New coach part of Carmichaels family
It could be a case of “like father-in-law, like son-in-law” for Carmichaels in 2013.
The Mighty Mikes, with former assistant Ryan Krull succeeding his father-in-law, John Menhart, as coach, will try to equal or better their 7-3 record of a year ago.
Krull served as Carmichaels' offensive coordinator the past two seasons before being promoted when Menhart, who also is the school's principal, relinquished the spot but remained on the coaching staff as an assistant.
“We're in good hands with Ryan. Nothing much will change. He's been here for a while now, and he knows the team,” Menhart said.
“I know how things are done here,” Krull said. “I know a little bit about the tradition here. The goal is to make the WPIAL playoffs on a consistent basis. Probably every coach says that, though.”
After a 1-2 start under Menhart in 2012, Carmichaels won the final six regular-season games by an average of 35 points before exiting the playoffs with a 40-7 first-round loss to Sto-Rox.
Krull, 26, welcomes back a group of veterans, led by senior quarterback Brandon Lawless, who completed nearly 50 percent of his passes (32 for 66) last season in Carmichaels' run-oriented offense.
“We have nine seniors, eight returning from last year,” Krull said. “They've really worked their tails off, and they've bought into what we're trying to do here.”
While he'll see some familiar faces, Krull loses 1,000-yard rusher Josh Mundell to graduation, leaving senior Brennan McMinn, who gained 615 yards as a junior, as the leading candidate to take over in the backfield. Senior Tyler Aeschbacher returns at receiver.
Krull, who played defensive back at Division III Waynesburg after a standout high school career at District 6 Central Cambria, compared Carmichaels' program to his alma mater's.
“It's small-town football. That makes things maybe a little bit more comfortable,” he said. “You want to look at things in their shoes and be receptive to what these guys are doing on a daily basis — a young boy in a small town, where football is pretty popular.”