Ballston Spa superintendent Ken Slentz confirmed Tuesday that Greg O’Connor has been approved as the district’s varsity football head coach, and that Jason Ohnsman — last year’s head coach who was charged with driving while intoxicated the weekend before the team’s postseason run started — will remain with the football program as an assistant coach.
Ohnsman and Ballston Spa athletic director Dave Sunkes did not respond to requests for comment, while Ballston Spa officials did not directly respond to requests for contact information for O’Connor. The appointments were made last month at a Board of Education meeting.
“I have known Greg for over 30 years and continue to find him to be of excellent character and an excellent role model for our student athletes and an expert at the X’s and O’s of the game as evidenced by his resume,” Slentz wrote in an email to The Daily Gazette. “Although we have lost some very strong players, I have confidence that, should we be able to have a fall season, Greg and his team of coaches will bring the best out of our players for a competitive season.”
O’Connor, a Ballston Spa resident, spent nine years as the head coach at Schuylerville High School and led the Black Horses to two Section II Class C titles in 2004 and 2005. He stepped down in 2013 and then accepted a position as an assistant at Ballston Spa where he has worked under three different head coaches.
Ohnsman was in his first year as head coach last fall before being placed on indefinite leave after being charged on Oct. 19 with driving while intoxicated after being stopped for an insufficient tail lamp on Spring Street in the village of Ballston Spa. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge on Nov. 5, was fined $660, had his driver’s license suspended for 90 days, was ordered to do 50 hours of community service and attend a victim impact panel.
Ohnsman, a 2008 graduate of Ballston Spa, was in his first season as the head football coach and led the Scotties to a 5-2 regular season record and into the Section II Class A playoffs. With O’Connor serving as interim head coach, Ballston Spa defeated Amsterdam 35-12 in the quarterfinals before falling the next week to Troy 23-13.
Besides his football position last fall, Ohnsman was the strength and conditioning coordinator at Ballston Spa and served as an assistant for the boys’ lacrosse program. The appointment as the assistant football coach was his first position back within the school district since October.
“We are happy to bring him onto the team as an assistant coach under Greg‘s leadership and mentoring as he too is an excellent strategist and will serve the student athletes well in his role,” Slentz wrote of Ohnsman remaining with the program as an assistant coach.
The 2020 fall football season is slated to begin with practices on Aug. 24.
Contact Stan Hudy at [email protected].