All-Area COTY Dan Ellis had stunning first year at Great Valley

To really take a group of young men and move them to heights they or past members have never attained takes a talented, dedicated leader, one who sees his job as more than a head football coach. One who actually sees his role as that as a teacher and mentor of young men who will be better people after being involved with the program.

In the 2014 football season, Great Valley attained a 12-2 record and captured the first Class AAA district 1 title in school history. They did it in grand style by shutting out Central League champion Springfield (Delco) in the title game, 21-0. Dan Ellis, in his first year at the helm coming over from West Chester East, was the leader that his kids believed in enough to give the maximum effort needed to reach such lofty heights.

It is for these accomplishments that Dan Ellis is the Daily Local News All-Area Football Coach of the Year.

“I think it is important part of the job to as teachers to mentor the kids on not just football but character and things that hopefully make them better people not just better football players,’ Ellis said. “If you donty use the platform we as teachers have, you are not maximizing our potential. Our job as coaches, I believe, is to give a framework and then hold kids accountable for those things.

“It is not enough to just work in the weight room. You have to expect to work at things at a certain rate and the Great Valley kids were very receptive of what we were telling them. Two things as coaches you try to control and that is the kids attitude and effort and the kids this year were very receptive to that and wanted to work hard and outwork other people. You know that a kid at Rustin or Unionville is working his tail off and now what are you going to do to compete with them.’

Athletic director Russ Wren, who has an extensive football background, talked about what Ellis brought to the program on and off the field and what kind of impact he had on the entire Great Valley football community.

“Dan has brought a new level of respect and energy to Great Valley football,’ Wren said. “The players have really grown on and off the field under his guidance. Everyone knows what he brings as far as being one of the best x and o guys around, but few know that he teaches weekly lessons on topics like character, integrity and empathy that has our faculty and community embracing what he is doing here.

“Dan’s imprint really shows by the way our kids have conducted themselves throughout the year on and off the field. Because of Dan Ellis there is a new sense of pride within the Great Valley football community. The kids now believe in him and themselves.’

Ellis is quick to point out that his team was able to win a district tile by focusing and working on the next game ahead of them of them on the schedule.

“The kids were very good at just looking at the next opponent and not get caught up in other things. When we had an injury, the other kids stepped up and the entire team just focused on what had to be done.’

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