For the fourth time in four years and fifth time in six years the Marietta Tigers will begin the 2012 campaign with a new face at the head of the storied franchise.
With former football coach Bob Springer pledged to just one year after the unexpected resignation of Craig Farnsworth after the 2010 campaign, the Tigers found themselves once again in search of the man to guide the Tigers back to success.
They found him without looking very far.
During Monday evening's monthly meeting off the Marietta City Schools Board of Education Adam Eichhorn was officially selected as the new football coach for the Tigers. Eichhorn was hired at a rate of $5,996 for the 2012-2013 school year.
Eichhorn was previously tabbed by Springer as his heir apparent, and the intent was for Springer to mentor him one year and then pass on the reigns of the program.
"I've got my work cut out for me, but definitely an exciting challenge," Eichhorn said.
Eichhorn has been an assistant coach with the Tigers since 2010 and also served as the team's strength and conditioning coach in 2011. Prior to that he was the defensive coordinator for Cornell College from 2009 to 2010 and was a graduate assistant for the Marietta College Pioneers as a defensive line coach from 2007 to 2009 under current Pioneer coach Jeff Filkovski.
He has also served as a referee in high school football games for one year and also was an assistant baseball coach at Williamsburg High School in 2006.
"He comes with a good pedigree in terms of his coaching experience," said Marietta High School Athletic Director Rick Guimond.
Familiarity with the Tigers was one of the deciding factors in Eichhorn's selection as the new football coach.
Rather than conducting a nationwide coaching search, Marietta elected instead to post the job internally only and promote from within the school district. The rationale behind that decision is that the Tigers are simply tired of coaching searches, and they want somebody bound to the area and won't be gone after one or two seasons.
"We've done several of those (nationwide coaching searches) which have not exactly resulted in a long term coach," Guimond said.
Ending the coaching carousel and getting a long-term coach was key for the Tigers in their search for a new coach.
Despite the fact that Eichhorn was the only applicant for the position, Guimond feels confident he will be with Marietta for a long time as both he and his wife, Andrea, are both on staff in the Marietta City School District.
"We need someone who is in the system, who can see the kids every day and help to reconstruct our football program," Guimond said.
The fact that Eichhorn is already on staff in the school district is a definite plus, as he is already familiar with students and sees players on a daily basis as the district's permanent substitute.
"I've gotten to know the kids pretty well, the school system," Eichhorn said.
Along with stability, Eichhorn also brings experience on the football field to the Tigers.
And that experience isn't exactly in the history books.
Eichhorn was a 2007 graduate of Cornell College after playing for the Division III school from 2003 to 2006. At Cornell, Eichhorn was a 2006 preseason All-American as well as a four year starter at linebacker and three time defensive team captain. He was twice named the defensive MVP for Cornell.
"His experiences with being in the trenches for the game are not that long ago," Guimond said.
With his college coaching background as well as the familiarity he has with the Tiger program the past two seasons, Guimond expects Eichhorn to be able to hit the ground running and begin the process of rebuilding Marietta football. And with a coach who has ties to the area, hopefully, it'll be the last circuit of the coaching carousel for several years.
"He's shown some very strong work ethic. He's been here for the weight room and conditioning aspect of the program. That's a big plus," Guimond said. "We're looking for some longevity here."
Longevity is something that Eichhorn definitely plans to provide.
"That was one thing that I preached to them from the outset. I'm in it for as long as they want me to be the coach," Eichhorn said.
Working with Springer last year, Eichhorn has already experienced some of the work involved in being a head coach in terms of preparing practices and developing game plans.
That experience isn't the only thing that will carry over, as Eichhorn doesn't plan to put any major changes into the Tiger football program such as leaving the Wing-T and going to the spread. Instead, it'll be some subtle differences in how practices are run and the development of day-to-day affairs that change under the new regime.
"There's not going to be any major changes," Eichhorn explained. "Offensively and defensively you're not going to see any big changes."
Knowing that the plan was for him to take over for the 2012 season, Eichhorn has already been working to put his coaching staff together and plans on maintaining some of the current staff while also adding a few new faces. "I'm excited about it," Eichhorn said. "We're ready to hit the ground running."