Todd Adler named state Coach of the Year as honors pour in for Cougars
By Jim Turner


Posted on December 21, 2017 10:30 PM



What could top an undefeated regular season, a playoff win and a top five ranking in the state for a team that 15 months ago was saddled with the state’s longest winning streak?

Maybe nothing, but honors that have come rapid-fire recently provide a superb topper for this magical moment that never seems to end. Check the honors out:

*Thursday Coach Todd Adler was named Kentucky Coach of the Year overall and also in Class 4A by The Courier-Journal. Adler received 30 votes from the 106 coaches from across the state who submitted ballots. Danville’s Clay Clevenger was the runner-up with nine votes, followed by Belfry’s Philip Haywood and Covington Catholic’s Eddie Eviston with seven apiece and Boyle County’s Chuck Smith with five.

*Adler had earlier been named Kentucky High Football Coach of the Year and the Kentucky Football Coaches Association Class 4A Coach of the Year and District 1 Coach of the Year.

*The Cougars were named Team of the Year overall by Kentucky High Football, noting: “What the Cougars did in 2017 is something you only see in Hollywood. They had lost 42 straight games from 2012-2016. At one point in 2017, they had the second longest winning streak in the entire state (12)”.

*Linebacker/offensive lineman Caden McKinnis was named second team All-State Tuesday by The C-J. The big junior had earlier been named Player of the Year in Class 4A Region I, District 1. No offensive line statistics are available, but on defense he made 47 solo tackles and led the team with 86 total tackles. He was the unquestioned leader on both sides of the line.

*Linebacker Zach Yates was named to the Freshman All-State team by Kentucky Prep Gridiron. He was credited with 46 solo tackles and 77 solo tackles. He led the team with four fumble recoveries. On offense, he carried the ball five times for 22 yards.

*Running back Gary Hardy was chosen the Sophomore All-State team by the same publication. Hardy rushed for 1,261 yards on 205 (6.15) carries for 8 touchdowns and scored 50 points. He recovered three fumbles and recorded 10 tackles.

A list of the awards team members received at the banquet appears on The LoJo at http://www.theloganjournal.com/Stories.aspx?Article=sports1041

Individual statistics for the team can be found on The LoJo at http://www.theloganjournal.com/Stories.aspx?Article=sports1032

Adler, who was one of Logan County’s best all-around football players of this century, had only two years of high school coaching experience before taking over the reins of Logan County football in 2016. Those two years were as an assistant in 2008-09 to Coach John Myers at Russellville where his wife Dedra was girls basketball coach.

He had, however, been coaching Logan County Middle School football for four years where he built the team into a state contender. He gained the trust of his players, many of whom were the stalwarts of this record-setting team, including leading tackler and senior Alex Brown.,

He also relied on many of his assistants on that middle school staff when he moved up to the varsity. They shared his optimism and positive attitude, rather than humiliating players for their mistakes. Game by game the players’ confidence and skills improved during his first year.

Ironically, his predecessor as head coach, Steve Duncan, had come to Logan with a remarkably successful resume. He remained highly respected, but his two teams didn’t win a game.

Logan County had lost 33 straight games when Adler became the coach, and the Cougars lost the first nine games of that rookie season. But each game it seemed they were getting better. All that culminated in a 56-27 win over Todd Central in the season finale. They scored more points in that game than their predecessors had in one entire season of that losing streak.

Adler told Jason Frakes of The Courier-Journal the win over the Rebels ignited “an unbelievable offseason.”

During the 2017 run, Adler won close games over two of Western Kentucky’s most experienced and most successful coaches, Russellville’s Myers and Hopkinsville’s Craig Clayton.

The future looks bright for the Cougars. McKinnis, Hardy, Yates and dynamic quarterback Tyler Ezell were all underclassmen this year. The team had only nine seniors.

To see Frakes’ story about Adler’s honor, go to https://amp.courier-journal.com/amp/962720001

 




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