McLean hires new head football coach

Former Highlander quarterback John Scholla comes home

Jackson Payne, Sports reporter

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Following a pair of 1-9 campaigns, McLean varsity football head coach Shaun Blair has taken a position on the defensive coaching staff at Westfield High School, the two time defending Virginia state champion. Blair’s departure left an important vacancy in the athletics department at McLean, one that first year DSA Greg Miller was determined to fill with the right replacement.

 

‘This might be the most important hire I make here at McLean,” Miller said, “so I spent a lot of time making sure I got it right.”

 

After two days of interviews, John Scholla, an assistant coach for the past four years at Madison and former McLean quarterback who graduated in 2008, accepted the position. Scholla blew away the panel during his interview, impressing them with his enthusiasm and proposal for the future of the program. As Scholla left the room following his interview, one panel member quipped “I think we just found our new head coach.”

 

Homecoming hire- former McLean quarterback and Madison assistant coach John Scholla is introduced to the football program as the new head coach on May 11. (Photo courtesy of McLean Athletics Instagram)

For McLean, the hiring of a young and relatively inexperienced head coach is quite the gamble, but one that the program has made before and was rewarded for. In 1990, McLean hired Karl Buckwalter as their new head coach, coming off a rough stretch of a few seasons that included one 0-10 campaign. Buckwalter, who graduated in 1981 and is now in the McLean Athletic Hall of Fame, had barely any coaching experience, but within five years he turned around a struggling program and won a region title and a handful of playoff games before leaving to take the head coaching job at Colonial Forge in 2000. With Scholla, McLean hopes to capture the same sort of lightning in a bottle and turn around the program for years of future success.

 

 

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