Every year people need to be critical of coaches in the Huron League. There is nothing wrong with this coaches are professionals and are subject to scrutiny. Many coaches welcome the criticism; they know it comes with the territory.
People have a tendency knock a few coaches in particular. They both happen to be young coaches who coach at football challenged schools. "This guy does not know what he is doing." "That guy is not committed to the program." "We have the talent the coach is hurting us."
Have many of you who are critical of your coaches ever taken a look around the league and see the coaches that are in this league? This is a terrific coach's league and probably will be for a while.
Let's look at some of the coaches:
Monroe Jefferson's Marc Cisco has been around forever (45 years or so). He has a strong system in place and owns a state championship. There is not a person who grew up watching Jefferson football that remembers another guy roaming the sidelines.
Steve Robb from Milan will be entering his 25th season as the head coach at Milan. He has had only 7 losing seasons and has won numerous league championships. Their isn't a single kid in the program who can remember someone else as the head coach at Milan.
SMCC's Jack Giarmo was an excellent choice to replace Joe Sanderson 13 years ago. Who would have thought that Giarmo would come in and duplicate the success that Sanderson had at the best football school in the league. The Falcons are always a threat to win the league and usually go deep in the playoffs.
Jeff Stergalas from Riverview has been around forever, mostly at Dearborn Fordson where he won a state championship. Stergalas may be the best coach in the league and he just got here. This guy lives and breathes football. He brings the knowledge and tradition of many talented Riverview coaches while playing for one of the best coaches in Michigan history in Don Lessner.
Spend five minutes talking football with Flat Rock's Joe Pruchnicki and you will notice that this guy may know more about football than the last four coaches listed combined. Go to a Ram practice and you will see the sixty-some year old lining up and knocking a teen twice his size on his backside while teaching technique. Most coaches like him are finishing their careers at the college level as assistants, but he likes coaching the youngsters.
This impressive list used to include a man who was probably the best coach in the league, in Eric Redmond. Love him or hate him, his kids were well coached. The point here is that good high school coaches are not made overnight or in five years. They take time to grow and learn. Much of that process is making mistakes and building a tradition.
It would be easy to say, "go out and hire an experienced guy like a Pruchnicki or Stergalas". Remember though, Stergalas grew up in Riverview and some of these schools have already tried hiring a Pruchnicki type. Take a lesson from Jefferson and Milan. Stick with your young coaches. They won't always be young and inexperienced. Eventually they will be the guys who are feared to coach against.