Jefferson grad Jason Gendron named football coach at Gibraltar Carlson


Jason Gendron was blessed to become Gibraltar Carlson’s football coach two years ago.

He had another chance last year.

Both times he refused.

“The timing was wrong,” he said.

The third time was the charm.

Gendron was introduced today as Carlson’s new football coach.

Jason Gendron, Gibraltar Carlson football coach.

The 2002 Jefferson graduate, who played on the school’s state championship baseball team, became a conference football player at Defiance College, graduating in 2006.

He began helping the Monroe High football team in 2010 and the following year at his alma mater, serving as an assistant under his high school coach Marc Cisco along with Bruce Pickens and Gene Gennoe.

Gendron continued to coach at Jefferson after landing as a special education teacher at Carlson in 2016.

Sporting director Dan Kalbfleisch continued to try to get him to join Carlson’s staff.

“Jason and I came here the same year,” said Kalbfleisch, the former New Boston Huron football coach. “We both came from rival Huron League schools. It was quite interesting to see how we came together and got to know each other.

Kalbfliesch eventually convinced Gendron to join Carlson’s staff for the 2020 season when Jack Giarmo left, but could not convince Gendron to apply for the head coaching position.

Once again, Gendron declined an invitation to apply for the position of chief last year.

“The timing was not right for me the last two years,” he said. “I’m ready to go now and do it for the kids. I feel for the children. We’ve been a bit of a pass up head coach. The only thing we have is the consistency of the assistants.

Gendron plans to retain almost all of the staff that was in place last year under Landon Grove.

“We have a lot of guys who have construction jobs who care a lot about Carlson football and the community,” Gendron said. “It reminds me a lot of when I was a student at Jefferson playing for Coach Cisco and Coach (Dave) Sontag.”

The head coaching position opened up when Grove and his wife left for the Grand Rapids area last week. He took the head coaching position at Grand Rapids West Catholic.

The Marauders won a share of their first Downriver League championship last year.

Kalbfleisch is confident they will continue to be a force in the league under Gendron.

“I think he will do a wonderful job,” said the sporting director. “Everyone who meets Jason loves him – the kids, the parents, the other staff. He kind of has developed roots here. Luckily for us, he was there, waiting to take the job.

Jefferson is also looking for a head football coach.

Gendron was also asked to apply for this job and admits he was very tempted.

“I’m loyal, probably wrongly so,” he said. “I’m here now. I’m attached to these guys.

“I love Jefferson, but it suits me better right now.”

But his Jeffersonian roots will never be far from the surface.

“We’ll have a bit of an old-school Jefferson feel to it,” he said of his plans as head coach. “You will see my identity. My DNA is to buckle up and follow you, but we’ll be smart too. We will take advantage of our athletes in space.

Gendron, 38, and his wife, Sally, have been married since 2009. They have three children – Averie (11), Sophia (10) and Brock (6) – who are all students at Trinity Lutheran School in Monroe .


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