By Kris Norton and Roger Stuckey
Ferdinand - After over a decade at Forest Park Jr./Sr. High School, Head Football Coach Ross Fuhs is fulfilling a dream by heading home to coach at Southridge High School.
Fuhs is trading in Rangers' forest green and gold for Southridge's familiar red, black, and white.
As a lineman on the Southridge 2002 State Runner-Up Football team, Fuhs says it's a dream come true.
"It's always been a dream of mine to go back to Southridge," Fuhs said. "It's where I'm from, it's where my wife's from, it's where my family and her family grew up. It's always been a dream to get back there."
"When this opportunity presented itself, basically, I jumped at it - and the rest is history," Fuhs added.
Even though it was a dream opportunity, that didn't make his decision any easier.
"When you make a decision like that you know it's always going to be tough because you've got to leave really good people behind," Fuhs. "Like I've told people before, there's only one school that I would ever leave this school for, and it's Southridge."
Fuhs said that Thursday's training session became emotional. Knowing that the change would be announced during Thursday night's Southwest Dubois School Corporation School Board meeting at 5:30 p.m. - and that word would spread fast - Fuhs brought his players and coaches in for an announcement just before 6:00 p.m.
"When you tell your coaches and you tell your players, you get a little choked up," Fuhs said. "You get a little emotional, they do as well. So, that's hard."
Also difficult was the timing of the move, says Southridge Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Scott Buening.
"Unfortunately, you can't control when openings come about and sometimes I hate the way that these things time out," Buening said. "It's not a controllable, so you know, [I'm] just frankly glad that it came together."
On the gridiron, Ross will work on the defensive side of the ball in addition to serving as the quarterbacks coach. Off the football field, Fuhs will hold other athletic responsibilities.
"He's actually going to be our Boys' Head Track Coach, which is something I'm really excited about," Buening said.
Fuhs will also be an integral part of the Southridge High School strength training program.
In the classroom, Fuhs is looking forward to teaching business classes, primarily.
Fuhs took over the Forest Park program in 2012, taking over for Terry Wagner. In his ten years as the head coach, Fuhs's teams went 31-71, finishing 5-5 in 2015. At the helm, Fuhs's Rangers captured two straight winning seasons in 2019, 6-5, and 2020, 6-4. Last season, the Rangers slipped to a disappointing 3-7.
Fuhs was a 2003 graduate from Southridge and a 2007 graduate from Indiana University.
In a Thursday night Facebook post, Fuhs thanked the Ranger program and addressed his new "Raider Nation":"News travels fast and I can’t keep up with all the messages and calls, so here we go…..You make decisions each and everyday. Some are small, some are big and some are tough. I had to make a TOUGH ONE. Tonight, I was hired by the Southwest Dubois County School Corporation to go back home to Southridge, to teach and coach.