By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter
The anticipation will come to a climax Monday.
Peggy Hughes, spokesperson for the Fort Thomas Independent School District, sent out an e-mail announcing Highlands High School will have a press conference announcing the successor to Dale Mueller as Head Coach of the vaunted Highlands Bluebirds. It will take place at 3 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. Everyone is invited to attend.
Mueller announced his retirement from the position on Dec. 9 of this past year after 20 years on the job. Mueller guided the Bluebirds to a record of 250-36, 11 state championships and three state runner-up finishes making him the winningest and longest-tenured coach in the 99 years of the program.
Mueller finished with an overall record of 309-67 in 29 years as a Head Coach. He coached at Cincinnati Withrow and Cincinnati Sycamore before succeeding Tom Duffy as Head Coach of the Bluebirds in 1994.
Highlands Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Brian Weinrich has long been the leading candidate to succeed Mueller. Weinrich came on staff in 1995 as a volunteer assistant and worked his way up to Defensive Coordinator in 2002. Weinrich helped the Bluebirds to the 1989 Class AAA state championship in a 7-3 win over Paducah Tilghman.
Highlands owns the second-most wins in the country with an overall record of 855-227-26 since the program began in 1915. Valdosta (Georgia) has the most wins in the country with an overall record of 882-214-34.
The selection culminates with the start of winter conditioning. It goes from 3-6 p.m. after school starting Monday.
The new head coach will have a lot of talent to work with. Beau Hoge is the leading candidate to take over at quarterback and the offense returns wide receivers Jensen Feggins and Alex Veneman. The defense returns players like Griffin Urlage, Andrew Abner, Rocco Pangallo, Bo Hebel and D.J. Mills.