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Prep Football: Orange seeking a coach

KAYAJANIAN WILL NO LONGER

RUN HORNETS’ FOOTBALL TEAM

BY TAFT COGHILL JR.

THE FREE LANCE–STAR

Orange High School posted a job opening for a new football coach on Tuesday for the first time in 19 years.

Hornets athletic director Marc Cole said the school decided to “let go” of veteran head coach John Kayajanian.

“We’re going in a different direction,” Cole said.

Kayajanian spent 34 years at Orange. He had been the head coach since 1995. He was an assistant coach for 16 years prior to that.

Kayajanian will remain a physical education teacher and wrestling coach at Orange.

“I still have a couple of years left in my body,” Kayajanian said, “and I’m having fun.”

Cole and Kayajanian declined to say if his dismissal as football coach came down to wins and losses.

Kayajanian finished with a record of 101–84. He guided the Hornets to three district titles (two in the Jefferson District and one in the Battlefield District) in his tenure.

But Orange went just 2–18 the past two years as it competed in the Group AAA Commonwealth District for the first time. The Hornets were 0–16 in Commonwealth play. Kayajanian acknowledged that “Triple A was tough for us,” but said “it is what it is.”

The Hornets will return to the Jefferson District next season.

“We just went our separate directions and we both agreed to it,” Kayajanian said of himself and the Orange administration. “It was a lot of fun. I’ve spent 34 years here, so I want what’s best for the kids.”

Kayajanian said the district championships, opportunities to compete in the playoffs and coaching future college players like Bradley Starks (West Virginia) and Quintin Hunter (Virginia and James Madison) were the highlights of his career.

Cole said the Hornets will begin interviewing candidates on Jan. 7 and they hope to have a name to submit to the county School Board later that month. Cole said veteran offensive coordinator Jesse Lohr is a candidate for the job.

Cole has worked at Orange nearly as long as Kayajanian, so he said it’s a difficult separation.

“It’s real tough,” Cole said. “I’ve been here 30 years. He’s been here 34. He’s like my brother. It’s not easy at all.”

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/sports/2012/11/29/prep-football-orange-seeking-a-coach/

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