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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Owls stay in family for head grid coach

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

After seven years in the system, Jon Stockman will get his chance to run the Owls' football program as head coach.
(Chris Allen/Democrat-News)
Jon Stockman received one of the best birthday presents of his life Tuesday by the Marshall School Board.

The Board promoted from within the district in choosing Stockman as the Owls' new varsity head football coach, replacing Jay Eilers -- who resigned in late May after two years on the job. Stockman has worked in the Marshall school system since 2005, having been an assistant coach six years and spending last season guiding the Bueker Middle School team.

"It's an opportunity and challenge at the same time," said Stockman, who turned 32 years old today. "I've got to get busy, get to work."

Stockman takes over a program which has not had a winning season, nor reached the playoffs, since 2006. The Owls were 0-10 a year ago, their first winless campaign since 1942. The roster often dipped under 40 players in 2011, with only two seniors, a trend of declining participation which had been under way for several years.

"The biggest part is recruiting," Stockman observed. "Getting kids out who need to be playing, but haven't been."

While quantity does not necessarily equate to quality, the lack of depth has put Marshall into a competitive disadvantage in the NCMC and its Class 4 district. No wonder he encourages any prospective players or their parents to give him a call at (660) 886-2244.

"Numbers don't make you good, but it sure helps in getting you ready to play the schedule we play at Marshall High School," Stockman said. "It's not an easy one."

While this is Stockman's first job leading a varsity program, he comes with a strong pedigree -- beginning with his all-I-70 Conference seasons as a lineman at Class 1 power Santa Fe, which reached the Show-Me Bowl his junior year. Chiefs head coach Bill Fox was an early mentor in motivational techniques.

"He could get a kid to do anything he wanted," Stockman marveled.

Stockman played for Dan Stanley at Missouri Valley, graduating in 2003 after earning all-Heart of America Conference honors at guard, and served on the staffs of Paul Troth at Valley and Rob Bowers at Richmond before being hired by Paul Thomas as the Owls' offensive line coach in 2005.

Stockman has been at Marshall ever since, raising 8-year-old daughter Carleigh with his wife, Michelle. His commitment to the community worked in his favor during the hiring process.

"He has a passion and excitement for Marshall," remarked MHS Athletic Director Caleb Crawford. "Hopefully, he'll provide consistency and stability to the program for years."

Crawford also recognized that familiarity with the Owls' players and fellow coaches is a benefit.

"He has established a connection with the kids and has the support of the players," he said.

"It's an easier transition when you know the kids and they know you," Stockman agreed. At this late date, "if you had to come in and learn who all the players are, it would be a bigger challenge."

Stockman also considers himself fortunate to inherit a solid staff, men with whom he has worked before: defensive coordinator Ian Verts, backfield coach Jason Price -- who was re-hired by the Board on Tuesday -- and defensive line coach Dom Giangrosso. A couple of other assistants were added in April, whose roles are yet to be assigned.

"Guys who are loyal and know what they're capable of," Stockman described his staff. "I don't have to micromanage."

Yet, there's plenty of work to be done. Although there is continuity on the defensive side with Verts on board, installing the veer offense -- what the Owls ran during most of Thomas' years -- will require intense effort.

Although some camp dates have been set, Stockman is getting to work completing the off-season schedule in time for the start of practice in August and the Aug. 26 season opener at Chillicothe.

"Just getting everybody on the same page and working toward a common goal: winning football games on Friday night," Stockman said.

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Congrats John

-- Posted by Gal66 on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 6:57 AM

Kids...drop the soccer balls, put down the xbox and go buy a mouthpeice...be part of a winning, tradition-rich proud program!

-- Posted by trips-right on Thu, Jun 28, 2012, at 11:17 AM

Nothing against the last regime, but I'm curious as to what the state of the football program would be, had Stockman received the nod 2 years ago. Where would the interest be, what would numbers look like, etc.

Again, not a knock on the last hire, more just something to think about. Not that it matters though.

Also good to see Vertz and Price retained as well, good solid coaches.

Should be a fun year, hopefully Stockman can encourage some of these kids who have played their whole lives only to quit now to get up, get to work, and get back into the game.

-- Posted by Tigers/Owls4Life96 on Thu, Jun 28, 2012, at 8:35 AM

congrats... best of luck jon.... GO OWLS !!

-- Posted by outlaw11 on Thu, Jun 28, 2012, at 8:14 AM

Wow....... what do you know Mr. Crump looks like I was right..

I guess you don't have to worry deleting my post(s) about the subject anymore.

Common sense hire.."Stock" has roots, passion and committment here. Should have hired him in the first place after coach Thomas was forced out. Always gotta learn the hardway for some reason.

Unfortunately it will take more than that..Support, patience, and without the constant meddling of those who don't know the game or what it takes to build a program from the ashes.

Good luck, John

-- Posted by Reader101 on Thu, Jun 28, 2012, at 12:36 AM

They will be playing 8 of the same teams. Instead of Bolivar and Warrensburg--now St Dominic and Warrenton.

-- Posted by mu-grad on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 5:29 PM

Congrats Coach Stockman! And oldschool17 its Marshall do you really think parents and Monday morning QB's are going to abide by your request? Very doubtful! But It shouldnt take 2 years since Marshall doesnt play the same teams anymore so they should win at least 7 or 8 games this year. Good luck Owls!

-- Posted by oldestowlfan79 on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 4:04 PM

Very smart hire, really glad they hired a Marshall guy who knows this town and wants to do what is best for it. Now, all parents and Monday Morning QBs need to back off and let the man do his job. It may take 2 years it make take 10, but he'll get this football program back to were it should be. So just sit back, and let the man work!

-- Posted by oldschool17 on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 3:37 PM

Congrats to Coack John Stockman! GO OWLS! LET'S GET READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!

-- Posted by farmer'sgranddaughter on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 2:13 PM

That's wonderful news! Mr. Stockman is VERY deserving! Congrats!

-- Posted by MTWTFSS on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 1:43 PM

Congrats stockman....lets play some ball!

-- Posted by RuSerious2012 on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 12:43 PM

Go Stockman!!!!

-- Posted by tommob on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 12:20 PM

Finally!!! Well deserved!!!

-- Posted by Tigers/Owls4Life96 on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 11:53 AM

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