Football coach Jimmy Pappas leaves after four years of winning seasons


Defensive coordinator Jimmy Pappas talks to his defense during a game.

Football coach and english teacher Jimmy Pappas has been the defensive coordinator for the team for the past four years. Pappas taught English in the building during his time as defensive coordinator.

Pappas will now be continuing his coaching and teaching career at Cathedral High School.

Pappas said, “I have a couple. Beating Center Grove and Carmel on the road in 2019 were special moments, to see how proud the kids and their parents were after those games were very gratifying,” about his favorite coaching moment. 

“My favorite moment, though, is probably my very first game at NC,” Pappas said. 

“We were at Fishers and the program had been struggling in recent years. They weren’t used to winning and really didn’t know how to win. I could tell the kids were starting to doubt. I remember looking those kids in the eyes and saying, “We are going to win this game. Get it in your head right now.” We went out and made a couple gutty stops, and the offense kind of found itself late and scored in the last minute to take the win. Kids were crying after the game, they were so happy and proud. It was an awesome moment,” Pappas said.

He explains how much the win meant to the organization and to him, being the first time they beat Carmel with not only him there, but since 2006. 

Talking about his connection with student athletes he says ‘’I loved it. NC has great kids with great families who love and support them. They want to be successful, they work hard, and they’re receptive to coaching. It was a fun and rewarding experience to be a part of their high school journey.’’ 

Pappas describes the impact of his coaching legacy at North Central as, “kind of too early to tell. I haven’t been here long–just 3 1⁄2 school years and 4 football seasons. You get into teaching and coaching to help kids become successful, productive and high character adults. Hopefully in the next few years, we’ll see that come to fruition. I’m confident we will, and I’ll be proud to have been a small part of it. I can’t wait to see my former players become successful career professionals, devoted husbands and loving fathers.’’ 

Pappas, along with many others, believes that Carmel is the team to beat.

 ‘’When you’re at NC, you want to beat Carmel! We only got them once in my time here, but we had our chances in two of the other meetings. Really any MIC game is kind of a rivalry game. We were able to beat all of the MIC schools at least once in my time here, so that’s kind of cool,” Pappas said.

Pappas describes that he will miss North Central in many ways.

 ‘’I loved my time here, and I’m sad to leave. The kids have been great, and the people I work with are really really good at what they do. I’ve learned so much as a teacher and a coach during my time here, and my future students will definitely benefit from that. NC is a great place, and I tell people that every chance I get,” Pappas said. 

He says that he will come back to NC to visit, “Oh yeah, for sure. My daughter Lucy is a student here, so I’ll be back a lot. She plays softball and is in one of the choirs, so I’ll be here to cheer her on and support NC. I’ll always be a Panther.’’ 

He also added, “Thanks for doing this. NC’s student media does a great job highlighting all the perspectives of the school. Keep up the good work.”