Melvin Cunningham’s turnaround of Fairland football earns him Coach of the Year

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Following a historic 2021 season, Fairland Dragons head coach Melvin Cunningham is named Gridiron Glory Coach of the Year.

“I think it speaks volumes about the individuals on our staff and the players that God has blessed me to coach along the way,” said Cunningham. “You know, I’m standing here accepting this award but realistically it should be the individuals I have been blessed to work with everyday.”

It was an easy selection for many after Cunningham transformed the Dragons program. In 2016, Cunningham took the helm following an 0-10 season. Every year Fairland continued to improve and they now stand as one of the best in the region.

“Our goal was to be a household name,” said Cunningham. “And in order to be a household name, you have to be consistent.”

Cunningham is laying the foundation for a powerhouse following back to back playoff appearances. This season, the Dragons went 8-1 in the regular season with a trip to the regional semifinals.

“We don’t talk a lot about winning,” said Cunningham. “Winning is a byproduct of the things that we do on a daily basis. … We just strive to achieve our core values on a daily basis and we know if we can accomplish those things, winning will take care of itself.”

Although coach Cunningham and company don’t like to talk about winning, many around the 740 will be discussing the Dragons dominance.