Northwestern athletic director Jeff Hobby had to lead one of the quickest coaching searches of his career this month to find a new football coach, but he believes he’s found a coach that can make school’s program into one of the area’s best.
Former Troy standout Shane Carter was approved by the school board last Thursday to lead the Warriors’ program. He succeeds Sam Johnson, who resigned earlier this month to take a teaching position at Springboro. Johnson led the Warriors to a 1-9 record last year, his only season at the helm.
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“It kind of happened real quick,” Hobby said. “We talked to him last Monday, interviewed him last Tuesday and Wednesday, and hired him at the board meeting on Thursday.”
Carter, a 2005 Troy grad, was an all-Southwest District selection multiple times in football and basketball before playing football at Wisconsin. He coached Troy’s freshman football program last season, which went undefeated, and also assisted during varsity games during the Trojans’ 9-2 campaign.
“His passion has always been kids and football,” Hobby said. “He always knew he wanted to be a head football coach, and he said this felt right with it coming open now. We got lucky to get a guy of his caliber, a guy with Big Ten experience.”
Carter was unavailable for comment on Tuesday, but he told the Troy Daily News he felt it was a good opportunity.
“I’m 30 years old; I felt like I needed to test the waters now,” Carter said. “When the opportunity at Northwestern came up, it seemed like a good fit for me. They’ve got some good football players over there. They’ve got some big kids there. I think I just need to put my staff together and get things rolling.”
Northwestern had only one winning season in the last four decades before former coach Seth Whiting took over in 2012. Under Whiting’s guidance in four seasons, the Warriors posted a 22-18 record, in
cluding winning seasons in 2013 (7-3) and 2015 (6-4).
Northwestern lost all but four starters off of the 2015 team and struggled through last season with mostly underclassmen. But the Warriors beat rival Greenon 35-6 in Week 10, and Hobby said he believes the recent success can continue with Carter leading the program.
“We want to get back to being competitive again,” Hobby said. “Seth did a great job for us, and I believe (Carter) can help us be competitive like that. Our feeling is if we’re competitive, other things will take care of themselves.”
Carter also serves as director of the Lincoln Community Center in Troy, which offers educational and recreational facilities for children and senior citizens.
He’ll be the second head coach at Northwestern with Troy ties. Northwestern head basketball coach Gerald Embry was an assistant at Troy for several seasons, including when Carter played in the middle of the last decade.