Militzer: 'It's going to be now'
Excitement. Excitement. And maybe a little bit of enthusiasm sprinkled in.
That's how Don Militzer has been since he hit the ground running as the new head football coach at Charleroi.
The school district held the Meet the Coach Night Thursday at the campus' Alumni Room so parents and fans could get an up-close glimpse of the new leader of the struggling grid program.
“This is going to be an exciting time and you are probably going to hear the word ‘exciting' several times tonight,” Charleroi Athletic Director Bill Wiltz told those in attendance as he was introducing Militzer.
“We were behind the eight ball (with time after former coach Ed Jenkins stepped down). But I told the kids we would get this done in a month,” Wiltz said. “And we could not have possibly done better in a month than we did with Don.”
Militzer, who coached at Class AAAA Gateway a year ago and went 8-3, said not only is he excited by what he sees in his new program, but he expects results immediately.
“This is such a beautiful facility and our goal is to have a home playoff game,” Militzer said. “And we want it this year.
“I don't want to hear the word ‘rebuilding.' We're here to win and we're here to win now.”
Militzer said winning has been the mantra since he first met the players.
“And they've worked their butts off for me,” he added.
Militzer told his audience he is exactly where he wants to be.
“I wanted to be in Charleroi,” he said. “I wanted to be in a place where we could build a program. ... That's what I see here in Charleroi.”
Charleroi has not made the playoffs since 2004 when the Cougars finished 6-4 in the Class A Black Hills Conference.
One of their foes in the conference was Bishop Canevin, where Militzer was an assistant on the staff.
“I remember back then playing Charleroi and they had a tough, gritty team,” he said. “They hit us and played hard. We're going to hit and play hard, too.
“It's going to be now here.”
Militzer said one thing Charleroi fans will notice immediately about the Cougars is the wide-open style of play.
“If you saw what we did at Gateway last year, we're going to be wide open on offense,” he said. “We really spread the ball around the field. Fans will see an up-tempo kind of spread offense.
“I think you will also see a little bit of swag. I want our kids to believe, no matter who we are playing, that we can win every time we take the field.”
Militzer also was in awe of Charleroi's fairly new football stadium and facilities, saying, “I coached in Quad A last year and I'm not sure if I saw a facility as nice as this one anywhere we went.
“If the kids stay enthusiastic like they are now, we can do something special. That's why I'm here.”
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.