Zane Trace Pioneers football
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Brock Netter

Brock is SOSA's primary writer and has worked for the Coshocton Tribune, the Kankakee Daily Journal (Ill.), the Vinton-Jackson Courier and the Jackson Telegram. He's a six-time award-winning journalist, a lifelong WWE fan, a suffering Bengals fan and calls the sidelines his home.

Dylan Wears preparing to continue winning tradition at Zane Trace

Wears takes over a program that finished 11-1 last season.

Brock Netter, Staff Writer

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

KINNIKINNICK — When Dylan Wears stepped down from his head coaching post at Triad, he had planned to take a small break. 

Zane Trace finished 11-1 last season. Following the departure of head coach Heath Hinton, Dylan Wears will lead the program into the future.

However, opportunities to coach 11-win teams don’t come around so often.

So when Heath Hinton stepped down from his head coaching position at Zane Trace after last season, Wears couldn’t resist the opportunity to try and continue something special.

“Right out of college, I had a short stint of actually living in Chillicothe. So that gave me some familiarity with the area and what it had to offer,” Wears said. “It was definitely an area I knew I’d be interested in coaching in if the opportunity ever came up. Going through the interview process, it just felt like everything was lining up like it should. So it was pretty exciting once I was informed that I was going to be the next head coach, and I was ready to get to work.” 

Wears played college football for four years at Ohio University. He was a running back under long-time coach Frank Solich while being coached at his position by the Bobcats’ current head coach, Tim Albin. 

Once his playing days were over, he spent time as an assistant coach at Olentangy High School and was the program’s strength and conditioning coach before earning his first head coaching position at Triad High School, where he compiled an 11-20 record in three seasons.

“Truth be told, I didn’t know that I ever wanted to be a coach until I was put on staff at Olentangy and everything just clicked,” Wears said. “I enjoyed everything coaching and it was something that I wanted my future to be about.” 

Fresh off an undefeated conference season — ZT’s third Gold Ball in the last eight seasons — Wears is stepping into a program with high expectations, and understandably so. 

Players such as Carter Langley, Blake Phillips, Riley Hartsaugh, Aaden Dunn, Spencer Brower and Evan Brower are back in the fold, alongside a slew of other talented players. They’re ready to make their mark. 

“It all comes down to working hard, doing things the right way and having a plan to execute things on and off the field,” Wears said. “I’m 27 years old. But this is my fourth year being a head coach and I’ve learned a ton of things that I’m bringing here with me. We want to pride ourselves on being the aggressor and taking the fight to our opponents. Our effort, toughness and physicality are things that we can control and will help us be a good football team and beat good football teams.” 

Zane Trace, which is 23-10 in the past three seasons, opens its newest campaign on Aug. 18 at Logan Elm. 

“I came in late in the spring, so it’s been a quick process. But these guys have taken me in with open arms and they’re a great group to be around,” Wears said. “You can’t force relationships and we have to go through some hard stuff together and work it out together. It takes time. But the guys know I’m here for them and I’m going to give them everything I have while putting them in positions to be successful.

“Football is a team game and we’re going to put the best product on the field and leave everything we can at the end of the day. If these guys give me everything and I give them everything, success is going to follow.”


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