EDGERTON — After a storied playing career where he earned all-Ohio honors in three different sports, supplemented by a few years of preparation assistant coaching the Bulldogs’ boys basketball and football teams, Brody Flegal is taking another step up the Edgerton coaching ranks, as he was named the next head football coach by the Edgerton Local Schools Board of Education this week.
“It’s definitely a neat experience,” Flegal said. “I had some great experiences and great coaches in the past (at Edgerton), and I know I’d love to give back and give these student-athletes that same experience that I had when I was growing up. We’ve got a lot of hard-working student-athletes who aren’t just strong athletically, but also academically, which is very important. To help them reach their full potential, this is where I wanted to be.”
As a player, Flegal earned all-Ohio honors in football (honorable mention in Div. VII), basketball (third team in Div. IV) and baseball (second team in Div. IV), graduating in 2012. Flegal will be replacing Ben Wilhelm, who led the Bulldogs to a 57-39 record over nine seasons at the helm before stepping down in late December 2019.
“Coach Wilhelm asked me to be an assistant, so I kind of owe getting into coaching to him,” Flegal said. “I learned a lot under him, as far as preparation and understanding for the game, love for the game. I’ve got a lot of respect for him as a coach and as a person.”
Flegal spent the last two seasons as the Edgerton football team’s defensive coordinator, and he’s also helped Bulldogs boys basketball coach Matthew Ripke with various tasks, including coaching the junior varsity team.
Flegal said his time learning on those sidelines has been invaluable.
“I think you pick up on a lot of things, coaching styles, seeing the carryover, things you can control, such as your discipline and toughness,” Flegal said. “Those are two areas that are going to be applied to sports, but also in life. There’s a lot of carryover between those two sports, and they’ve both been great experiences for me.”
Having been a part of the Edgerton community for most of his life and remaining in tune with the athletics programs the past few years, Flegal already has a familiarity with many of the players he’ll be coaching.
“I think that helps a lot,” he said. “I already have a relationship with our student-athletes, and I think they trust me, which is a big part in starting up. When you come in as a new coach, you want to make sure you have that. I think we have a pretty good foundation of that trust.”
Flegal is hoping the team’s recent success can be a jumpstart for the Bulldogs’ 2020 season. But regardless of wins and losses, he wants his players to take personal life lessons from their time as Edgerton football players.
“We want our players to be excellent members of the community, leaders who serve others,” Flegal said. “Many of them are involved with extracurricular things outside of sports, as well. We want them to continue their academics. Those are the overall parts of being a student-athlete.”