The Oregon school board, during a special meeting on Thursday, announced the hiring of former Woodmore High School head football coach Mike Lee to lead the Eagle’s football program.
The news comes on the heels of an announcement in April that Mike Vicars, who led both Delta and Genoa high schools to state playoffs and semifinal appearances, would not be accepting the assistant principal and head coaching positions he initially had accepted in January.
Vicars has since been hired as a middle school principal in the Pike-Delta-York school district as well as Delta’s football coach.
Lee taught health and physical education at Woodmore for just over seven years. He was hired as Woodmore’s head football coach in 1992 and resigned the position in 1998.
Lee went on to teach junior high and high school health and physical education in the Fostoria Community Schools for eight years, serving as the high school’s athletic director for two years.
Lee’s brother Jeff, was Clay’s head football coach for eight seasons, resigning in 2006.
Lee is currently the Health Education, Personal Fitness and Weight Lifting Instructor at Lake Wales High School, located in central Florida. He has spent seven seasons as the Highlander’s receiver coach and was to be the offensive line coach this season.
“I am very excited to be coming to Clay,” Lee said. “Here is the thing, being the coach at Clay has been something I have wanted to do for a very long time. It is the job I always wished I had gotten. When Vicars was hired, I never even got the chance to apply. When he resigned, I knew it was my time to jump in and go for the job. It was like it was a sign.”
Lee said he is unsure at this time what his teaching position will be in the district. The board and the new coach will also be talking about his salary within the next week as well, he said.
Lee is married to Jeanette. The couple has three children: Becky, a teacher at Starr Elementary School, Tracy, a teacher in Sarasota, Florida and Jackie, a teacher at Elmwood Elementary, in Bloomdale, Ohio.
“I am hoping to bring a winning tradition to Clay,” Lee said. “More importantly, I want to make the community proud of our program.”
School board member Jeff Ziviski said after the meeting that Lee will be a great addition to the school’s staff.
“He has over 25 years experience and will bring a great deal of knowledge and new ideas to our program,” Ziviski said. “Over the next couple weeks, he will be putting together his staff. We don't know those details yet. Some names may be familiar, but I expect some new faces will be added to the staff. In the end, he will be surrounded by coaches who share his philosophy and vision. It's the fresh start and perspective that our program needs. Friday nights in Oregon will be energized this fall. Everyone is excited.”
P.J. Kapfhammer, board president, said the search committee did an excellent job.
“I am glad the process worked out,” Kapfhammer said. “The decision was unanimous with the committee and they were super excited about hiring him. Everything happens for a reason. I think we have hired a proven winner and an even better person. I can’t wait to see him in action.”