Chambersburg hires former Urbana coach

May 11, 2006|by MARK KELLER

The last time a head football coach was hired at Chambersburg Area Senior High School, the search committee went with youth over experience and hired Chambersburg alum Shawn Kimple in 2002.

With the position vacant again this spring, the committee went the opposite direction.

Dave Carruthers, the former coach at Linganore and Urbana high schools in Frederick County, Md., was approved as the Trojans coach for the 2006 season during Wednesday's school board meeting.

"I'm excited about being here and having an opportunity to do my thing," Carruthers said. "I retired for one year and I went crazy."

Carruthers, 66, was one of the most successful high school football coaches in Maryland, winning six state titles and racking up 206 wins in a 26-year career.


He coached Linganore from 1979 to 1994, compiling a 121-50 record and leading the Lancers to the Maryland Class 3A title in 1989 and 1991. They lost in the title game in 1987 and 1992.

Carruthers left Linganore to get the Urbana program off the ground in 1995. After a season with only freshmen in the school, the Hawks went 5-5 in 1997.

The Hawks started an incredible run in 1998, winning a state-record 50 consecutive games and four straight state titles.

He retired after the 2004 season and moved from Frederick to Littlestown, Pa. He worked as an assistant coach at Biglerville last season, which was quite a change for a coach so used to winning.

"We won only two or three games and that was tough," Carruthers said.

While Carruthers' name may not be familiar to football fans in Pennsylvania, one of his former players is surely recognizable in the Keystone state. Ex-Penn State quarterback Zack Mills was at the helm for Urbana for the first half of the Hawks' incredible winning streak and led them to the 1998 and 1999 state titles.

Carruthers will be counted on to turn around a Trojans football program that has been on the downswing in recent years. Chambersburg has not had a winning season since 1998 and went 8-32 under Kimple the last four years.

"We can't worry about wins and losses. We've got to get better every day, every game," Carruthers said.

"The big thing is to convince the kids to believe in themselves. It's not about winning every game, it's about being competitive in every game."

Chambersburg will run a pro-set similar to the offenses Carruthers ran at Urbana. He is one of only two Maryland coaches to have a 2,000-yard rusher and a 2,000-yard passing (in different years), a testament to his ability to work with the skills of the players he has on his team.

"I can't wait to get started," said Carruthers, who will meet with the players today, his first official day on the job. "One of the big things I'm into is challenging and motivating kids."

Staff Writer Don Aines contributed to this story.

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