When Jeff Drugatz was a probation officer, he had no inclination he’d eventually patrol the sidelines as a head football coach.
But six years ago, Drugatz made a career change. He entered the education field and served as an assistant coach to long-time friend Eric Sherry at Charlottesville High School.
After his stint with the Black Knights was over, the 1993 Chancellor High School graduate trekked back to Spotsylvania County and served under Massaponax head coach Eric Ludden for five seasons.
Drugatz returned to his high school alma mater in 2018 as the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
Jeff Glessner resigned from Chancellor after two seasons this past November. The Chargers have now turned to Drugatz to direct their program.
The selection of Drugatz, 44, was approved by the Spotsylvania County School Board Wednesday night.
He becomes the fourth head coach in the history of Chancellor, which opened in 1988.
“I’m really excited,” Drugatz said. “Being a head coach wasn’t a reality, because in my mind you’ve got to be in the building. It wasn’t until I got in the school system when I said, ‘Hey this is something I really want to do.’ It’s a long time coming and I’m really looking forward to it.”
After graduating from Chancellor where he was a member of the 1992 team that went 10-0 in the regular season, Drugatz went on to North Carolina Wesleyan to play baseball. He played one season of fall league before giving up the sport.
Drugatz is now a special education teacher at Chancellor. Chargers athletic director Len Carlson said Drugatz’s familiarity with the school and community should allow him to hit the ground running.
An introductory meeting with parents and players is scheduled for next Tuesday at 3 p.m. in Chancellor’s library.
Drugatz and others leftover from Glessner’s staff have been working closely with the players since the end of the 2018 season.
“We’re real excited about what he’s going to bring to the table,” Carlson said. “He was able to see where the program was last year. He was able to get to know our students, our parents and our community. So I think that’s going to give him a big leg up when he’s ready to roll this year. He’s a perfect fit for us.”
Carlson said Drugatz’s organizational skills and attention to detail were also key reasons for his hiring. He added that Drugatz is tough and stern, but also has infectious enthusiasm.
“It was a couple of things that really stood out for him,” Carlson said. “One was his multiple levels of experience from position coach to defensive coordinator and other roles. He was also very organized and composed. We’ve seen his dedication. He runs a lot of the weight room in the offseason for us. So we got to really see him interact with the kids. He seems to have a good spirit about him that the kids enjoy.”
On the field, Drugatz said the Chargers will be a “blue collar” team with an emphasis on running the ball and playing strong defense.
Drugatz noted that since his playing days he’s always been a part of teams that run the triple option. The Chargers will do the same, but Drugatz is unsure what formations they’ll use.
The Chargers ran the offense when Drugatz was a player and when he got his first assistant coaching job under Bob Oliver in 1999.
“It’s nice to come back home,” Drugatz said. “I feel like this is where my roots are. It’s an honor to be named head football coach at Chancellor High School.”