Serving as head coach for the Jefferson Falcons fulfilled a dream for Ed Rankin.
But when it came time for his entire family to realize a different dream, Rankin couldn’t turn down the opportunity. As a result, Rankin has given up the Falcon reins after three years on the job.
“My family has an opportunity in another part of the country,” he said. “We thought it was too good to pass up. I thought this was the best thing for my family.”
Rankin went on to explain that his wife, Dr. Jill Rankin, has an opportunity for a huge career advancement in the western United States. Jill has been serving as Director of Nursing at Hiram College.
Because his football coaching contract has expired, there was no need to submit a resignation, Rankin said. He will continue to teach at Jefferson until the end of this year.
“I’m going to teach this year out out of respect for the Jefferson administration and kids. I wouldn’t feel good about [leaving them in the lurch]," he said. “Everybody there has been really good to me, treated me first class."
Rankin came to Jefferson in May, 2018, from Lisbon David Anderson High School in southern Columbiana County, where he served as an assistant to Jim Tsilimos. In his three years at Jefferson, Rankin, who replaced Jimmy Henson after the latter resigned after the 2017 season, compiled a 4-26 record.
The Rankins’ three children, Sophia, 16; Vivian, 14; and Vincent 12, have been students in the Jefferson system for the past two-plus years.
“Their hearts are broken,” Rankin said. “It’s been a tough week for them, they’re so connected to the community.”
Rankin figures on continuing his coaching career in the family’s new community.
“I won’t be a head coach again, but I’m pursuing coaching jobs,” he said. “I already have some offers.”
Rankin, 43, has no regrets about the three years he will have spent in Jefferson.
“The time I spent at Jefferson are the three best years of my life,” he said. “I got to live out my dream [of being a head coach] here and I’m grateful for it.”