FORT THOMAS, Ky. (FOX19) - The Fort Thomas Independent Schools announced Thursday that Bob Sphire has been hired as the next varsity football coach at Highlands High School. A veteran of more than forty years on the sidelines, Sphire has amassed more than 300 wins in his coaching career at the high school, college and indoor football levels and will oversee all aspects of the Bluebirds’ storied program. Sphire hails from Brandenburg, Kentucky, and his appreciation for Highlands football dates back decades.
“Growing up in Kentucky and coaching in this state for as long as I did, I know firsthand that Highlands is one of the best schools, academically and athletically, in the Commonwealth. Its tradition of excellence speaks for itself.” Sphire said. “The football program is built around champions and championships. And I can’t wait to work with the tremendous young men in the program.”
Since 2006, Sphire has walked the sidelines in Georgia at North Gwinnett and Camden County High Schools, coaching and developing two players that are currently standout performers on the football scene in Cincinnati. An NFL Draft prospect at the collegiate level, Myjai Sanders is going into his senior year as a defensive end at the University of Cincinnati and C.J. Uzomah is a tight end with the Cincinnati Bengals. Throughout his career, Sphire has routinely sent his players to Power 5 programs to play college football and a select number have gone on to play on the game’s brightest stage in the NFL.
“This is a fantastic day for Highlands High School and the great people that make up the Bluebirds football community. We have hired a coach with a championship pedigree and a plan to get us back there,” Principal Matt Bertasso said. “Coach Sphire does a fantastic job of getting his players ready to play at their optimum potential and I am excited for a championship culture to be restored in Fort Thomas.”
Sphire started the football program at Lexington Catholic (KY) High School in 1992 and coached the team to a 2005 state championship. Sphire also led North Gwinnett to runner-up finishes in the Georgia state playoffs in 2007 and 2013. One of his former players at Lexington Catholic, Wes Caldwell, is the current athletic director at Highlands High School.
“It’s amazing how life comes full circle,” said Caldwell. “I know exactly the kind of coach, mentor and leader that Coach Sphire will be for our student-athletes, because he has had a profound influence on my life to this day. We have hired a tremendous coach and leader of young men to guide our program.”
Sphire and his wife, Marian, have two children: Danielle and Hayden. They also have a granddaughter named Gigi. Sphire holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Eastern Kentucky University, a Master of Arts in Education and an M.A. in Physical Education from Western Kentucky University, and Sphire earned his Rank 1 in Teacher Education from WKU.
During his career, Sphire earned the honor of coaching in the prestigious US Army All-American Game three times, as either a head coach or assistant coach. And at North Gwinnett, Sphire’s team was ranked as high as #11 nationally in the USA Today Super 25 poll.
“We are going to work very, very hard at Highlands and play an exciting and physical brand of football,” Sphire said. “Our community will be very proud of them as players, but most importantly as young men who will go on to do great things in their lives.”
Sphire’s Coaching Highlights:
2017-2020—Camden County (GA) High School
2006-2016—North Gwinnett (GA) High School (2007 and 2013 runner-up)
1991-2006 —Lexington Catholic (KY) High School (2005 state champions)
2004-2005—Head Coach, Lexington Horsemen (National Indoor Football League National Champions in 2004)
[Release courtesy of Highlands High School]
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