Panthers hire Elyria grad Chase Farris as new head coach – Morning Journal

Elyria alum Chase Farris will be Elyria Catholic’s new head football coach. (Courtesy of Wisper Carter)

Catholic Elyria athletic director Jim Piazza said the position of his school’s head football coach would be in high demand.

From Ohio State, some of the Buckeyes’ finest are on hand to lead the new Panther regime, which includes former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, Doran Grant and Elyria graduate Chase Farris.

“You keep hearing about the fraternity here at Ohio State, and I can tell you it’s a real thing,” Piazza said. “To hear what they’re talking about, they really believe in each other, and that’s why they’ve been so successful.”

On March 16, it was announced at the James E. Terrell Performing Arts Center that Farris would be the coach of Elyria Catholic. Grant will be responsible for strength and conditioning and as defensive coordinator. Smith will be the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach.

“I feel like everything happens for a reason,” Farris said. “We chatted a bit to see if there was any interest. It was an intense interview process and in the end all the pieces came together for us. (Elyria Catholic) is a great program. They have a tradition as rich as in the whole city. It’s bigger than football. We have an opportunity to do something for this community that has never been done before.”

Farris plans to bridge the gap between the Pioneers and the Panthers.

“We have an opportunity to unite this community, which has never been done before. It’s always been us against them, so why not just be us? All of us,” he said.

At the press conference, they were confirmed by Urban Meyer, coach of the national champion Buckeyes, from a video shown.

“This (team) is all about the brotherhood,” Meyer said. “The fraternity we had in Ohio state we can bring to you right at Elyria Catholic. Once you have a brotherhood, you’re unbeatable.”

They were joined by Tony Csiszar, who became the new head coach of the boys’ soccer team.

Farris was a highly recruited pioneer in Elyria (class of 2011). He went to Ohio State where he won a national championship in 2014.

His career progressed to the NFL. After not being drafted, he signed with the Lions and later the Patriots. Farris won Super Bowl LI with them.

After the NFL, he signed with the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football (AAF) and the DC Defenders of the XFL.

As his playing days came to an end, Farris increased his involvement with Elyria to become Executive Director of Save Our Children of Elyria. SOC is a non-profit organization that promotes academic excellence, leadership and literacy for at-risk youth.

Grant was a four-star recruit for Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and was on the 2014 national championship team with Farris. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Steelers. He was roommates with Farris in Ohio State.

Smith, a Glenville graduate, won the Heisman Trophy and led the Buckeyes to an appearance in the 2006 BCS National Championship Game. He was drafted by the Ravens in the fifth round of the NFL draft. He was unable to attend the event.

“Not too many schools can sit here and say they have two national championships, a Super Bowl championship and a Heisman Trophy (winner) on their coaching staff,” Piazza said. “When people ask me, why don’t they hire someone with no experience? I think just those titles and knowing that work ethic to get to this point answers that question.”

Elyria Catholic Soccer will be Csiszar’s first high school soccer job. He has 15 years coaching experience at club level and owns Upper 90 FC.


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