New Norview head coach Ian Rapanick (Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit757)
Norview’s new head coach Ian Rapanick rises up from the 2019 staff
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
Norview’s newest head coach is a familiar face in the program.
Offensive line coach Ian Rapanick will lead the program moving forward. Rapanick coached under Dealton Cotton for the 2019 season, coached on the Nansemond River staff in 2018, and he was the head coach at Perquimans County High School (NC) in 2017.
“It’s exciting,” Rapanick said after the official announcement on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s my first (head coaching position) at home, especially at a regional contender. It’s an honor to coach at a school with such a tradition as Norview. I’m here to build on what Coach Cotton has built with guys like D.J. Mack and Kevin Marks. Soon we’re going to add a few guys to that list.”
Rapanick has been in the building as a Physical Education and Weightlifting teacher at Norview, in addition to being on the coaching staff last season. He’s aware of the football tradition at Norview. He’s aware of the talent on hand and he’s also aware of the instability at the head coaching position with the exception of Cotton filling the job for six of the past seven seasons. Cotton had a 41-29 record as the head coach at Norview. 2019 was saw the team finish with only two wins. That was the worst season for Norview since 2012, when the Pilots were also 2-8.
Cotton left the school last month to take a teaching position and the head coach’s job at East Wake High School just outside Raleigh, NC. Prior to Cotton’s arrival in 2013, Norview had five head coaches in the previous four seasons.
“What Norview needs is stability. They need stability in the coaching staff. I’m bringing on some great people who coach for the right reasons. I want to bring as many Norview guys back here as possible. I’ve found in Norfolk that everybody is close and they have a sense of pride in where they went to school. I’ve hired (line coach) Buddy Ruff, who I worked with at Nansemond River. He was a no-brainer for me. I was able to steal Coach (Daniel) Church, from Booker T. and Green Run. He’s another no-brainer.”
“They’re guys who have great relationships with the kids already. I’ve known them. I’ve known their families; I know their brothers. They’ve been easy decisions for me. I want to bring back as many Norview coaches as I can. There have been some really good coaches and some really good players in this building over the years. They bring a sense of pride in the school and I think that goes a long way with the kids,” said the coach.
Norview lost to Highland Springs in the Group 5A state semifinal in 2016. They’re not that far removed from a series of winning seasons. Nansemond River followed Norview with a Region 5A win in 2017 and a trip to the state semifinal.
Those two opened the season against each other at Norview last year, and they’ll repeat the game in 2020 at Nansemond River as the season opener. That game should draw a lot of interest with Rapanick going up against his former staff, and Coach Ruff will be in the same boat.
“That will be a fun one. We’ll see Coach Conyers, Coach Payne and those guys (at Nansemond River). I have a lot of respect for those guys. We’re still friends. It will be a lot of fun seeing them and competing against them,” the coach explained.
Rapanick brings a fresh perspective to the head coaching position at Norview and that should rejuvenate them. He’s looking forward to seeing his young guys develop.
We have a great defensive line and some great younger guys on our team here at Norview. (Strategically), we’re going to look to take advantage of some mismatches that we can make. Having Daylen Everette, Donovan Everette, Josh Johnson and MarQeese Dietz and all those guys is going to put a lot of stress on our opponents. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the off-season progresses. I want to see those guys progress as leaders. We have a good schedule and I think we can make a run in the Eastern District this year,” Rapanick stated.
– Andy Hilton
Editorial note: Coach Rapanick mentioned Tony Church as a new hire in our interview. It is Daniel Church who is coming on board with Norview. That has been corrected in the article. -AH