Varsity football head coach Chris Papadopoulos’s favorite memory from his five years of coaching was two seasons ago being 0-1 and down 32-31 at home against Churchill. With 55 seconds left the team drove the length of the field in 40 seconds to score and win 39-32.
One of Papadopoulos’s favorite things about coaching is that he got to coach former students, who became lifelong friends, including Grant Saylor, Noelly Miller, Aaron Strauss, Max Museles and Nick Baldwin, to name a few.
Papadopoulos graduated from Wootton in 2012 and played football throughout high school starting as quarterback beginning his junior year. He continued his journey to the University of Maryland where he began his coaching career his senior year of college as the junior varsity coach. He had class twice a week, leaving him with time to coach the junior varsity team, leading them to a 6-2 record.
Following graduation Papadopoulos landed an esteemed job at Raymond James as an investment banking analyst, causing his hours to run late, leaving in the morning at 8:30 am and not getting home until between 11p.m to 2a.m. “I ended up leaving my first job out of college because I loved coaching so much and wanted to be able to continue doing it,” Papadopoulos said.
The following season Papadopoulos was promoted to varsity offensive coordinator and this past month he was promoted to varsity head coach. With a current record of 0-6 Papadopoulos hopes to lead the varsity team to a win. Papadopoulos said, “This season has obviously been a pretty challenging one so far and I have been pretty frustrated about both the results and also the process behind them. However, I really don’t think our record is indicative of everything. There have definitely been some positives. Personally, I have learned more this year than ever before.”
Some may ask why put so much time and energy into high school football but if you ask him, there is nothing else he would rather be doing. Papadopoulos doesn’t just coach, he creates connections and leaves an impact on each player who steps on his field. He believes the two most important values to a winning culture are honesty and the ability to have fun. “If there isn’t full trust amongst teammates and coaches, there is no way a team is going to succeed. And then, with anything in life, if you’re not having fun, what’s the point?” Papadopoulos said.
Papadopoulos will continue to work in leading the team to a win while maintaining a fun practice environment. He sees a future in each kid and from December through August until next season starts hard work and dedication will be put in in order to lead the team to victory the following season. “My favorite part about coaching is the ability a coach has to impact people’s lives. One thing I like to say is sports and seasons are temporary, but relationships last forever. I believe if you invest in relationships, everything else will come,” Papadopoulos said.