Wealth of knowledge: North’s coaching staff is a mix of experienced leaders and new faces

For the first 27 years of its existence, the Columbus North men’s soccer program was led by David Green.

During Green’s freshman year, in 1982, he had a senior named Chris Morlock, who would go on to become head coach at Franklin College.

At Franklin, Morlock coached a player named Andy Glover, who would return to his alma mater to become an assistant coach under Green at North.

Columbus North head coach Andy Glover talks to his team before a semi-state football game against Cathedral at Seymour High School in Seymour, Ind. on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. North defeated Cathedral 2- 1 to advance to the state finals for the first time in 10 years.

Mike Wolanin | The Republic

On Saturday afternoon, Glover will complete his 12th season as head coach when he leads the Class 3A Bull Dogs No. 4 against 3A No. 7 Noblesville in the State Finals at Michael Carroll Track and Soccer Stadium. of the IUPUI. Green and Morlock are two of his assistants.

“We all do it together here,” Glover said. “There is no ego in all this. There’s a wealth of football experience here and a fresh perspective, which is a nice balanced approach. Everyone’s ideas are listened to. We process, we digest and we make decisions and move on.

Columbus North assistant coach Adam Pieper watches the players warm up before a semi-state football game against Cathedral at Seymour High School in Seymour, Ind. on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. North defeated Cathedral 2-1 to advance to the state finals for the first time in 10 years.

Mike Wolanin | The Republic

This new prospect includes three younger coaches, two of whom played for North. Adam Pieper, a 2002 graduate, played for Green and Glover and is in his first year with the program.

“I’m proud of the boys,” Pieper said. “They go out and they work hard every day.”

Columbus North head coach Andy Glover, right, talks to assistant coach Adam Pieper before a semi-state football game against Cathedral at Seymour High School in Seymour, Ind., on Saturday October 22, 2022. North beat Cathedral 2-1 to advance to the State Finals for the first time in 10 years.

Mike Wolanin | The Republic

Brayan Morales, who played at Seymour, is in his third year as an assistant for the Bull Dogs.

“It’s absolutely great that they have this great opportunity to be in the state,” Morales said. “They worked very hard day in and day out, so we’re all very proud of them.”

The other assistant, first-year coach Brayton Thornburg, was a sophomore on North’s state championship team in 2012.

“It was pretty cool to see it come full circle,” Thornburg said. “We had the 10 year reunion this year which was great to be a part of. I’ve had loads of text messages this week from former teammates planning to be there this weekend.

Thornburg played collegiately at Baldwin-Wallace, where he also played on the school’s golf team for a year after his football career ended. He lived in Nashville, Tennessee, for a few years before moving back to Columbus last summer.

“I can’t take too much credit for (the success),” Thornburg said. “They have been involved for the past three years. I came to the program while in high school, so it was a really cool experience in that regard. Just seeing the culture reinstilled in the Columbus North program I grew up with has been great.

Thornburg served as the Bull Dogs’ interim head coach for two games this season while Glover and Morlock were ill.

“It’s a unique staff, but if you add it up, years of experience and all the success — take me out of the equation — it’s one of the best in the state,” Glover said. . “The team is on board with what we’re selling, and we’re all aligned on how we want to approach it. It’s centered on the student-athlete. We take our passion, translate it and harness their passion for play as well, and take kids as they are and move forward.

Before taking the assistant job this year, Thornburg asked Glover if the team was freelance.

“He said they were, and I saw him with the team this year, so that was really cool to see,” Thornburg said. “I just try to be more of a brotherly figure to them and someone they can look up to and someone they can ask questions of when they have any. It was an absolute blast, and I’m really glad I did it.

Green left North in 2009 to coach at Hanover College. He spent 10 years there and is now in his fourth year with the Bull Dogs.

“We get along great,” Green said. “We cannot agree to disagree because if two people disagree about the same things, one of them is not necessary. We bicker, but we end up loving each other and going out and doing the work for the kids.

Columbus North assistant coach Chris Morlock walks onto the field during team warmups before a semi-state football game against Cathedral at Seymour High School in Seymour, Ind., on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. North has defeated Cathedral 2-1 to advance to the state finals for the first time in 10 years.

Mike Wolanin | The Republic

Morlock is in his 13th year as an assistant. He was there when North lost on penalties in the 2011 state finals, won the Class 2A state title in 2012, and reached half-state and was ranked top five in the nation. in 2013 before falling to another top-ranked national team. at Avon.

“It’s really gratifying because what I take away from this team is that the seniors on this team, when they were freshmen, Columbus North had their first losing record in school history, and going from that to that in four years is pretty incredible,” Morlock said. “The other teams have had pretty sustained success, so in 2011 and 2012 we were pretty much like, ‘We’re going to declare, and nobody’s will stop us.’ This team hadn’t even won a section yet, it was more of a slower process. But I couldn’t be more proud of them.

Columbus North head coach Andy Glover, left, pats Aidan Whitley on his shoulder during the team’s warm-up before a semi-state football game against Cathedral at Seymour High School in Seymour, Ind., on Saturday October 22, 2022. North beat Cathedral 2-1 against advancing to the national final for the first time in 10 years.

Mike Wolanin | The Republic

Glover, a 1992 North graduate, was a swimmer and water polo player in high school and only played football in college. He left North after the 2017 season, but after a two-year absence returned in 2020.

This season, the Bull Dogs won their first section and regional titles since 2016 and their first semi-state crown since that 2012 state championship season.

“It’s really special,” Glover said. “The game means so much to (coaches). The team and the community, the football family here, gives a lot of time, a lot of stress. Coach Green is right – sometimes it gets a bit boring – but we all know that at the end of the day we want the same thing. When he says that we agree on a disagreement, it is to always produce the best possible solution.