GREENFIELD — Adam Sherman is coming home.
After spending the past three years at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, the central Indiana native will become Greenfield-Central High School’s first new head football coach since 2006.
Sherman was hired Monday at the Greenfield-Central Community School Corporation’s board meeting and will officially start March 7.
Though, for Sherman, a 2000 graduate of Lawrence North, when talking about his new role, he’s already mentally in Hancock County despite still packing up his family for the trek back west.
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“I couldn’t be more excited. I think it’s a life-changing opportunity, and we’re unbelievably excited to get there,” said Sherman, who will be part of a community meet-and-greet tonight prior to the JV basketball game at 5:30 p.m.
“My wife (Kari) and I told the kids we were going back to Indiana, and they started jumping around,” he said. “I didn’t realize it would have that kind of affect, but it did. I couldn’t be happier from that standpoint. It’s like we won already.”
Born in Ohio, Sherman, 33, was raised in the Lawrence area where his parents, Joe and Connie, moved their family when he was still an infant.
Sherman’s father has resided in Greenfield for nearly 20 years, while his wife graduated from Roncalli while earning a Class 2A softball state title in high school.
A standout lineman for the Lawrence North Wildcats in his high school career, Sherman played for Roger Dodson, and now he takes over for him after the former Greenfield-Central coach resigned this past fall.
Dodson compiled a 37-69 record through the past 10 seasons at Greenfield-Central and retired with a 101-128 career record over 23 years as a head coach.
While an assistant at Lawrence North, Dodson made an impression on Sherman and notified his former player of his decision to step down, which peaked his interest last November.
Sherman inquired about the position with Reece Green, an assistant coach at Greenfield-Central, and a former star linebacker at Marian University for the soon-to-be new head man.
“Roger Dodson is dear to my heart. He’s done a lot for me and my wife. He’s a mentor and stayed in contact and pretty close over the years,” Sherman said. “I know how hard the guy works, and I’m looking forward to taking over for him and running with it.”
After high school, Sherman went on to start four years as an offensive lineman at the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne. There he was a two-time NAIA All-American and a three-time MSFA All-Mid-East selection.
He graduated in 2005 from St. Francis and was later inducted into the university’s hall of fame in 2010.
Embarking on a coaching career that has spanned 11 years, Sherman started as an offensive line coach at Perry Meridian High School in 2005.
From there, he spent one season at Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Florida, and helped the team reach a 9-3 overall record.
He returned to Indiana in 2007 as the offensive line coach for 5A powerhouse Warren Central, which led the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference in rushing that season with 4,500 yards.
Joining forces with Ted Karras Jr. in 2008, he played a vital role as an offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at Marian University for five years.
The Knights competed in three NAIA National Championship playoffs during his tenure and won back-to-back MSFA Mid-East Championships.
In 2012, Marian University went 12-1 and captured the school’s first national championship, which Green, a 2008 Greenfield-Central graduate, was a part of while serving as a defensive captain.
“I was there for the hard knocks, too, (at Marian). My first year we were 7-4. It was 6-5 the second one, and we kind of went through some strives. It was probably the most important year in my coaching career because I kind of got to see how Ted (Karras) handled things, trying to grow a program,” Sherman said. “We had a lot of young guys that hadn’t won yet, but we made a big shift to family and the competition and a cohesion amongst the guys.”
Sherman looks to bring the same transformation in Greenfield.
Greenfield-Central hasn’t had back-to-back winning seasons since finishing 6-5 in 2011 and 7-5 in 2010. The last string of consecutive winning campaigns before Dodson’s run dates back to coach Clayton Myers in 1973-75 that included a Class 2A state championship the first year.
Sherman believes success will hinge on what he calls, O.P.G. (Optimism, Passion and Gratitude), a philosophy he picked up as a member of Karras Jr.’s staff.
“Those are the three things I’ve preached the past five years,” Sherman said. “You have to hold the kids accountable with positive re-enforcement. … We’re going to create a culture here where we want these guys waking up in the morning and feeling like they’re the best in the state in whatever it is whether at their position, in the classroom or in the community.”
The approached paid dividends at Marian, where Sherman dictated all offensive play calling during the Knights’ national title run and at Walsh University where he followed head coach Karras Jr.
Sherman served as the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach for the Cavaliers.
“I think his family-based philosophy will be very important to the success of the program. His vision to get our players involved in our school and community will build support of our program,” Greenfield-Central Athletics Director Jared Manning said. “We are excited to have him here and can’t wait to see what he can do with our program.”
Green, who holds the Cougars’ career record for tackles (404, 2004-07) is slated to be Greenfield-Central’s defensive coordinator under Sherman.
Additional staff will be ironed out once Sherman, his wife and four children (Hayden, 7; A.J., 6; Rory, 5; and Fisk, 3) get situated.
“I can tell you that we’re going to be very energetic, and we’re going to play hard,” he said. “We don’t want to be just a football program. We want it to be Greenfield’s football program. We want everyone involved. I’m very excited.”
Name: Adam Sherman
New Position: Greenfield-Central head football coach
High School: Lawrence North (2000 graduate)
College: University of St. Francis (2005 graduate)
Degree: Bachelor of Science, secondary education
• Four-year starter for St. Francis at offensive line
• Two-time NAIA All-American
• Three-time MSFA All-Mideast selection
• 2010 University of St. Francis Hall of Fame inductee
• 2013-2016 — Walsh University (Ohio): assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/recruiting coordinator/offensive line coach
• 2008-2013 — Marian University: offensive coordinator/offensive line coach
• 2007 — Warren Central H.S.: offensive line coach
• 2006 — Kathleen H.S. (Lakeland, Fla.): offensive line coach
• 2005 — Perry Meridian H.S.: offensive line coach