After four years coaching football at Atholton, Kyle Schmitt accepted the head job at Spalding earlier this week. He replaces interim coach Brian Propst, who led the Cavaliers to a 5-5 record in the fall after assuming control of the team last June following the death of longtime Coach Mike Whittles from pancreatic cancer.

Schmitt, 31, said he had not spent much time pursuing other jobs during his time at the Columbia public school, but the chance to lead a team in the MIAA-A Conference was too good to pass up. He said he will not have to relocate his young family from their Howard County home, and he will bring along several assistants who helped him with the Raiders.

“It’s a great opportunity for me and my family,” Schmitt said by phone Thursday. “To join what I think is the best league in the state as far as all-encompassing Maryland teams is an unbelievable challenge. I like the environment over there, and the campus is beautiful. I’m just excited to take a shot.”

Schmitt, a former lineman at the University of Maryland, arrived at Atholton in 2009 after a stint as a graduate assistant with the Terrapins. He served as his own offensive playcaller and compiled a 38-9 in four years leading the Raiders, qualifying for the playoffs each season.

Schmitt said he gathered his former players Tuesday to deliver the news, and Spalding announced the hiring Wednesday in a news release. He plans to finish out the school year teaching social studies at Atholton and will take a similar position at the Severn private school next year.

“I love Atholton,” Schmitt said. “I love the kids. It was a place they allowed me to grow and mature as a coach. . . . I think it’s a position that should be coveted in Howard County.”

Under Whittles, Spalding became an MIAA-B Conference power and then made the jump to the top conference in 2011. Propst had served as offensive coordinator during Whittles’s tenure and the staff stayed mostly intact last season after his passing.

“I think there’s definitely talent in the area to be had,” Schmitt said. “Mike Whittles. . . did an incredible job with the program.. . . I’m following in the footsteps of a legend at that high school.”

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