2005 Hamilton High School graduate Phil Koops had a 12 year journey to finding his way back to his hometown. After graduating from Olivet College, Koops was worked as a teacher and football coach in Plymouth, Indiana before receiving a call from Hamilton in 2017.

"I loved Plymouth, but when the hometown calls, it's hard to turn down, that pulls at your heart strings," Koops said. "It's mostly about the people, I work with great people, great families, and great kids. I had a great experience here as a student, so I want to try to give that back to these students."

One thing that made his high school experience so memorable were his teachers like Mark Behnke, who went from mentor two decades ago, to a dear friend and colleague of Koops.

"You go from being a student to being a friend and a peer, that's pretty special," he added. "You're surrounded by people who had your well being in mind when you were a kid and they wanted you and this place to be great, now I'm back and trying to do that for other people."

Koops, who teaches biology and strength and movement at HHS, also serves as the head football coach, middle school wrestling coach, and coaches the sprinters on the track team.

"It is certainly busy, but you have to be really passionate about what you do, and it doesn't really feel like work," he added.