Defensive coordinator Jimmy Linn taking over as New Haven football coach

Jimmy Linn calls a play as New Haven High School defensive coordinator. (Courtesy photo)
Jimmy Linn coaches New Haven wrestling. (Courtesy photo)

New Haven High School will bank on continuity to carry on a winning football tradition.

Jimmy Linn, the school’s defensive coordinator for the last 13 years, has been hired to succeed Jim Rowland as the team’s head coach. The school offered him the job Friday, Linn confirmed.

“One of the things we talked about in the interview process was how we can transition and already have things in place,” Linn said. “The kids are already lifting weights and things like that, so we shouldn’t miss a beat.”

Linn, 37, joined Rowland’s staff right out of Manchester College and spent two seasons as an assistant coach before taking over as defensive coordinator. He teaches strength and conditioning and advanced physical education and has been the head wrestling coach for the past five years. He has coached wrestling for 15 years.

“I’m a firm believer that wrestling and football go hand-in-hand,” Linn said.

Rowland, 44, resigned to spend more time with his family after 17 seasons as New Haven coach – the longest active tenure in Allen County – and a 114-80 record. The Bulldogs were 9-2 last season, and finished 6-1 to earn a share of the Northeast 8 Conference title with East Noble and Leo. The Bulldogs were knocked out of the playoffs in a 13-6 loss to Bishop Dwenger in the Class 4A sectional semifinals.

Linn’s work alongside Rowland made him an attractive candidate, as many of the assistant coaches who worked under Rowland will remain.

“Jim build the groundwork for New Haven and built it up into a respectable title contender,” Linn said. “I’m lucky to have coached under him for 15 years. I learned a lot.”

Linn, a Whitko High School alum, played linebacker at Manchester College, and his defensive coordinator at Manchester was Tyson Silveus, who coached at New Haven before Rowland. Silveus helped Linn get in touch with Rowland for his first coaching job out of college.

“I kind of thought coming out of college I’d be a head coach earlier in my career, but I was happy coaching under coach Rowland,” Linn said. “I’m glad it worked out the way it did.”