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Rootstown hires Tom Hannan as new football coach

Rootstown hires Tom Hannan as new football coach


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


Rootstown has turned to one of Portage County’s all-time winningest coaches to take over the high school’s football program.

Tom Hannan was board approved on Wednesday to become the next coach of the Rovers, taking over for Chris Knopick, who resigned after three seasons leading the program.

Knopick brought Hannan onto his staff last season to coach the junior varsity and running backs.

The 2024 season will be Hannan’s 43rd coaching high school football, with 27 of those years as a head coach, including 16 seasons with the Crestwood Red Devils from 1994 to 2010 and is the school’s career wins leader with 92. The total ranks 12th all-time in Portage County history.

“I am honored to be the next football coach at Rootstown,” Hannan said. “I am grateful that Rootstown is giving me another opportunity to be a head coach, and I am not going to let them down.”

Hannan, who is also the baseball head coach at Salem High School, has previously been a head coach at Ridgedale and Lakewood, in addition to Crestwood. He has additional county connections, having previously served as an assistant football coach at Garfield and Kent Roosevelt, as well as an assistant baseball coach at Aurora.

After spending last season with the Rovers, Hannan feels optimism throughout the program.

“We had a great staff last year, and I had a great relationship with the kids,” Hannan said. “Honestly, I never thought I was going to have an opportunity to be the head coach, but when Chris resigned, I decided to throw my name in the hat for the chance.”

Hannan said he is working to fill out his coaching staff, while also starting to work on a summer schedule.

Rootstown was 9-2 overall last season, winning its first-round playoff game against Southeast before losing in the second round to Mineral Ridge.

“Coach Hannan is very familiar with our kids and has garnered a lot of respect from them after serving as an assistant coach last fall,” Rootstown athletic director Keith Waesch said. “We are very fortunate to have an individual with his experience, coaching record and familiarity with the program as our next head coach. This transition is definitely not your typical transition when bringing in a new head coach.”

1 Comment

  1. Daniel Turner April 18, 2024

    Coach Hannan is a hard working, intense individual who will bring out the most in his kids. As an experienced HS official, I have worked for Coach Hannah many times. He’s tough but fair. Kids who want to work hard and do their best will love him. Great hire!


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