Means the man in Oxford

When Mike Means first visited Oxford, he saw a familiar setting that paralled with his prior coaching stops.

A blue-collar, hard-working town…the Lancaster County native fit right in, making it an easy transition for the first-time head coach.

“The community is ready for consistent success,’ Means said. “The support is overwhelming along with the type of kids that we have, We’re ready for a turnaround. That’s what I’m hoping to bring to this program.’

Means was hired as Oxford’s head football coach last month, replcing Mike Pietlock, who went 19-31 in five seasons with the Hornets.

During Pietlock’s tenure, Oxford experienced its first winning season since 1997 when the Hornets finished 7-4 in 2013. The Hornets finished 2-8 in 2014 despite the program’s quick turnaround, promping the new regime to start over.

In comes Means, who is bringing a hard-working philosophy to the Hornets. The style is similar to his prior coaching stint at Bohemian Manor (Maryland), where he was the offensive coordinator for the past seven years.

“The kids are going to play hard and play football the right way,’ Means said. “Once we get the system installed, we are going to see a consistent success down the road. It’s definitely going to be a process for that to happen.

“One the kids buy into all phases of the program, the expectations will rise and the wins will come. That’s the result of the process.’

The passion Means brings to a football team is ultimately what got him the Oxford job, where 17 candidates applied for the position before he beat out two other finalists.

“Oxford is ecstatic to have a coach with such passion and drive,’ said athletic director Mike Price. “We were all very impressed with his vision for the program and his mission of changing the culture here at Oxford. I am very excited for the future of our student-athletes and parents. His passion will definitely resonate with our community.’

Means returns 34 players from the 2014 roster, according to Despite losing one of the state’s best receivers in Ryan Hubley (90 rec., 1,443 yds., 19 TD) to graduation, the Hornets return quarterback Dan Green (2,453 yds., 27 TD, 11 INT), who was second in the Ches-Mont in passing.

Even with Green back at quarterback, those numbers will be hard to replicate under a new system. Means plans to install the triple-option on offense, a formation that will take time to perfect.

“It’s going to be a big shift from what they done in the past,’ Means said. “That’s what I’ve run for the last seven years at Bohemian Manor and had a lot of success with it. It will be a big change for the kids, but a challenge they’ll repond to.’

Means plans to get as many players on the field as possible with his personnel, especially on defense as a system has not been decided on by the coaching staff at this point.

“We’re looking at a 4-2-5 or a 3-3 stack look,’ Means said. “Overall, we’re going to be an aggressive, attacking group with a lot of athletes running around on the field and making plays.’

Instant success may not occur with Means, but he sees a long-team vision guiding the Hornets. The plan is for Oxford to have a winning tradition each season.

In order for his plan to work, Means will take a step back to go two steps forward.

“Regardless of any mental mistakes, I want my team to always play 100 miles an hour,’ Means said. “I’m a motivator. I want guys on my staff to motivate kids and get them to work as hard as possible.

“When you have kids like ours that are ready to work, that’s the type of football team you want: hard-nosed and physical.’


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