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Northwood Academy High School
North Charleston

Ryan Leaver excited about first head coaching opportunity


By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Summerville – Having began his coaching career in 1994, Ryan Leaver has been preparing himself to be a head football coach for more than two decades. He finally gets his shot in 2018.

Leaver was named the head football coach at Northwood Academy in late May, moving up from his position as defensive coordinator. He has been an assistant at Northwood since 2008 and has been a part of two state championship teams (2008, 2014). He succeeds his former boss, Philip Keefe, who stepped down after spring practice.

“It’s very exciting to have this opportunity and I feel like I have prepared myself for this chance,” Leaver said. “It’s not something I expected to happen this year. Everything happened really fast. But I am honored that Northwood has placed their trust in me to lead this program. I will work hard to develop our players, on and off the field.”

Leaver is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina and spent the first 14 years of his coaching career in the Tarheel state, including four years as an assistant at Greensboro College.

As head coach, Leaver realizes the responsibilities have changed. He has established his own goals for the program and has set out to try to improve declining numbers.

“I have challenged the coaches to get out and recruit the school, to get kids out that haven’t been playing,” the coach said. “We want to get a better commitment as well from the players already in the program. We will work hard to hold each other accountable. We know the issues we have to deal with. It’s difficult but we can work through it and make it better.”

Leaver will give up his defensive coordinator duties to Mike Howard while he focuses more on offense. Also working with Howard on defense is secondary coach Matt Gilbert, a former player at Northwood.

Deshawn Blaylock will coach receivers and will coordinate the passing game while Sean Fagin is coaching running backs.

 New to the staff is David Green, who has extensive experience as a coach in Alabama. He will work with the linebackers.

“The good thing is five of us are teachers in the school and that gives us a chance to be with the kids on a daily basis,” Leaver said. “I have a good staff. They are hard-working guys and we’re all on the same page. We’re ready to go.”



© 2017 High School Sports Report

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