From the Bench: One of BHS's Top Players of Last 25 Years Returns to Help Fill Football Coaching Staff

By Jeff Toquinto on June 10, 2018 from Sports Blog via

Last year, when John Cole needed a volunteer coach on his staff he found the person in arguably the best quarterback in Bridgeport’s history in Robert Marra. When Marra left, as he said he would after one year of helping, Cole needed to fill the volunteer spot again.
Cole has officially found his man. And once again, the person he found comes as one of the top quarterbacks the Indians have had in the past 20 years and beyond.
Earlier this week, 2008 Bridgeport High School alum and former standout signal caller Sean Snider was approved as the Tribe’s volunteer assistant coach. Snider, it’s very possible, could be around for a few years or longer in the volunteer role and Cole is happy to have him.
Not only does Snider understand the BHS system and the Indians football culture, but he understands something else. Snider understands exactly what his new football boss – Cole – expects out of him. Cole said he fondly remembers Snider’s time with the Indians when he coached him.
“The big thing about Sean was that he was not just a good kid that played for us, but he was a good student and super smart,” said Cole. “It’s been about 10 years since he played, but I remember very clearly how hard he worked.”
In Bridgeport’s almost exclusive running system, Snider still managed to post some of the best numbers since 1997 through the air. The 1997 time frame is when current “Voice of the Indians” Travis Jones with the help of others – most recently Ryan Nicewarner – began tracking the statistics for the Tribe and they are spot on accurate.
During Snider’s three years, no one since 1997 has thrown more touchdown passes. Snider’s three-year totals included 1,118 yards passing with 13 touchdowns. Zach Spurlock also threw for 13 touchdowns during his time with the Tribe. Only Adam Klenk threw for more yards than Snider during the last 20-plus years.
One other thing about Snider’s numbers that should be noted. They came when BHS competed in Class AAA.
Snider’s availability has nothing to do with him out looking for something to do. Rather, he’s recently came back into town and the family business he’s working for is allowing him to spend the time needed to work with the Indians.
“I really have to give credit to Smokin’ Bear BBQ. Sean is the (general manager) there and they’re allowing him time to do this,” said Cole. “They said when they started they were a community business and this certainly proves it.”
Snider recently moved back to Bridgeport after living in Morgantown for the past few years earning a living in the oil and gas industry. When Tyson Oakman and his wife Susan Snider Oakman (his uncle and aunt) opened their new – and thriving – business on East Main Street a door opened that allowed him a chance to return home.
“This is an opportunity as the result of my aunt and uncle and now I’m a business partner with Tyson and Susan,” said Snider. “Working in that environment is enjoyable, but it’s really different from what I’ve been used to in oil and gas. I never figured I would be in the food business, but it’s been a great experience. What I really like about the business is interacting with people.”
He’ll be interacting with a whole lot of people at BHS. Cole said he’ll be working with the quarterbacks on offense and also have defensive responsibilities as well.
For those worried this is Snider’s first coaching rodeo, you can relax. He’s coached at the prep level before.
“I actually coached a North Marion, coaching their quarterbacks, while I was going to Fairmont State,” said Snider. “Once I got a full time job I didn’t have the flexibility to be there at three o’clock in the afternoon and I wouldn’t have that flexibility now if not for my new partnership.”
Cole said what makes him happiest is that Snider took this one despite having – pardon the pun – a full plate with his new job. He said that lets him know Snider really wants to be there.
“He could have passed because he’s busy enough as it is. Sean is like a lot of us that coach here and elsewhere and you can see it,” said Cole. “Once you play and get close to the game it’s hard to get out of it and even harder to pass up an opportunity if it comes your way. I think he sees this as an opportunity to do something he really enjoys.”
Snider said, ideally, he’d enjoy being a full-time coach. However, he said his career doesn’t allow it so he’s pleased to have this chance to serve as a volunteer.
“I believe this is going to be great. With the success the program has had before I was there, while I was there and since, particularly in recent years, I want to be part of that and get the team right back to winning state titles,” said Snider. “I never had the opportunity to do that when I was there so that’s a goal. I want to be part of a state championship team and will work as hard as possible with the players we have to make that happen. I’m all in.”
As for Cole, he’s already happy about the situation months before the first ball will officially be snapped on the 2018 season.
“I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see one of the kids you have coached be willing to come back and help,” said Cole. “He’s an outstanding young man that is driven and goal oriented. It’s not too often you get that and willing to donate your personal time as well. He’s already given to this program as a player and now he’s willing to do it as a coach. I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Editor's Note: Top photo is from the 2007 and the 2008 Ki-Cu-Wa Yearbook showing Snider rushing up field for yardage in the photo provided by Mrs. Alice Rowe of the Bridgeport High School journalism department. Second two photos show Snider at his full-time job at Smokin' Bear BBQ on Main Street. Bottom photo, by, is of Coach John Cole.

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