SOLON — A Mount Vernon High School alum, Lucas Stanton is about to switch sides in the Highway 1 rivalry.
Stanton was hired Friday as the next football coach at Solon.
“It’s an exciting opportunity,” Stanton said shortly after the announcement. “The tradition, the culture at Solon ... and it’s not just football.”
Stanton, 36, has big shoes to fill. His predecessor, Kevin Miller, posted a 190-32 record in 18 seasons and won four state championships.
The Spartans were 12-1 and Class 3A state runners-up last fall.
“There’s not a better guy out there than Kevin,” Stanton said. “You can learn a lot from him. Being a great person first, the wins will take care of themselves.
“A lot of the things Ed Hansen and Kevin Miller built are a lot of the same values I will try to instill. Character, leadership, a process-based program.”
Stanton was a 2002 graduate of Mount Vernon. He played at Cornell College (2002-05), then served as an assistant at Cornell and the University of Dubuque.
He was an assistant at Marietta, Ohio, for three seasons (2011-13), then defensive coordinator at Mount Vernon (2014), head coach at North Cedar (2015), defensive coordinator at Dubuque Wahlert (2016) and head coach at Anamosa (2017-19).
Anamosa was 8-19 in Stanton’s three seasons, 2-7 last year.
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“It was tough to tell the kids at Anamosa my decision this morning,” Stanton said. “We put a lot of time into getting it rolling there, and I think they’re going to have a really good season.”
Stanton said he inherits “a phenomenal staff” at Solon. “They’ll make the transition seamless.
“I’m super-excited for the opportunity,” he said. “I’m ready to get started.”
Solon, ranked No. 6 in The Gazette’s Class 2A offseason poll, hosts No. 4 Williamsburg in its season opener Aug. 28. As for the Solon-Mount Vernon game? It’s Oct. 16 at Spartan Stadium.
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