PREP FOOTBALL

Noll hires Cardinal Ritter assistant as head football coach

2014-03-24T16:00:00Z 2014-03-25T23:06:15Z Noll hires Cardinal Ritter assistant as head football coachHillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

Paul Douglass won a football state championship while he was a sophomore at Southern Wells 30 in 2001. He won a state championship as an assistant coach at Cardinal Ritter in November.

As he was introduced Monday as the next head coach at Bishop Noll, one of the first questions was what he could do against defending Class 3A champ Andrean.

"That's the elephant in the room. That's the real goal," Douglass said. "Look, Andrean is a great school and a great football program. That's where we want to be and the direction I want to move this program. I believe we can have that type of success. The way to get better is to work hard at it every day. We're not going to wake up one day and be state champions. We're going to work on it and achieve that goal over time."

Bishop Noll athletic director Marianne Galfano said that the decision to pick Douglass was unanimous.

"For me, it was his energy, his enthusiasm, his focus and the fact that each of the different parts of his strategy fit with what we hold important here," Galfano said. "It's the direction we want all of our programs to go. He was the perfect fit."

The direction that Douglass set out in a conference call with local reporters was about using his personnel to determine an offense and defense, and creating good people while building a program.

"I chose Noll, and I think they chose me, because they value the same things I've always wanted to emphasize as a head coach," Douglass said. "I've wanted my players to be more than about sports, and truly be students first. this is a place they could demand that football players and athletes work hard in the classroom, work hard for me, and being a private Catholic school, they're able to do some things and able to teach them to be adults. I loved that side of things at Cardinal Ritter and that side of things is similar at Bishop Noll."

Mike Juscik, who spent seven years at Noll, stepped down in January as he took the defensive coordinator position at Concordia College in Illinois. Juscik was 28-43 in his seven seasons and won a sectional game in 2012.

Douglass, who said he will meet the Warriors players next week while Ritter is on spring break, added that he will wait to see what his athletes' talents are before he determines an offensive or defensive scheme.

"We'll try to fit with our personnel the best way we can, the way I believe football should be played," said Douglass, a former wide receiver and defensive back. "I can say it will be exciting, the players will like it and the kids will have fun. I really want them to play fast and with confidence. The worst thing you can do is make them do things they're not comfortable with."

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