Defensive coordinator promoted to take the spot left open by Ken Sommers' resignation.
The Out-of-Door Academy announced a changing of the guard within its high school football program on Tuesday.
The Thunder has promoted defensive coordinator Chris Kempton to head coach, with previous coach Ken Sommers stepping down to become offensive line and special teams coach.
Kempton had been the Thunder's defensive coordinator and assistant head coach for two seasons. His previous jobs include being the defensive coordinator at Bates College for 10 years, and the head coach at Winthrop High School in Maine for six years, winning a state title in 1993.
“I am very excited to take over the leadership of the ODA football program,” Kempton said in a release. “I am equally excited to say Ken Sommers will be staying on staff. His passion for the program and for our student-athletes is invaluable and his relationships with alumni and parents will continue to help strengthen our program.
"The most important thing for me is to provide our players with a tremendous experience—one that challenges and pushes them to be the best they can be and makes them want to come back and support the program after they graduate.”
Sommers went 12-16 over three years at ODA, but went 6-2 this past season and led the Thunder to its first home playoff win since 2008, 42-6 against Santa Fe Catholic.
“My passion to lead the program at the expense of other important aspects of my life was becoming an increasing challenge,” Sommers said in the release. “Chris Kempton is the finest coach I have worked with in my 20 years of football. He is the right person to take the program to the next level and I am thrilled he will be the next Thunder football head coach.”
In the release, ODA athletic director Kippie Crouch thanked Sommers for his commitment to the program.
ODA will begin its regular season on Aug. 24 with a road game against Canterbury High.