Board selects Winkler as CHS football coach

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Kyle Winkler

CLOVERDALE -- Though few attended, those at the Cloverdale Community School Corp. board meeting managed to meet the corporation's third high school football coach in six months.

The board unanimously voted in favor of hiring Kyle Winkler to replace the departed Nathan Aker. Aker had replaced Jamie Steffy, who announced his resignation in January.

Aker did not coach a game for the Clovers, taking the position in March. However, he resigned from the post on May 25.

"(Akers) will resign due to personal reasons," Cloverdale High School Principal Sonny Stoltz said Monday. "May 25 put us in a bad situation.

"But when life deals you lemons, make lemonade."

Stoltz was on hand Monday evening to introduce Winkler to the board. He was first hired as a media specialist for the high school prior to being accepted as head football coach.

"He wants to be here," Stoltz said.

Winkler comes to Cloverdale after spending a season as an assistant coach at Pike High School.

His father has coached at Southridge.

"I'm going to expect (the players) to have a positive attitude, both on the field and in the classroom," Winkler said.

Winkler said he had spoken recently with Aker via telephone and believed the players were preparing for the upcoming season despite not having a coach nearly three weeks.

"He indicated the kids were working hard," Winkler said.

Still, Winkler said he plans on getting the players in the weight room as soon as possible.

"We're going to be getting bigger, faster and stronger," he said.

A graduate of Indiana University, Winkler said he will install a pro-I offense and he plans on running the ball.

"We're going to come straight at you," he said.

Under the direction of Steffy, the Clovers ran a wing-T offense for nine seasons. Steffy compiled a 34-61 record during his tenure. He had served as an assistant coach under Mike Parks before taking the head coaching position.

Aker -- who teaches physical education at the middle school -- worked under Steffy as an assistant coach last year, as the Clovers finished the 2006 campaign with a 3-8 record.

Akers graduated from South Putnam High School and played under Mark Wildman. He was the team co-captain in 2001 and also made the 2001 All-Putnam County Team.

School board president Linda Mann said she was "excited" about Winkler taking the position.

"I hope he brings a lot of enthusiasm to the program," she said.

The Clovers have not had a winning record since finishing 7-3 in 1996.

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