DeVol leads Ohio into BACF

Photo by Tyler Bennett Belpre and Ohio’s head coach Mike DeVol gives directions during Ohio’s practice Wednesday afternoon at Belpre High School.

BELPRE — For the first time in more than 20 years, longtime Mid-Ohio Valley and second-year Belpre Golden Eagles head coach Mike DeVol will be manning the sidelines for the Ohio all-stars in the 26th annual Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis All-Star Football Classic today at Bill Hanlin Stadium.

Losing to the Mountain State 11-8 in 1995,when he was in charge of the Warren Warriors, DeVol is excited to get another go coaching the event and to help out a great cause as well.

“I was with Chris Hunt the first year he tried to get it started,” DeVol said. “His kids had cystic fibrosis and he was trying to find a cure. Any time that we can help young people, especially with the young kids that get this disease, we are doing something good for the country. These kids understand that they are helping each other and that’s what is important.”

DeVol will be employing a fast pace offense that will be taking advantage of the Buckeye State’s speed both on the line and at the skill positions. The main formation will be a single-wing formation.

“We realized that the single-wing is best for our needs. It’s similar to what Army ran in the ’30s and ’40s,” DeVol said.

“We have some really fast kids and it will take us two or three series to know exactly what we are going to do. How they will shift against certain looks.

Then you can make a game plan after that and we will see where we go from there.”

Playing college football at Glenville State, DeVol’s first head coaching job was in 1974 at Caldwell High School.

DeVol spent 19 years in charge of the Redskins, until joining the Warriors for eight years starting in 1994.

Taking the Parkersburg South job in 2001, DeVol quickly turned around a program that never won a playoff game prior to his arrival.

DeVol helped the Patriots reach the triple-A state title game in his second year before winning the school’s only state championship in 2003.

They won 50 games in DeVol’s five years at South. DeVol then went back to coach the Redskins one final time from 2008-2010 before retiring after posting a 9-1 record.

Inducted into the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 2013, DeVol came out of retirement last fall to take over the Golden Eagles.

He led Belpre to a winning record in his first year in charge (6-4), bringing his career coaching record to 257-115-2 going into his 48th year of coaching football.

“If you are coaching, and with me, 48 years of coaching, you have to be doing it because you love the kids. We are going to teach life lessons that nobody else will get to them unless they have really great parents,” DeVol said, “I know what those coaches taught me. We are just trying to pass on to these kids what we’ve learned through football. You pay it forward, you don’t pay it back. Those that taught me, I’m going to try and teach the next generation.”

West Virginia currently holds a 15-10 advantage over the Buckeyes, but Ohio is coming into Bill Hanlin stadium with a two-game winning streak.