PEMBERVILLE (WTOL) - Jerry Rutherford was the head coach of Eastwood football for more than three decades. Two years ago he hung up his whistle. But before it could collect dust, he was back on the sidelines.
Jerry and Eastwood football go hand and hand. For 35 years he was at the helm of the Eagles. He retired in 2016 and his son Craig took over the program. But he just couldn’t stay away so now it’s a family affair.
“To see the boys to do so well, you always hope your children will do better than what you did. For him to do that coming in and having the success they had last year. Do what he’s done with the program. It’s pretty neat," said Jerry.
“Even though he’s my father its real similar to how it was last year. We have to be communicating the entire game and entire week of practice making sure we are seeing the same things. He’s been good for advice," said Craig Rutherford.
After spending 2017 watching from the stands, he was itching to get back on the sidelines. When an opportunity became open, he took it without hesitation.
“I knew I was probably going to coach again. I would have looked somewhere. This is my home and these are my guys. Wasn’t much of a decision," Jerry said.
“He worked really hard to get the program where it is now. All of the coaches are continuing to build on the foundation he gave us. He left it in a really great place," Craig added.
Jerry now oversees the offensive line. The players are ecstatic to have him back.
“It’s pretty cool to me because my dad played for Coach Jerry when he was in high school. Then I got to play for Jerry, Coach Craig, and Coach Eric. Now I play for all three of them at one time. That means a lot to me and I hope on day my kids can play for them.," said Senior Reid Buchman.
And it doesn’t seem like he’s going to give coaching up again anytime soon.
“Whatever he’s doing is working really well so we want him to keep that up," Craig said.
Eastwood is 6-2 so far this season and Jerry is ready for many more playoff runs ahead.