, and he’s bringing a pair of former Buckeyes with him: Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Troy Smith, who will be Elyria Catholic’s offensive coordinator, and cornerback Doran Grant, who will be the Panthers’ defensive coordinator.
We added four more Panthers to our family tonight, Chase Farris, Troy Smith, Doran Grant, and Tony Csiszar. GO Panthers!!!! #EC75 pic.twitter.com/cXtPrJxjFp— Elyria Catholic High School (@ECHSPanthers) March 16, 2023
Farris, who grew up in Elyria and played for Elyria High School, said he wants to “unite this community in a way that’s never happened before” after switching sides in the crosstown rivalry.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Farris told reporters after Thursday night’s announcement. “It’s a great program. They have a tradition that’s just as rich as across town. But bigger than football, we have a chance to do something for this community that’s never been done ... It’s always been us vs. them, so why not just be us?”
Elyria Catholics new coach Chase Farris discusses joining the Panthers@ECHSAthletics @MJournalSports pic.twitter.com/3KZrMvgYOc— Mark Perez-Krywany (@MarkPerezK10) March 16, 2023
Farris always wants to bring the Buckeye brotherhood to Elyria Catholic, which is why he chose Smith and Grant to help him lead the program.
“Having that brotherhood, having the individuals that you can call on when times get tough. Like Doran, I trust him with my life; he was my roommate for four-plus years,” Farris said. “Being able to be in the trenches, in the foxhole, with these individuals, to have them as a part of this staff, it’s an overwhelming joy that I’m feeling right now.”
Elyria Catholics coach Chase Farris talks about the Buckeye brotherhood he plans on bringing to EC @ECHSAthletics @MJournalSports pic.twitter.com/ezHqqIE7sq— Mark Perez-Krywany (@MarkPerezK10) March 16, 2023
Their hirings came with an endorsement from former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who sent a video that was shared with the crowd at Elyria Catholic at Thursday night’s announcement.
“This is all going to be about the brotherhood. The brotherhood that we had at Ohio State, they can bring it right to you at Elyria Catholic,” Meyer said. “Because once you have a brotherhood, you can’t be beat.”
Words from former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer to Elyria Catholic.@MJournalSports @ECHSAthletics pic.twitter.com/ci5xfE4JJ2— Mark Perez-Krywany (@MarkPerezK10) March 16, 2023
Elyria Catholic becomes the second Ohio high school to hire a Buckeye-laden staff to lead its football program this offseason. Former Ohio State quarterback Stanley Jackson recently became the head coach at Westerville North High School and hired a staff of Buckeyes to assist him that includes Beanie Wells, Winfield Garnett, Reggie Germany, Ashanti Webb and Paris Long.