WILKES-BARRE — “I always say, ‘Go get your one percent,’” newly introduced Wilkes head football coach Jon Drach said during his press conference Thursday. “That’s something for me that’s really important because all we can do — any person — is just get better every day.”
Two hundred forty-seven people applied for Wilkes’ head football coach opening this winter.
That means the former Hobart offensive coordinator had less than a 1-percent chance to win the job. On Feb. 2, when Wilkes announced the hire, and then on Thursday, when Drach was introduced as the program’s ninth head coach, Drach got his one percent. Twice.
“For me, it was just being very, very process-driven and work-oriented, and you go out and you work from sun up to sun down and you come back and you do the same thing the next day, and that’s how you can become successful,” said Drach, who grew up on a farm. “It’s no different here. That’s how our kids are going to grow, they’re going to get better. They’re going to go out and make the right decisions every day and we’re going to get better.”
Taking the helm of a football program has always been the dream for Drach.
His father, Buck, was an illustrious high school head coach in Illinois, with stints at Peoria, St. Charles and West Aurora, and is in the Illinois Coaches Hall of Fame. He even coached under his son during Drach’s first year as an offensive coordinator at Hobart.
“This is the goal,” Drach said. “I rode the bus from the time I was 4 years old and held my dad’s cord and all those things you do when you’re a little kid and your dad’s a head coach. I always idolized him and he’s somebody who’s always been a huge mentor of mine and to finally have that opportunity for myself is a really unique opportunity. My dad already says, ‘You’re in the family business.’”
Drach comes to Wilkes with plenty of accolades to his name.
In his 11 seasons with Hobart, and the past three as offensive coordinator, his offenses set single-season marks in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, passing efficiency, touchdown/interception ratio and total offense.
He also coached four Liberty League Offensive Player of the Year winners, two ECAC Offensive Player of the Year winners and seven all-league quarterbacks.
“Jon embraces family values and is fueled by his passion to coach football. Coach Drach comes to Wilkes with a history of unparalleled success,” Wilkes athletic director Adelene Malatesta said.
In the days since Drach was named the head coach at Wilkes, his father has been sending him roughly 25 emails a day — as Drach pointed out — on “what to look for” as a head coach and how to treat people.
Having his father’s level of knowledge and experience at his side, Drach has the foundation to turn Wilkes into what Hobart was when he left. One of the best offenses in the Liberty League to go along with six conference titles and seven NCAA playoff appearances in the past 11 seasons.
“Just to treat people the correct way in everything,” Drach said of some of father’s influences. “I want to be accessible to everybody. I want to treat people how I think they should be treated. I think everyone should have a piece of this program. This is not just for us or for our players. It’s for the entire campus, it’s for the entire community and every alumni and fan out there. We’re going to be an open book for those people and really have them be able to get involved with us.”
Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle