FOSTORIA - The money was just too good to leave.
Just two days after getting approved by the Fostoria Board of Education to be the new varsity football coach and high school math teacher, Jason Lynch turned down the job.
Lynch, who had coached at Marion River Valley previously in his career, last year coached at Fort Thomas Highlands in Kentucky.
Fostoria athletic director Aaron Weidner said Lynch was offered a promotion in his current job.
"Both he and his wife were given job offers at their respective jobs that essentially they couldn't turn down," Weidner said.
So instead, Weidner turned to his second choice, former Lakota football coach Jim Kelly.
"Jim develops a great report with kids. He knows the game of football pretty well," Weidner said. "We were impressed with his presentation and how he did things and his references and all the things that go into being a football coach."
Kelly said it was an attractive job.
"I think with Fostoria, it's the history. The rich tradition they have is what made it attractive," Kelly said. "Years have gone by since they've won their state championship and numbers have changed, but with that tradition, it's something that always peaks your curiosity and interest.
"The athletes they have and have come through the system, it's enticing to want to coach."
The Redmen won state titles in 1991 and 1996.
Kelly went 10-30 in four years at Lakota, including a 1-9 record last year in his final season at the helm of the Raiders.
Last season for Fostoria was something that stood out to Kelly. The Redmen opened the year 0-4 before rallying to a 5-5 record.
"I think they way they ended the season tells a lot about the kids and the way the character they have and the ability they have," Kelly said. "It tells a lot about coach (Beau) Carmon and his ability to keep the kids focused. Even though it's a late start, that's something to build upon."
The new coach said hard work is what it's going to take to push the Redmen to that next level.
"We want to work hard as coaches, be there with kids and teaching," Kelly said. "It will help in the process. Our ultimate goal is to be a perennial playoff team and have the opportunity to play for the big prize and I believe that's attainable in time."
Kelly will meet with the team today. While the school board hasn't approved the measure, Weidner said he's expected to be approved at the June board meeting.
Weidner said they had approximately 20 applicants for the job and brought in four for final interviews. He said Kelly was the second choice.
"I expect him to come in and get the kids in the weight room and get everybody on the same page," Weidner said of expectations. "With a system change, they need to get everyone on the same page on terminology and get the kids playing hard together as a team."
The new head man hasn't decided on his staff but had some ideas when he interviewed a month ago.
"I'm a pre-planner, so I had group of guys planned when I went in to interview," Kelly said. "In the last day, I've been making some calls and talking to some coaches and getting things ready."
He was slated to serve on the Columbian High School football staff this fall as an assistant under Brian Colatruglio working with the offensive and defensive lines. Colatruglio said he has mixed feelings about Kelly not coming to the TC?program.
"We were definitely looking forward to him being on our staff and felt he'd be a good addition," he said. "But when you get a chance to be a head coach, it's something you can't pass up. I can't blame him at all. He's a great coach and I think he'll do a great job there.
"It's definitely mixed feelings. I hope he does a great job, and we wish him the best of luck, except for week three (when Columbian and Fostoria play)."
Now that he's back in a head coaching role, Kelly can't wait to get started, taking over a program that was 8-22 in the last three years under Carmon.
"At the end of the day I feel fortunate and excited for the opportunity," he said. "I'm excited to be able teach and work with kids. (I want to) be a positive influence on good kids."
A-T sports writers Aaron Korte and Tony Maluso contributed to this story.