‘West Forsyth will always be a special place’
Published 12:49 pm Friday, March 24, 2023
Jon McIntosh, longtime assistant coach and West Forsyth graduate, named new football coach at Central Davidson
It was going to take a great opportunity for Jon McIntosh to leave Clemmons. And that opportunity presented itself when Central Davidson in Lexington came calling and made McIntosh the new head football coach at the school earlier this month. It will be the first head coaching job for McIntosh, 37, who has been an assistant coach at West since 2009 and the defensive coordinator the last several seasons.
McIntosh grew up in “The Village,” spent the Friday nights of his youth attending football games and pretending to be some of the Titans’ stars of yesteryear.
He graduated from West in 2004 and was an “undersized offensive lineman” during his playing days.
“West Forsyth will always be a special place,” McIntosh said. “This will always be home to my family and me. I have so many great memories here. But being a head coach was something that I have been preparing for the last four or five years. (Adrian) Snow has been preparing me for this. I knew that being a head coach was something that I wanted to do and I also knew that I would probably have to leave West Forsyth for that to happen.”
McIntosh said that there were several things that appealed to him about Central Davidson, including the small-town vibe it has that reminds him of Clemmons. Much of that he observed when his wife, Jodi, taught at Central Davidson Middle School and helped coach softball at the high school when Central won three straight NCHSAA 2A state championships from 2007-2009.
“It’s a tight-knit community and they pack the stands on Friday nights because they love football,” McIntosh said. “Everybody in that community wants Central Davidson to be successful in everything. That’s a great feeling to have that kind of support. That’s always the feeling I’ve had at West Forsyth, even when I was a kid.”
McIntosh said that he is getting to know the players already and putting them through workouts, meaning as soon as the bell rings at West at 3:40, he heads to Central Davidson to and has started the process of building relationships with current members of the team.
He will remain at West until the end of the school year.
“Central graduated 21 or 22 players from last year’s team of 46 that finished 8-3 and I just want to keep building on that momentum,” McIntosh said. “The cupboard definitely isn’t bare. They guys are already working hard in the weight room and we will keep getting after it through the spring and summer.”
McIntosh said that the biggest challenge he will face is adjusting to a lot of the “behind the scenes and administrative” duties that the head coach has.
“I’m just used to watching film and calling plays for the most part, and the week I got hired, I spent a lot of time on the phone trying to find a game for week five or week six,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve never had to do that before.”
Snow said that he knows that McIntosh is more than ready to take the challenge of being a head coach head-on.
“I’m just so happy for him,” Snow said. “I’m so excited for him and his family that he has this opportunity. He’s just a great person who always showed commitment. He always showed desire and he always showed respect for the game. He coaches a lot like he was when he was a player — very scrappy. And just like when he played, he worked his tail off for this chance and I know he’ll run with it.”
Snow recalled a particular moment during a coaches meeting a few years ago when McIntosh, a defensive assistant at the time, pointed out some things he noticed on film from an upcoming opponent that then defensive coordinator Rick Larrick didn’t spot.
“Coach Larrick, he’s a 40-year veteran, and he said, ‘this team has never lined up in this formation before,’” Snow said. “And Jon stood up and said, ‘no, you’re wrong.’ Larrick went right back at him and told him he was wrong, and Jon went right back at him and pointed out that they had lined up in that formation, this is the play they ran, and this is what they did. And he was right. It was a big ‘a-ha’ moment for him and I really think it showed his growth and maturation and how far he had come as a coach.”
McIntosh said another difference will be a smaller roster where several players will likely play both ways on Friday nights.
“We’ve always had plenty of players and West and never really had to do that,” McIntosh said. “But I’m ready. It’s an exciting opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.”