It’s likely the second-most-asked question in Trotwood these days, trailing only who will coach the Trotwood-Madison Rams football team next season?
Maurice Douglass can’t answer that. But he did reveal why he left the ultra-successful Trotwood program he rejuvenated for a Springfield program that has struggled.
“Because you want to build programs,” Douglass said. “That’s my thing, building up young men and women and giving them an outlet. To me football is a vehicle that many can use.”
Douglass, 49, said Thursday he considered leaving Trotwood after the 2012 season. He said the 2013 season, where the Rams made their fourth straight state championship game appearance, was his toughest as a coach, mostly from the pressure he was putting on himself. When Douglass heard about a possible opening at Springfield he said he felt it was time for a new challenge.
“When I walked into the building the first time in December, I just knew this is where I was supposed to be at. It wasn’t about money. It wasn’t about any bad blood between me and Trotwood,” Douglass said. “It was just my season was over there. It’s time for someone else to assume the responsibility there and for me to come here and help the kids in Springfield.”
This is Douglass’ second coaching job in Springfield. He served as an assistant coach for Tony Broering at South before taking over at Trotwood, his alma mater, in 2000. The school board also approved Douglass as a youth transition adviser for incoming freshmen, the strength coach and weight-room supervisor.
Douglass led the Rams to the playoffs in eight of his 14 seasons, including a state championship in 2011. Springfield has qualified for the playoffs twice since North and South merged in 2008, but has gone 4-26 the past three seasons. That Douglass has sent 156 players to college programs didn’t go unnoticed.
“I think what really stands out about Maurice more than anything is his passion for making an impact in the lives of students,” Springfield AD Mike Dellapina said. “His track record of helping students realize their dream and play college football says a lot. But in order for those kids to get the opportunity to play college football they have meet the criteria academically. That speaks to his ability to emphasize academics with his students.”
Douglass didn’t predict the playoffs for Springfield in 2014. He also didn’t try to curtail expectations in his first season.
“I’m going for it,” Douglass said, smiling. “That’s all I know. All I know is 15 weeks. We’re going to compete every day. Every kid is given a new lease on life. They have a fresh start with me.”