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DeMatha assistant Chris Grier hired as Sherwood football coach

The Sherwood football team, pictured before a September game against Damascus, will now be coached by one of its own. (Jonathan Newton/THE WASHINGTON POST)

DeMatha freshman football coach Chris Grier has been named Sherwood’s varsity football coach, the school announced in a statement Tuesday.

Grier, who played at Sherwood as an offensive lineman from 1996 to 2000, replaces Mike Bonavia at the helm. Bonavia stepped down after two seasons as head coach in February, citing an opportunity to “pursue other professional advancements in Montgomery County Schools.”

Grier grew up in Olney and played for Bob Milloy at Sherwood. Milloy is now the head coach at four-time Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champion Good Counsel.

“Being somebody who grew up in [Sherwood’s] program, learned fundamentals of football through Bob Milloy and the program, it sounds cliché, but it’s a dream come true, honestly,” Grier said. “To be in my home community, where I grew up in the school, where I became I man, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

This will be the third coaching stint for the 30-year-old Grier, who also spent time as an assistant at Herricks High School in Long Island, N.Y., after playing his college football at Waynseburg and West Virginia University. He was hired at DeMatha in 2010, and said that coaching in the WCAC helped position him for a head coaching opportunity in the area.

“The WCAC is a very highly competitive league, full of very, very high quality coaches,” said Grier, who interviewed with Sherwood on March 5. “I learned a lot about coaching at DeMatha. . . .DeMatha is somewhere where, you know, strength and conditioning is of utmost importance. It’s getting kids exposure to the college level and the college coaches. I think that those are all things that appeal to Sherwood.”

Under Bonavia, Sherwood went 6-4 in 2011, and finished 9-3 this season. The Warriors beat Catonsville in a 4A North region semifinal before falling to Westminster in the region final.

Grier currently teaches at Loiederman Middle School in Silver Spring, and said Tuesday that he hasn’t begun planning to migrate over to Sherwood as an educator for the fall. He will start offseason conditioning with the Warriors next week, he said.

“I hope I can bring stability to the program for the very, very long term,” Grier said. “I couldn’t be happier with the opportunity, and more humbled and blessed to have the chance to carry on the tradition of Sherwood football.”

Roman Stubbs covers the University of Maryland athletics for The Washington Post.
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