Arnold shares success story at colleges

Wherever Steve Arnold goes, success follows.

The Warren G. Harding High School football coach and 1982 graduate has been an institution at the school, mentoring young men over the years.

This past season, after almost a decade of nurturing relationships and molding basketball players, Arnold returned to the Friday Night Lights of the fall – high school football.

Arnold was an assistant coach under Phil Annarella and Gary Barber at Harding, but then changed perspective as he turned to the winter-based game of basketball. He was an assistant coach under Frank Bubba, a beloved coach that passed away from complications of cystic fibrosis in 2002.

Arnold complied a 170-40 mark with the Raiders hardwood warriors during his nine seasons, which included a state tournament appearance in the 2008-09 season – losing in the semifinals to eventual Division I state champion Columbus Northland. The following season, Arnold was named Division I coach of the year in the state.

After the departure of the tumultuous one-year stint of Rick Rios during the 2011 football season, Arnold was tapped to take over the Harding program.

He quickly quieted any doubters of his abilities to lead on a different venue than basketball as the Raiders went 9-2 and made the Division I postseason.

Arnold’s exploits have been noticed not only locally, but nationally as well.

The WGH football coach was a guest speaker at this past weekend’s University of Michigan football coaches clinic. Arnold is slated to speak in a similar forum this coming weekend at the University of Iowa.

“Both of them said I was a unique situation for having to coach basketball and football, to have the success in the last 10 years in basketball and the success last year in football,” Arnold said. “Both (Michigan) coach (Brady) Hoke and (Iowa coach Kurt) Ferentz said that wasn’t a situation they haven’t seen, especially at the Division I level at a high school like Harding.”

It’s no surprise Arnold has been tapped for his knowledge.

But there’s more to the Harding coach. He’s a mentor to his players – past and present. His goals go far beyond the simplistic Xs and Os of either the football field or basketball court.

He wants his players to be better men, not just better players.

His task is complete when he prepares them for the next level – college.

Arnold takes pride in his student-athletes.

It truly is a unique situation, one that Arnold could not have success alone in either platform.

“My coaching staff and players have enabled us to have success,” Arnold said. “One person can’t do it by themselves. It’s a collective effort when you have success.”

It’s success people in the coaching circles have definitely noticed.