There's a new man in charge of the West York High School varsity football program, and he's coming in with some high expectations.
At Tuesday night's school board meeting, longtime Dallastown assistant Ivan Quinones was approved as the Bulldogs' next head coach.
Quinones succeeds Jeremy Jones, who resigned as West York's coach shortly after the conclusion of the 2018 season for family reasons. In four years with the Bulldogs, Jones' teams went 14-27, including a 5-6 mark last season, when West York started 0-5 against a brutally tough schedule, only to rebound to win five straight games to finish second in York-Adams Division II and qualify for the District 3 Class 4-A playoffs.
If Quinones has his way, there will be more playoff appearances in the future for West York.
"The expectation is to win a lot of football games, division titles, district titles and compete and win at the state level and do it with class," the 54-year-old Quinones said. "The expectation is high for the program as a whole, and the expectation is high for myself and the rest of the coaching staff to make a positive impact on the players, school district and community, and includes preparing and helping the players that want to use football to give them more options for higher education."
His mentors: Quinones experienced more than a little success during his decade-long tenure with the Dallastown varsity squad, where he worked under Kevin Myers and Ron Miller — two men who Quinones considers his coaching mentors, along with his high school coach, Brady Straub.
Quinones was Dallastown's defensive coordinator under both Miller and Myers. Before that, he was the varsity linebackers coach. He also worked at the Dallastown youth level.
Miller enjoyed a wildly successful run as West York's head coach from 2006-2014, going 86-25 before taking over as the Wildcats' leader last year after Myers resigned. Quinones applied for the Dallastown head coaching job when Myers resigned but stayed on staff to coach under Miller when he got the job. It's a decision he does not regret.
He lauded Miller "for the energy he brings to a program and his knowledge of the game." He praised Myers for "showing (me) how to lead a successful program and doing it the right way, while establishing a winning culture." Straub, meanwhile taught him "to be firm but fair and to set expectations high at a very young age."
Quinones describes himself as a "players' coach." That is a description that Myers completely agrees with.
"I think Ivan would be a good fit anywhere. ... He knows the game, and he loves the game," Myers said. "He's going to develop relationships with the players, and they're going to play hard for him."
Dallastown tenure: Dallastown had a down year last season, at least by recent standards, going 5-5. Quinones' defense was 10th in the league in points allowed per game at 25.9.
Quinones, however, was part of the staff during some of Myers' glory years at Dallastown, including a 10-0 regular season in 2010 and a District 3 4-A semifinal berth in 2013.
He described his Dallastown experience as "excellent. It’s a great environment for students and athletes. There so much support from the administration and community."
Taking over at West York: The West York job will be Quinones' first high school head coaching position, although he has been a head coach for younger players.
"It was an opportunity to develop as a coach, and it afforded me the opportunity to lead what has historically been a great football and athletic program," Quinones said. "Most of all, it allows me to expand my reach on positively impacting young people."
Quinones plans to run a power-spread offense and a 4-4 defense with the Bulldogs.
He hasn't met with his new players yet and is in the process of putting together his coaching staff. He said he will look at current West York assistants "to see if the vision for the program" is in sync. "Institutional knowledge is a big part of what we will need at (West York)," he said.
His background: Quinones, according to the school board agenda, is scheduled to earn a $6,000 coaching salary.
A retired commander with the Maryland State Police, Quinones is now the public safety director at Harrisburg Area Community College. He moved into the Dallastown district while still employed by the Maryland State Police.
While at Dallastown, Quinones' sons Austin and Addison played for the Wildcats. Addison went on to become a standout college player at NCAA Division III power Johns Hopkins.
— Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.