Lance Lovitt was approved by the Nyssa School Board on Monday, June 14 as the new head football coach of the Bulldogs. Lovitt replaces Lee Long who retired earlier this year.
“I think this is a good fit for both of us,” said Lovitt of his new duties.
Lovitt grew up in Adrian, graduating as an Antelope in 1989. He coached at Stanfield, Creswell and Marist in Eugene before returning east to take the top job with the La Grande Tigers. Lovitt coached the Tigers to back-to-back Greater Oregon League titles before jumping to the collegiate ranks as an assistant under Rod Cushman at Eastern Oregon University.
“After coaching at EOU, I decided to take some time off,” he said. “I wanted to spend some time with family.”
Lovitt returned to coaching in 2011, coaching track at Corbett and working on his master’s degree. In 2016, it was time to return home to Adrian.
“My parents were getting older and I wanted to live back in Adrian,” Lovitt explained. “In terms of coaching, I just waiting for the right opportunity to open up.”
Related: Nyssa Bulldog Action Photos
Nyssa almost missed out on Lovitt as he did look at the open position in Parma.
“Parma just did not feel right,” he said. “I really liked the strong community support in Nyssa and the fact the town is a real hard hat type of people. The kids get in there and get the job done. That is what I was looking for in a team.”
Now that he is approved, Lovitt is ready to go.
“I have not even had a chance to meet the other coaches,” he said. “I want to have a team meeting, interview the kids and see what we have.”
As for a game plan for the Dawgs, Lovitt is open.
“I will play offense depending on what the other team’s defense gives me,” Lovitt said. “I am a believer in pounding the rock in the run game, but if they load the box, I am not afraid to throw the ball. This all depends on what type of players I have, but I believe in a balanced attack.”
As a teacher also, Lovitt is also well aware of the battle off the field.
“I want the team to have a 3.0 GPA,” said Lovitt. “Nyssa already has in place the after-school study time, but I want my 4.0 kid there also, helping out. If a player can block for you, you can help him out with math during study hall. Academics is first, football is second.”
During the interview, Lovitt was asked the question in the minds of all Bulldogs fans-how to you beat Vale?
“Beating a tradition is tough,” said Lovitt. “My focus will on our team, not the opponent. We need to be able to compete with anyone on the field. I am excited to get out on the field and see the kids in action.”