French Takes the Helm of Calumet Football
When the Calumet Warriors football team took to the field this past August for the first time since COVID-19 shortened 2020 season, they had a new look on the sideline. For the first time in four years, a new head coach was calling the Warriors’ plays.
Over the summer, Calumet brought in 30-year-old Cody French to replace Rick Good, the man who some regard as being responsible for creating the winning attitude the team has enjoyed over the past few years. Good left at the end of the school year to take the head coaching job at Lake Central High School.
French hails from Gladwin, Michigan, a small town in the football-crazed central region of the Wolverine state. His football journey has carried him literally all across the state of Indiana. He played college football at nearby St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer. After graduation, he landed a defensive coordinator job at down-state Seymour High School, and from there he became a defensive coordinator at football powerhouse Elkhart High School.
He calls the chance to helm the Calumet Warriors the opportunity of a lifetime.
“I love it here. I chose to come” he said. “I had actually taken another head coaching job for about a two-month period, and when I heard the head coaching job here was open, I reached out to (Lake Ridge Athletic Director Sara Kuntarich) and told her this is where I wanted to be. We’ve got amazing facilities. There’s great athletes here, and the school culture is great.”
This season, the Warriors went a respectable 6-4, finishing third in the South Shore Conference. French understands that grace periods in coaching are short lived and next season, he will be stepping out of from under Good’s shadow.
“We had a good senior class and we losing a lot of players to graduation. Right now, we are trying to develop our younger guys and increase our numbers,” he says. “We want to have about 60-plus (players) as our goal. We are already gearing up for next year; we’ll be getting into the weight room and into on-field development beginning in January.”
So, what kind of football can Calumet fans expect from the Cody French era?
“Our identity is going to be running the football and playing great defense,” he says. “Establishing the run and making sure we stop the run on defense and score enough points to win and control the clock.”
Coach French said he is aware that a large part of high school football success begins in middle school.
“A huge focus for us is going to be developing the middle school into a feeder system,” he says. “We want to have a top-to-bottom program. We want to have sustained success here.”