Terrence Spann was officially named Dayton High School’s new football coach Monday by Dayton High athletic director David Palmer.
Spann was brought into the program in 2017 as the varsity linebacker coach before taking over as the man in charge.
It’s a unique situation for Spann after Dayton didn’t field a football program in the fall of 2019 due to low turnout, leaving the new man in charge with one simple goal for his new program.
“Fielding a team, first and foremost, is going to be our No. 1 goal,” said Spann, “getting as many kids as I can interested in the program.”
Both Spann and Palmer believe that having a familiar face in charge of the rebuild will help draw interest.
Spann feels his two years of ties to the program – even after not fielding a team last season – gives him a particular advantage into growing support for the program.
“I believe passionately they are fully capable of doing anything they want to accomplish. It’s those life skills that I want to show them,” said Spann. “That’s our biggest challenge. It’s not going to be easy, but I feel like I’m the right guy for the job to get this accomplished on this end.
“Because those who cannot do, coach,” joked Spann. “I wasn’t able to play at Division I or pros, but I have a passion for teaching kids and showing them the right things to do.”
Dayton will be competing in Northern Class 3A that will have a new look in the fall of 2020, featuring two six-team leagues.
The Dust Devils will be in a six-team league accompanied by Churchill County, Elko, Fernley, Lowry and Spring Creek.
Behind fielding a football team, Spann’s biggest concerns aren’t with the league realignment or scheduling, but rather focusing on the facilities for Dayton High.
“Our very first priority is our gym. We’ve got some equipment that’s been in there since the ’80s, and competing in 3A we definitely need to get some help and get those kids in the weight room first and foremost. We’re not going to be competitive on the 3A level if we don’t.
“I think that these kids can compete on that level if they put in the work and dedication and we are able to get some support with the gym.”
The newest Dust Devil head football coach is a 2000 Wooster High graduate where he played under his current mentors, Joe Sellers and Tony Amantia.
Amantia most recently coached at Reed High School for the last three seasons before stepping away earlier this month.
After graduating high school, Spann played rugby while attending the University of Nevada, Reno.
It didn’t take long for Spann to realize his passion for coaching, starting as a coach with the Hug SYFL program out of college before ending up back with Wooster.
He spent some time away from coaching after meeting his wife and starting a family, before ultimately ending up at Dayton in 2017.
For Palmer, Spann served as the perfect liaison to rebuilding a program that is looking to regain its footing in the community.
“He has tremendous integrity, gets along very well with the kids,” Palmer said. “He really stood out – as a person we had involved with the program – in previous years that we thought would be a good fit for where the goals of the program are and where we’d be able to take it.
“He’s able to build those positive relationships with kids and allow them to be able to see the positivity in being out and playing sports for Dayton High School,” said Palmer.
With the coaching search wrapped up, Dayton football now turns its eyes to building interest and spring practice.