Collopy to lead Edison football
RICHMOND — If Edison hopes to stop what has been a football coaching carousel the past few years, it must find stability and, obviously, the right person for the job.
The Wildcats announced their fourth grid boss in the past six years on Thursday with somebody that has represented the school in different varieties over the last 21 years.
Mike Collopy takes over the helm, and he already has a message.
“As I told our kids (Friday) morning, I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “We have great kids, great parents and a very supportive administrative. I think we have a lot of good things going on.
“I have personal relationships with all of these guys. The three assistants are all good guys. As a coach in general, you just try to learn from everybody you work with. As far as stability, I love Edison and have been here for 21 years. I just want to do a good job and build off of what we did last year.”
Collopy takes over for Shane O’Brien, who was the head coach the past three seasons.
Following a winless 2019 campaign, the Wildcats finished 4-6 in 2020. Collopy returned as an assistant under O’Brien after taking a few years off.
Outside of football, Collopy is a highly-successful baseball coach. Not including last season’s cancelation due to COVID-19, 2021 will mark his 14th year as manager.
The 1993 Catholic Central graduate plans to coach football and baseball for the foreseeable future. After speaking with his family on this matter, there is another major factor involved.
“I never would have given the thought of being a head football coach if all of our facilities would not all be on campus,” Collopy said. “It’s going to allow for this to happen. Every single field will be turf.
“Being a baseball coach is different. I never thought I was different from any of the others. We’re kind of rare breeds because not too many head coaches have to take care of a field or a facility, and that’s what baseball coaches do.”
The upcoming baseball season will mark the final for Edison at Jefferson State Lake Park. A brand-new, state-of-art facility will be on campus, as well as a new football field, gymnasium and softball field. The gridiron already has been in use for practices and soccer matches.
Prior to spending the previous 21 years at Edison as a teacher and coach, Collopy worked at Harrison Central for two years. During his time as a Wildcat, he has been an assistant football coach for 16 years, including stints as a freshman and middle school boss. He was on Mike McKenzie’s staff for six seasons, then briefly joined Nate Moses, the current head boys basketball coach, in 2017. Derrick Stickles was the coach prior for four seasons.
“As an assistant, you just go with it and be a part of the staff and just try to help out,” Collopy said. “As far as being a head football coach, I never really considered it. I’ve coached football off and on for the past 20-plus years. I’ve always enjoyed it. I played football and baseball growing up.”
Unfortunately, two days into working with Moses, Collopy had to resign following news that his wife, Kelli, was diagnosed with breast cancer. This is at least part of the reason he had to discuss this new opportunity with his family first.
Collopy currently resides in Wintersville with his wife and two daughters, Amelia, 13 and Dara, 10.
“I wanted to talk with my wife and two daughters about it because it is a big commitment. I had to make sure they were on board with this,” he said. “I’m lucky to be around so many good people.”