EDGERTON — Following a rise to new heights in program history, Edgerton will turn to a recently familiar face to guide the football program going forward.
After Ben Wilhelm stepped down in late December, the Bulldogs hired 2012 Edgerton graduate and current assistant Brody Flegal as the program’s next head football coach on Monday.
Flegal was a standout athlete for the Bulldogs, becoming the first male or female athlete to be named all-Ohio in three sports in the same season following an outstanding year in Maroon and Gold in football, basketball and baseball.
Now the next step for Flegal will come in taking over a program that is coming off back-to-back trips to the postseason and a 21-4 mark over the last two years, including four playoff wins and the first Green Meadows Conference title in 25 years won in 2018.
“First off, I’d just like to thank the Edgerton board of education, (principal) Kevin Wolfe, (superintendent) Kermit Riehle, the Edgerton athletic department and coach Wilhelm for the opportunity,” said Flegal, an Akron and Ohio Dominican graduate and current intervention teacher at Edgerton. “I learned a lot coaching under him and learned from his preparation and passion for the game and I have the utmost respect for him as a coach and as a person.
“When he stepped down, he told me I might be a fit for the job and that really sank in because it came from someone I had a lot of respect for.”
Flegal earned the 2012 Green Meadows Conference Offensive Player of the Year award under Wilhelm’s tutelage and played two years for Wilhelm at the varsity level after his first two years under then-Edgerton coach and current Defiance head coach Kevin Kline.
With the past three seasons spent as an assistant for the Bulldogs, the familiarity with the current players played a role in Flegal making the plunge.
“Familiarity is very important, we’ve got a great group of kids at Edgerton that are hard workers,” said Flegal. “We’ve had a lot of success under coach Wilhelm and that adds to the responsibility of the position. I know the community and our program both have high expectations and that doesn’t just happen, it takes a lot of hard work.
“We have to focus on doing the little things right and the little things will take care of the big things.”
In terms of an on-field look, Flegal described flexibility as a desired trait, having played and coached under a run-heavy system with Wilhelm in charge along with a spread passing attack early in his career.
“Obviously we’re going to meet as a coaching staff and evaluate where we are as a team,” said Flegal. “I would say a spread but it’s obviously important to have a combination of run and pass.”
Edgerton finished 9-3 last season, finishing second in the GMC standings and earning a win over McComb in the first round of the Division VII postseason before falling to Leipsic, 39-6. The 2018 edition of Edgerton football broke new ground, earning an undefeated season and a regional runner-up finish at 12-1.