Boys Varsity Football
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MUSKEGON – Fred Rademacher helped elevate Hastings High School football from an afterthought to a perennial playoff program.
Orchard View is hoping he can rejuvenate a once-proud Cardinals program.
Rademacher has been named the head football coach at Orchard View. The 51-year-old, who grew up in the Flint area, was introduced to the Cardinals’ players during a meeting Thursday morning at the high school.
Rademacher takes over the Orchard View coaching position vacated by Joe Tanis, who resigned on Dec. 3 following seven seasons at the helm.
With Tanis in charge, Orchard View went 19-44 overall. The Cardinals had just one winning season during his stint, going 5-4 in 2014. They finished 2-7 last fall.
Orchard View athletic director Leroy Hackley Jr. said that the school interviewed six candidates for the coaching position. The district also is looking to place Rademacher with a position in the school so that he’s in the building all day and readily accessible. Tanis did not have a job within the school.
Rademacher is a self-proclaimed “John Shillito disciple," which should be music to the ears of Orchard View fans. Shillito was the Cardinals' coach during their program’s heyday.
Rademacher served as Hastings’ head coach from 2005 through 2013, compiling a 44-43 overall record in those nine seasons. The Saxons made the playoffs five times with Rademacher at the helm, and they went 1-5 in the postseason during that stretch.
Hastings was particularly successful under Rademacher from 2007 to 2012, when the Saxons made the playoffs four times in five seasons, including earning the program’s lone postseason win in 2007.
When Rademacher resigned from Hastings following the 2013 season, he told MLive that it was “getting to be a grind," but he said Thursday it was because he was commuting from his teaching job at East Kentwood to Hastings.
In the three seasons prior to Rademacher’s arrival at Hastings, the Saxons went a combined 1-26. They fell off in 2013, going 1-8, and the program has not had a winning season since 2012.
Most recently, Rademacher assisted at Hope College in 2018, helping with the offensive line. In 2015-16, he was a varsity assistant at East Grand Rapids.
Prior to Hastings, he was a head coach at Centerline St. Clement and an assistant at East Kentwood, Flint Powers Catholic and Owosso.
Rademacher has taught social studies at East Kentwood High School since 2000.
He is a second-generation coach, as his father, the late Fred Rademacher, was successful in the Flint area and entered the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1982.
His dad coached junior varsity football and JV basketball at Muskegon Catholic Central. In 1964, he was passed over for the top basketball job at MCC, and that left him looking in another direction. He wound up at Flint Holy Redeemer and later became the first football coach at Flint Powers before he eventually ended up being a Greater Flint Area Sports Hall of Famer.