If Riverside-Brookfield High School thought not rehiring head football coach Otto Zeman in June 2009 would end his presence on the sidelines at RB’s football field, it was wrong.
Well, kind of.
Metro Suburban Conference rival Fenton High School has hired Zeman to be the football team’s offensive coordinator for the 2011-12 season, Fenton head football coach Mark Kos confirmed Tuesday morning. Zeman also confirmed he’d be coaching at Fenton.
The hiring is technically not official, because it is still pending board approval, but Kos said Zeman has already filled out paperwork and he doesn’t see any problems arising from the board’s meeting.
“I love coaching,” Zeman said. “I had the one year off after coaching for 40 years. I got the call from Mark and decided to take it.”
Kos said talks with Zeman began in late February and became serious in the last week of March.
“We were definitely aware of his passing attack when we played against RB during his tenure there,” Kos said. “I feel it’s a responsibility as the head coach that I owe to the kids to surround them with good football people, and coach Zeman fits that role.”
Zeman compiled a record of 162-112 in his 26 years as head coach at RB.
Kos said he is fully confident that there will be no problems in the long run with Zeman adjusting to being an offensive coordinator after spending so much time as a head coach.
“Anytime you bring in a guy with that much experience, that’s always a concern, yes,” Kos said. “But I am the head coach and I know he realizes that I am the head coach. There might be some growing pains initially, but I’m fully confident that it won’t be a problem.”
When current RB head coach Jason Rech was hired over Zeman on June 8, 2010, Zeman expressed his disappointment with the decision publicly.
“I’m disappointed with the decision,” Zeman said at the time. “I’m still passionate about coaching football and working with kids.”
Riverside-Brookfield High School will host Fenton next season as part of its conference schedule. Will revenge be on Zeman’s mind?
“It will definitely be different being on the opposite sidelines,” Zeman said. “But I wish RB well, and I’m just focused on helping Fenton win.”