After successful run, including MIAA A football title in 2019, coach taking position in Southern Maryland

Rich Holzer (far right) talks to the Mount St. Joseph football team after beating Calvert Hall College last season. Holzer, who led the Gaels to 2019 MIAA A Conference championship, resigned Friday to become the new coach at Northern in Calvert County.

by Derek Toney

Citing family reasons, Rich Holzer has stepped down as Mount St. Joseph High football coach to become the new coach at Calvert County’s Northern.

“I’m a stone’s throw from Calvert County and depending on traffic, it’s a two to three hour round trip commute everyday,” said Holzer, who lives in Harwood in southern Anne Arundel County. “My boys are getting older and it wore on everybody. My wife has the same commute…something had to give.”

Holzer notified Mount St. Joseph administrators Friday morning. He talked to the Gael players, via the internet, in the afternoon.

Holzer talked to his juniors, who will be seniors in the fall, first.

“They all understood,” said Holzer. “It’s tough from a coaching standpoint because of what we built there. It’s peaking right now.”

The Gaels won the MIAA A Conference championship last fall – the first league title for the Southwest Baltimore school since 2007. Mount St. Joseph (10-2 overall) finished No. 2 in the final VSN’s Top 20.

Holzer was VSN’s Football Coach of the Year, becoming the first to win the honor at two different schools. He was co-Coach of the Year in 2012 after leading Meade to the Class 4A state semifinals.

After four successful seasons (33-13 and two 4A East Region championships) at the Anne Arundel school, Holzer moved to Mount St. Joseph in 2015, replacing Blake Henry who left the Irvington school for Potomac School in northern Virginia.

Holzer, who prepped at Archbishop Stepinac in upstate New York before a standout career at Hofstra University, went 41-15 in five seasons at Mount St. Joseph.

Holzer’s high school coaching career started in the early 2000s as an assistant at Westlake in Southern Maryland. Steve Crounse, a friend and longtime coach in the SMAC, reached out to Holzer a couple of months ago after stepping down at Northern-Calvert to become DeMatha Catholic’s offensive coordinator.

Holzer applied for the Northern-Calvert position, but things didn’t materialize until a couple of weeks ago when a teaching position opened up at the Owings school.

Holzer said the shorter commute will allow him to spend more time with his young sons, who are involved with youth athletic programs in Calvert County.

“I’m excited to be around Northern, it has a strong legacy in football in Southern Maryland and be part of a community where my kids are growing up,” said Holzer. “We know the families personally and we’re part of the community.”

Holzer knows he’s leaving a talented squad at Mount St. Joseph that will contend for another MIAA A championship in the fall.

“It’s bittersweet to leave but, at the same time, if you’re going to leave something you always like to leave it in better shape than you found it. I think that’s what we’ve done,” said Holzer. “Blake [Henry] got the ball rolling in the right direction and we put a plan in place to put the pieces together.

Mount St. Joseph is a special place. It’s not just athletics, but the people involve in academics. It’s all about the kids and I’ll miss that.”