Beyond the Game: Ohio County hires Ganaway to lead the Eagles

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HARTFORD, Ky. (WBKO)-- Back in June, Ohio County was looking for a new head football coach after Jody Ashby resigned to become the offensive coordinator and strength and conditioning coach at John Hardin High School in Elizabethtown.

Just a few weeks later, the school announced that DaMarcus Ganaway would lead the Eagles this upcoming season.

"I like the aspect of working with kids younger than me and taking my experiences and passing it down," said Ganaway. "Each one, teach one is my mentality. I want to give an opportunity to give these kids the opportunity that I had, if not something better and that's off the field and off the field."

Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, he moved to Indianapolis during his sophomore year in high school where he excelled in football, basketball, baseball and track and Ben Davis High School.

After graduating in 2005, he accepted a scholarship to play football at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, starting for four years earning Receiver of the Year for the Great Lakes Conference his senior year.

Once his time ended at KWC, he signed an NFL deal with the New York Jets spending a year there before an injury ended his career.

"It's been a long journey," said Ganaway. "But everything I've been through in my life I feel like has prepared me to take on opportunities, just like this one.

"I've been playing football since I was five-years-old and I was coached by my dad. I always understood that hard work was going to get me wherever I wanted to go."

There was already a close friendship between Ganaway and coach Ashby.

Ashby was previously the offensive coordinator at KWC during Ganaway's playing career, and on top of that, Ganaway was the wide receivers coach for Ohio County last season. So after Ashby resigned Ganaway decided to apply.

Ganaway said it's different being in this new role with football but he's enjoying it.

"As much as I'd love to strap on the pads and go out with these boys and play, that's not where I am right now," said Ganaway. "I'm taking advantage every day of giving what I got to these boys, and that's our motto is just 'Win Today'.

Ganaway understands being a first-year head coach comes with new challenges and last year the Eagles only won two games but the new coach is bringing a lot of energy to revive the program and the players are on board.

"It's always tough going through a coaching change especially as late as it was," said junior Ben Wood. "It's been good. We're excited. Players are excited. He's a good coach and he's going to get the job done."

"He coached for us last year so we were able to build a connection there---played some offseason ball with him," said senior Heath Simmons. "Then the offense, it's just been a smooth transition."