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Knight shift is given to Ridenour

December 09, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

Middletown athletic director Tim Ambrose made plenty of difficult decisions during a remarkable 31-year run as Middletown's first and only head football coach.

Choosing the man to replace him wasn't difficult at all.

Ambrose, who went 248-78 over those 31 years, handed the keys to the Knights' program over to Lorne Ridenour, an assistant for the past 11 campaigns and a teacher at Middletown for the past nine years.

"I feel extremely fortunate, and I'm very happy to have this opportunity," Ridenour said Wednesday. "I'm obviously very nervous to follow a coach like Ambrose, but I'm real excited to try to continue the great football tradition we have at Middletown.

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"I've always known I wanted to be a head coach, and I'm excited to have the opportunity and to have it be at the school I've worked at for nine years. It's just a wonderful opportunity for me."

"He's got great experience, a tremendous philosophy and a passion for football," Ambrose said. "He's done a great job as an assistant and he's a natural choice for the position."

Ridenour, who also has experience as an assistant at Beall and Brunswick, credited his colleagues for a head start.

"I've learned so many different things from so many different coaches involved in the program," Ridenour said. "From Tim specifically, I learned how to manage several different coaches and three different teams (counting JV and freshmen squads)."

"He's taught me so much about defense, he has such a great defensive mind and he's taught me a lot about how to defend people."

Then, of course, there's the Middletown philosophy. Don't expect it to change anytime soon.

"I'm looking for dedication, looking for a team player with a good attitude and someone who's totally dedicated to the program and willing to give their team, their teammates and myself 100-percent effort all the time," Ridenour said.

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