"Program continuity," Papageorge said, is one of his favorite terms. "We are going to have the freshman, [junior varsity] and varsity programs all running a consistent scheme, and everyone is going to communicate. When the seniors have to run with the juniors, we don't want them to be strangers."
Behind him, longtime friend and new Jaguars Assistant Coach Ryan Healy nods and offers a look that appears to say, "Just you wait and see. . . ."
Papageorge is the fourth coach in eight years at Falls Church. He was hired to replace Tony Harris, who left for the same position at Stuart.
Papageorge, who owns and operates a painting franchise, and Healy, a special education teacher at Oakton, were starters on Falls Church's football, baseball, basketball and golf teams together before they graduated in 2001.
"It's almost like the stars aligned. [Steven] graduated, Tony Harris left for Stuart and the door was open, and we had to run through it," Papageorge said. "There isn't a place we'd rather be. The three of us together, doing what we love to do, affecting young kids, playing basketball -- a game that we love -- having them compete at a higher level and caring about their personal success."
Papageorge compares the challenges presented at Falls Church with those he faced in his first few years as a business owner. While pursuing his bachelor's degree in marketing at George Mason University, he purchased a painting franchise. He took the company from $50,000 in revenue in its first year to more than $1 million this past year.
"It took so much legwork to get out in the streets knocking on doors. There were so many different things I had to do to build the momentum," said Papageorge, who is the franchise's nationwide leader in sales. "Every year since, it's gotten easier and easier, and it's grown. . . . So I can see a direct comparison to that. We are going to have to work our tails off."
"We are going to bring players back from Steven's district championship team, and they are going to be working [the players] out for their very first workout," Papageorge said. "Other coaches who would have taken this position wouldn't have those resources. We know the community, we know the people, and we know what the students experience walking through these halls."