New Thomas More Football Coach Introduced, Shares Vision for Program
The new head football coach at Thomas More Collegewas introduced at a press conference Friday afternoon on campus where Regis Scafe talked about the vision he has for his new team.
“I'm really excited, I just drove in this afternoon. It's a great opportunity to be a part of Thomas More and everything they stand for,” Scafe said. “For me, it's a wonderful opportunity to take over a program with such a great tradition.”
Scafe has an extensive football coaching career totaling nearly 30 years, most recently at John Carroll University in Ohio where he went 88-56 in his 14 years leading the program. He was also the head coach at Case Western Reserve University from 1994 to 1998.
Scafe takes over for Jim Hilvert who was coach for eight seasons in Crestview Hills before accepting the opening at LaSalle High School in Cincinnati during the offseason. Hilvert became Thomas More's all-time winnings coach last season with the Saints. Scafe is the fifth football coach in the program's history.
“Coach Hilvert did a great job. Hopefully he made my job a lot easier. You can't replace a guy like that. I have to come in to be myself and it will be an adjustment period for the players and the coaches, but we want to take the foundation that he built up for us and go from there. It's hard to replace him—he did an outstanding job—but I have to do my own thing, so that's what I'm hoping for.”
The Saints had back-to-back seasons of quality play and winning records but narrowly missed the playoffs each year. While Scafe has his eye on a playoff berth, he says winning a national championship is on his list of goals as well.
“I believe in aiming big,” he said when asked if a national championship is attainable in his first year at Thomas More. “Our goal is to win in the Presidents Athletic Conference, get into the playoffs, and take it one week at a time, but we want to be the best team on the field for 15 weeks in a row. Hopefully we can get there.”
Scafe has been a defensive coach for a lot of his career and he said that he prefers a four-man front on that side of the ball though he will show different looks at different times. He's impressed with the pass rushers on the team, but wants to stop the run first. Along those same lines, he said that he looks to employ the run in order to set up the pass.
“The worst feeling in the whole world is trying to stop a team when they're pounding it down your throat,” he said. “I like to be able to run the ball, set the tone and do what you can from there."
When asked what scheme he will bring to the program, Scafe said while nothing needs to be immediately fixed thanks to the job of his predecessor, he does bring a certain kind of coaching philosophy to the game.
“Offensively, I believe in obviously running the football, but spreading the defense and making them defend the whole field. We're going to throw the ball if we have to in order to open up the run. We're going to try and be balanced."
“On defense, we'll use multiple schemes with different pressures and try to be aggressive.”
As a Cleveland native, Scafe is aware of the area's hotbed of high school football recruits in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati and hopes to cash in on that local resource now that he is here.
“I know there is great high school football down here,” he said. “We want to make sure that we continue to get great student-athletes from this area.”
Scafe was named the Ohio Athletic Conference co-coach of the year in 2002 at John Carroll. He will make his Thomas More coaching debut on September 5 when the Saints host St. John Fisher College.
Story & photo by Bryan Burke, associate editor
Photo: Coach Regis Scafe/RCN