UNION CITY – Darke County native Michael Griffin is returning home to become the new Mississinawa-Valley Athletic Director as well as the new Blackhawks Head Football Coach.
Grifffin, a 1996 Greenville graduated played football for Green Wave football Coach Frank Horvath, was on the same football team and graduating class with Matt Light.
Griffin coached Greenville youth football for five years before coaching Wave junior high football including the 2007/2008 season as the Green Wave head seventh grade coach.
“TJ (Powers) at the time was the head coach at Greenville,” said Griffin. “We graduated a couple years apart in high school so we had that connection.”
With a teaching job opening up in Fairborn, Griffin moved to Greene County where he also coached the offensive and defensive line three years for the Skyhawks varsity football team while also coaching the JV and freshman teams.
“I ended up at Richmond (Indiana) as the run game coordinator and the offensive line coach for the varsity team… and was a teacher there,” said Griffin of his one year stint coaching the Red Devils.
With the Red Devils head football coach Eric Gillespie moving on taking the Springfield varsity football coaching job, Griffin “ended up” at National Trail.
“The head coach (National Trail) was a teacher at Richmond as well so I get a knock on my room one day saying I could use a defensive coordinator,” said Griffin. “We ended up moving back over there on the Ohio side. We had a pretty good three year run at National Trail. While we were there as defensive coordinator we made the playoffs. They had never done that before.”
Griffin accepted the defensive coordinator job for MV this past year and now takes over as the Blackhawks head football coach for the upcoming 2016 season.
With current MV athletic director Dusty Yingst accepting the AD job at Greenville, Griffin was approved by the Mississinawa-Valley school board to fill three slots vacated by Yingst; Athletic Director, Dean of Students and Transportation Supervisor.
Griffin is no stranger to the Cross County Conference (CCC) as the new coach enters his fifth season associated with the league and sees a bright future for Blackhawks football.
“We had a lot of off the field positives last year,” said Griffin. “Friday nights weren’t where we wanted them to be but we didn’t have any kids quit football. We started with 25 and we ended with 25.”
“Kids showed up to practice. We didn’t have any trouble with kids missing practice,” continued Griffin. “They were accountable of the things we asked. They gave 100 percent effort. There just wasn’t quite enough of them to sustain effort through games is what it boiled down to.”
The Hawks graduated seven seniors but Griffin looks to a nice class of incoming freshmen and the 2015 freshmen class to make an impact on the 2016 season.
“We have some young guys that are stepping up already and trying to be leaders,” Griffin said. “We had three freshmen play a lot for us last year and we had three others that played some special teams.”
“We’re going to be young,” added Griffin. “If this eighth grade class all comes out and plays like they should (6-2 in junior high), if they come out and stay together… I think they could do something really special by the time of their junior and senior years roll around as long as they stay together and keep working hard.”
Coach Griffin already sees the football numbers improving at the Darke County school.
“We’re from 18 kids to 30 kids all winter long (in the weight room),” stated Griffin. “We only had 25 play last year. We have 38-39 signed up to play this year. Out of those, most of them have been coming to the workouts and been part of some of the things we’re doing already.”
Griffin and wife Christy (Wintrow) started dating when they were neighbors on Gray Avenue in Greenville and are the parents of two sons, Sheldon and Garrett.
The new head coach and his wife plan to move back to Darke County in the near future with but one obstacle standing in their path.
“I’m excited to get back,” Griffin said. “If my house will ever sell… we’re moving back to the county.”
Coach Griffin now starts the search for assistant football coaches for the Mississinawa football program.
“We are definitely looking for coaches… two to three,” stated Griffin. “They can contact me though my email: firstname.lastname@example.org