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FairfaxMcLean High football coach steps down

McLean High football coach steps down

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John Scholla, the head football coach at McLean High School the past five seasons, stepped down from that position on March 7.

Scholla said the decision was difficult, saying his priorities have changed a bit in recent months. The full-time physical-education teacher at McLean is trying to get an administrative position within the Fairfax County school system. If that occurs in coming months, Scholla would not be permitted to coach anyhow. School administrators in Fairfax schools are not allowed to coach.

“I don’t know if that is going to happen, but that’s an opportunity I will pursue,” Scholla said. “You want a head coach to be 100-percent committed. So I want to give McLean the proper amount of time to hire a new coach.”

Scholla and his wife had their first child in December. He said that has changed his priorities a bit, as well.


During his time as McLean’s coach, Scholla, a former quarterback for the Highlanders when he attended the school, made the team competitive. After consecutive 0-10 campaigns his first two seasons, Scholla’s squads finished with 5-5, 4-3 and 3-7 overall records the next three seasons and won seven Liberty District games.

That 5-5 season was McLean’s first non-losing campaign since 2014.

McLean defeated neighborhood rival Langley in back-to-back 2019 and 2020-21 (COVID) seasons.

“McLean will have a lot of talent and returning players back for the new coach,” Scholla said. “I think it will be a good situation for the new coach.”

NOTE: Scholla was the 16th head football coach in the school’s history. He was one of only five to coach the team for five seasons or longer.

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