By Graham Sturgeon, co-editor

The Durand Board of Education voted to hire Jason Gray as the district’s varsity football coach Wednesday, Jan. 27 during its Committee of the Whole meeting. Gray will succeed Jeremy Ferman, who coached Durand for one season before taking the head coaching job at Flint Kearsley High School.
Gray, a 2001 Owosso High School graduate, resigned as the Chesaning football coach Sept. 26 for personal reasons after coaching the team since 2013. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach for Owosso from 2001 through 2009 before spending three years as the coach at Carson City-Crystal. He has an overall record of 23-28 as a head coach.
Coach Gray takes over a 0-9 Durand team that has battled low participation numbers for the last few years. Luckily Gray is a turn-around specialist, having rejuvenated two middling programs at Chesaning and Carson City-Crystal. Gray took over a 3-6 team in Chesaning and improved the team’s win total each year, while also drastically boosting participation numbers from 16 varsity players in 2012 (the season before he arrived) to 57 last year. Before that he took a 1-8 Carson City-Crystal team and turned it into a 7-3 team that made the playoffs for only the second time in school history in 2012.
Coach Gray says there is no secret to improving participation numbers, saying that he simply “invests in the kids.”
“I’m very excited to be here in Durand,” Gray said during Wednesday’s meeting. “I’ve been working around the kids through an Americorps program that is through the RESD and I can tell there is a lot of passion and energy in the school. We are going to do great things here, and not just on the football field. I can promise you, we are going to win on the football field, but we’re going to make sure academics and community service are high priorities.”
Gray also plans to institute a “mandatory after school tutoring program,” and would like to bring an annual military classic game to Durand. Additionally, he will run a multi-formation Wing T offense, which he said “fits the current players and is similar to the system they have been running.”

Durand Hires Football Coach was last modified: February 1st, 2016 by Karen Elford