FRANKTON — Frankton will be christening a new football stadium this fall and their new coach is hoping that the excitement of a new field and his old-school approach will add up to the program’s first winning season since 2017.
The Eagles named wrestling assistant Mark Luzadder as their new football coach in December and he has spent the last seven months instilling an improved work ethic and a hard-nosed brand of defensive football in his team.
We’ve got a bunch of kids who are hungry to turn this program around, Luzadder said. We’ve had a nice summer and it was nice that I was already in the building and the kids already knew me. We had a little bit of the offseason in the winter when we could get some stuff done. It’s an exciting time.
He replaces Bobby Ryan, who compiled an 11-30 mark in four years, including a 6-5 mark his first season.
Luzadder graduated from Wes-Del High School in 1998 before earning his Bachelor’s in Physical Education from Ball State University in 2002. He went on to earn a Master’s degree from BSU in 2014 in Administration.
Luzadder began his coaching career at his high school alma mater while still in college before spending 10 years at Yorktown. He later coached and taught at Knightstown and was head coach for one season at New Castle in 2012 before coming to Frankton where he assisted football coach Randy England and wrestling coach Courtney Duncan.
One of his first priorities has been to ensure that the players give all-out effort at all times.
The biggest thing that my staff and I wanted to do, was just teaching kids how to work hard again, and having a little pride on the football field, Luzadder said. The work ethic wasn’t where it needed to be the last few years and we’ve really been pushing going that extra step, not pulling up, and making sure we play to the echo of the whistle.
One source of pride for the Eagles in 2021 will be the new football stadium, which is ready to host Tipton in the August 20 season opener. Luzadder says the excitement over the new facility should spill over into effort on the field.
As nice as what it looks, how soft it is, and how easy it is to tackle and get tackled on, it’s definitely exciting for the kids, he said. I know I was teaching P.E. when they first gave us the OK to go out there for P.E. class, and just taking the kids out there to run around on, they were in their hype and glory.
Luzadder wants his defense to swarm to the ball from sideline to sideline and fans can expect a vintage approach to the offense.
I am very, very old-school when it comes to football, he said. We’re going to run the ball and we’re going to run it hard. Our goal is four yards on every play and, if we get more, that’s a bonus.