North Star named Jim Livingston as its head football coach during the district’s school board of directors meeting on Tuesday night.
A 1996 North Star graduate and former football player, Livingston spent more than a decade coaching the Cougars’ junior high team, including four seasons as a successful head junior high coach.
Last season, he was the varsity quarterbacks coach under Stacy Schmitt, who announced his retirement last month.
“Our No. 1 goal is to win a District 5 championship, just as it is any other year,” said Livingston, who turns 38 later this month. “We want to continue the winning ways. Stacy really turned the program around at the school.”
Schmitt had a 78-45 record and four District 5 championships during 11 seasons coaching the Cougars football program, which had only three winning seasons in the 29 years prior to his taking the head coach position in 2003.
“Jim is very offensive-minded,” said Schmitt, who remains North Star’s athletic director. “I think that will be his strong suit here at North Star.”
Schmitt said Livingston also brings hometown intangibles to the position.
“He’s very active in the community – the fire company, every charity you could imagine in the community,” Schmitt said.
“Jim’s very well-respected. I think it will benefit the program that he can reach out to every level from the elementary all the way up to the varsity.”
Livingston will coach many of the players he mentored during his tenure with the junior high program and last season as quarterbacks coach.
He led the Cougars junior high program to multiple undefeated records, according to Schmitt.
“We like to run a little bit of everything,” Livingston said. “My main philosophy is to make the defense adjust to you. You don’t adjust to the defense. We’ll run different sets. We did it throughout junior high. We’ll run spreads, option, triple option, especially with the group coming up through. There are a bunch of athletes.
“I’ve been pretty lucky. I’ve had the opportunity to coach both the Strasiser brothers (Max and Tony), Brantley Rice and a bunch of good athletes coming through here the last few years.”
Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/masty81.