Former football coach Prosser proud of the job he did at Millbrook
WINCHESTER — Reed Prosser might be leaving Millbrook, but he has no intention of leaving the memories behind.
Heritage High School announced on Tuesday that Prosser would be its next football coach after spending the previous seven years as the head coach of the Pioneers’ football program.
On Wednesday, Prosser — who went 40-36 with five Region II playoff appearances in seven years — reiterated the statements he made in Tuesday’s press release about Heritage being a great opportunity for both him and his family, which includes his wife Claire, daughter Anna, 8, and son Jack, 5.
There’s certainly some good football talent in the Loudoun County public school system — Briar Woods is the three-time defending Group AA, Division 4 state champion, Loudoun County was the Region II, Division 4 runner-up this year, and C.D. Hylton was the Northwestern Region, Division 6 champion. Under former coach Steve Williams, who stepped down after four seasons in November, Heritage went just 2-8 this season, but was a 7-4 playoff team in 2011.
But Prosser made a Millbrook comparison when explaining why he applied to Heritage, which he says is the only job he applied to even though there are also still available jobs at LCPS institutions Freedom and Potomac Falls this offseason.
Heritage opened in 2002, one year before Millbrook; its enrollment according to March figures is 1,158, similar to Millbrook’s 1,232; and he feels the work environment will also be similar to Millbrook’s.
And the 39-year-old Prosser — who played college football at William & Mary and spent three years as Shenandoah University’s defensive coordinator from 2000-02 — said establishing the type of relationships that he had at Millbrook is definitely important to him, and he feels you can do more work in that area at the high school level compared to college.
“At the high school level you really get to spend a lot of time around students, and you get to watch them grow academically and socially,” Prosser said.
Upon saying that, Prosser had little trouble rolling off some of names of football players that meant so much to him at Millbrook.
He enjoyed seeing them all develop as people, whether it was big-name brother combinations like Rodney (Calvin and Clayton) or Kacmarzewski (Butch and Boomer), and he always enjoyed going to see his players in extracurriculars. Prosser, an English teacher, was a fixture at athletic events and activities (Logan Groll in a musical, Blake Heflin as an all-stater in choir).
“As a teacher, you want to try and see your students through in every avenue,” Prosser said. “If something’s special to them, it should be special to you.”
At Millbrook, Prosser developed the Book Blitz reading program, which involved having Millbrook student-athletes read to elemenatary school students, and his teams also worked with outreach programs like Habitat for Humanity.
Millbrook activities director Chris Garber said that type of involvement is going to the be the hardest thing about losing Prosser. This is the second time Garber has had to watch Prosser go. Garber was the Broadway AD when Prosser was the head football coach at Broadway from 2003-05, where he went 20-12 with one regional final appearance.
“He’s certainly a great loss for us,” Garber said. “He’s always been a really positive role model for the kids, not just football-wise, but in their classroom and in their lives in general. He really had a tremendous impact on a lot of lives. The next person will have big shoes to fill.”
Garber said the job opening for the new football coach will be posted until Feb. 6, and she hopes that the Pioneers will have Prossser’s replacement by April 1.
On the field, Prosser’s shoes left an impression, as a Millbrook program that was just 8-20 in its first three years found itself playing for the Region II, Division 3 title in just his second year, 2007.
The 2007 season stands as Millbrook’s first winning season, its winningest season (9-3) and saw the Pioneers earn the school’s only playoff win in their 10 years — a 27-24 Region II, Division 3 semifinal victory over Briar Woods.
In 2010, Prosser followed that up with another high. Millbrook won a share of its first Northwestern District championship as well as the Barr-Lindon Crimson Apple, awarded each year by The Winchester Star to the team that fares best between the Winchester-Frederick County schools. Prosser won Northwestern and Star coach of the year honors that season.
Prosser also helped place more than 30 players in college football programs during his time at Millbrook, including the school’s first-ever Division I scholarship athlete in 2008, Butch Kaczmarzewski. Many of those players would come back for Millbrook’s Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl touch football games that Prosser started, which matched alums from the even years against the odd years going back to previous coach Rod Bowers’ era.
With accomplishments like those — and a 6-5 season with another playoff berth this year — Prosser feels good about his time at Millbrook.
“There was a lot of hard work and a lot of people involved in the Millbrook football program,” Prosser said. “With any program, you want to try and leave it better than when you got there, and I think we can say we did that at Millbrook.”
— Contact Robert Niedzwiecki at firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow on Twitter @WinStarSports1