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From the Eagles nest to Hornets nest: Mark Jonas eager to turnaround Preble football

From the Eagles nest to Hornets nest: Mark Jonas eager to turnaround Preble football
Posted at 9:47 PM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-21 22:47:10-05

GREEN BAY — The Preble high school football team has struggled over the last few years, but now there’s a new sheriff in a town. A WFCA Hall of Fame head coach who’s ready to turn this program around.

“The kids here are ready to get after it,” Jonas said. They truly are. The coaches that I’ve talked to are all in. I think anytime you have a coaching change you get that little burst of energy and right now, I think that’s where everybody is at. Hopefully we can take advantage of that and kind of extend it out into August.”

Mark Jonas has had a lot of success as a head coach. From his two state titles at Hilbert in 1990’s, to stops at Oconomowoc, Kaukauna, Ashwaubenon and most recently at Southern Door High School where he led the Eagles to a 20-3 record over two seasons. His new gig will bring him closer to home.

“Leaving kids is always a difficult part,” said Jonas. “You always cry. I had a meeting with them and it’s hard not to. You have that emotional bond and that’s the fun part about team sports.”

He gives a lot of credit for his success to everyone but himself.

“I’ve been fortunate to have great coaches around me because it’s not just me and you have to have great athletes, too,” said the new Hornets head coach. “Any coach that says it’s just about the system, I don’t buy it. It’s the kids first but you have to have really good coaches in front of them that have to teach the entire time.”

But now he has the huge task of turning around a Hornets team that hasn’t had a winning record since 2019 and has only one victory in the last two years.

“If you’re your authentic person and the kids know it, they’ll respond. I’m not going to come in and try to be somebody I’m not and I don’t want them to be either and when they understand that your expectations are to do your best and we’re going to have fun doing what we do – they usually respond.”

Preble has a brand new football field and weightroom and as the old saying goes…

“Well, if you build it they will come,” said Jonas. “This field is tremendous, the stands are great, the new weight room is great. Hopefully we can build up that Preble pride – this is where people want to be on Friday nights.”

Now it’s all about building relationships with his new team, those relationships are his favorite part of coaching and why his players buy in. On Thursday, he will speak to his team for the first time..

“I’m amped already, I don’t know if you can tell, I’m excited,” said Jonas.