WILMINGTON, Ohio – Wilmington College Head Football Coach Bryan Moore has announced some staff changes as the calendar turns to 2021 and the upcoming spring season.
Von Thomas has joined the staff as an offensive intern coaching H-Backs and inside wide receivers. Nick Barhorst joins the other side of the ball as a nickel's coach as well as defensive quality control. Dusty Lykins, a 2019 WC graduate, will return to the program in a volunteer capacity also working with the linebacking core.
"All three of the guys we are adding to the staff fit my philosophy on how to build a coaching staff," said Moore. "When hiring young coaches, you want to see that they have a passion for the game of football and the coaching profession. They have to be able to communicate my vision to the current players as well as recruits."
"I believe that when you hire people you have a connection with, they are naturally more invested in the vision and do a better job of communicating it," Moore continued. "It is also important that they are connected to our recruiting area. These three guys check all those boxes."
Thomas comes to Wilmington from Geneva College where he worked as a graduate assistant coach on the offensive and defensive line while taking courses for a Master's degree. With the Golden Tornados, Thomas coached both lines as well as coordinated the defensive scout team. Prior to Geneva, Thomas worked for a season at nearby Waynesville High School. He was a four-year member of Bluffton University's football program and a two-year starter. Thomas graduated from Bluffton in 2019 with a degree in history.
"I had the opportunity to be around Von during my last year at Bluffton and he was also a teammate of Coach Hayden Thomas," said Moore. "He is familiar with our vision and philosophies as well as experience playing, coaching and recruiting both at the NCAA Division III level, and more specifically, our target recruiting area."
Barhorst comes to Wilmington upon graduation from Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) member Baldwin Wallace University. A four-year member of the Yellow Jacket program, he lettered three years and graduated from BW with a degree in political science.
"Nick played college football for my good friend Jim Hilvert at Baldwin Wallace as well as playing for WC alumnus Jeff Jenkins at nearby Bellbrook High School," said Moore. "Both gave glowing recommendations for Nick and I trust their judgement. He comes from a great football family and knows this area well."
Lykins was a three-year member of the WC football program from 2017-19. He played in every game at linebacker his last two seasons, accumulating 79 total tackles two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Lykins, a graduate of Little Miami High School, also had two career interceptions, one of which was pivotal in the Fightin' Quakers' 42-38 victory over Ohio Northern University on Homecoming Weekend in 2019.
"Dusty came to us as a transfer and showed a lot of faith in doing so before we could turn this thing around," Moore said. "He made the move from quarterback to inside linebacker, and Dusty picked up our unique scheme quickly. He was a team captain, maintained a perfect GPA while playing and will be a natural fit for our staff."
Wilmington will play five games this spring beginning with Capital University at Williams Stadium on March 12.