Middletown High School’s new varsity football coach is barely old enough to drink alcohol legally and still refers to his predecessor in the job as Coach Lynott.
At the age of 22, Collin Delauter takes over his “dream job.”
His entire family on both sides, dating back centuries, is from Middletown. He grew up playing football in the Middletown Valley Athletic Association. He was a waterboy for the Knights’ 2002 appearance in a state championship game, and he was a linebacker and fullback for Middletown’s first state championship team in 2011.
“Since I was a little kid, football in Middletown has basically been my life,” Delauter said Monday evening in a telephone interview from his home in Orange, Virginia, about 90 miles southwest of D.C.
“I was lucky enough to have great parents and great role models when I was in high school, like Coach [Kevin] Lynott and Coach [Lorne] Ridenour. So, I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to impact so many lives in much the same way that they did mine?’”
Delauter will have that chance now as the fourth head coach in the 43-year history of varsity football at Middletown High School.
He takes over for Lynott, who stepped down at the end of February after nine seasons, including three that ended in state championships.
Lynott’s job changed within the school. So, the man who once presided over a 36-game winning for the Knights was forced to step down because of time constraints.
However, he has been instrumental in keeping Middletown’s offseason program, which began in January, running while they got his successor in place, and he will stay on as the school’s director of football operations through the next school year.
“It’s been great having Kevin around as a tremendous resource during this transition,” Middletown athletic director Mike DeSimone said.
Delauter, like many others, was surprised to learn of Lynott’s resignation. But, after the shock wore off and he gave it some thought, he saw an opportunity.
“After sitting down and talking with my family and with my girlfriend, I realized it was an opportunity that I could not pass up,” Delauter said. “When an opportunity shows up, you have to go all out and beat the door down. You can’t let it pass or get away. That’s the way I have always been.”
Delauter graduated from Middletown in June 2012. He went on to attend and play football for Division III Bridgewater College in northern Virginia.
After graduating from college, Delauter accepted a job as a physical education teacher and strength and conditioning coach at nearby Orange County High School.
He also got his first taste of coaching as the linebacker’s coach for Orange County’s varsity football team, and as a defensive assistant for the junior varsity.
However, when the Middletown job came open, he knew he had to throw his name in the hat, even at the expense of a job that he currently loves and with a girlfriend who was raised not far from Orange County.
“It’s always been a dream,” said Delauter, who is currently looking for a job with Frederick County Public Schools.
Delauter was offered the job on April 15, and he accepted it the next day.
“We are excited we have a Middletown guy that understands Middletown football to be our next football coach,” DeSimone said. “We expect him to be here for a very long time.”
On Delauter’s youth and inexperience relative to his peers, DeSimone said, “I think age is a relative thing. He handled himself very well throughout the interview process. He has a great support system already in place. I think that’s invaluable.”
When the high school football season starts in September, Delauter will be 23, making him the youngest head varsity football coach in Frederick County by a healthy margin. Frederick High coach Kevin Pirri was hired in August 2015 at the age of 25 after serving as a linebackers coach, like Delauter.
With the Middletown vacancy now filled, there remain two varsity football coaching vacancies in the county at Urbana and Thomas Johnson, jobs that have been open since mid-November.
Delauter was hesitant to discuss the makeup of his coaching staff at Middletown. But he said there will be some holdovers from Lynott’s staff, meaning that he will now be in charge of people who once coached him.
“I have thought about that,” Delauter said with a laugh. “You know, I have always had such a great relationship with those guys over the years. I am sure it will not be that strange. Over time, we’ll start to work on more of a first-name basis.”