Rhoads is longtime backer, first-time (play) caller at Morthland
Steve Rhoads has worked his way up with the Morthland College football team in West Frankfort.
Now he hopes he can help the team do the same.
Rhoads has been there since the Patriots were founded in 2015. Before taking over as head coach this year, he was an assistant to Mike Popovich and last year coached the running backs in the team's first season as a varsity program. The Patriots finished at 7-3.
Rhoads has played a large role in the history of Morthland College as well. He donated the furniture company building he and Brent Coleman owned to the campus, which now calls it Coleman-Rhoads Hall.
In a press release, Athletic Director Reid Cure said it was an easy decision to hand over the reins of the fledgling football program to Rhoads.
"Putting Coach Rhoads at the helm of this program makes a tremendous amount of sense," Cure said in the statement. "His significant role in the history of the College only parallels his football acumen and experience."
Rhoads has also been a college football official and spent nine seasons as an NCAA Division I referee. He served as an assistant coach at Frankfort Community and Johnson City high school, but this will be his first time as a head coach. He said in a press release that he is looking forward to having a hand in the continued growth of the team.
“It is an honor to be able to lead this program in this stage of its development," Rhoads said. "Helping assist the growth of these young men in their life's journey is the best part of this job."
The Patriots will open their season on Sept. 2 against Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi. The team will then return home to host Tabor and Lyon colleges.
Rhoads said he expects a lot of tough games but is looking forward to the challenge.
"Gaining experience, eliminating mistakes and challenging ourselves each and every day are our most immediate goals,” Rhoads said in the press release. “We have some very fine athletes on our team and we want them to perform to the very maximum of their abilities for the ultimate success of the team."
Morthland will play its final home game on Sept. 30 against Robert Morris College-Peoria, then hits the road to play Trinity Bible College, Saint Ambrose University and Waldorf University.
More information is available online at www.morthlandpatriots.com.