By Jack Ankony, executive sports editor
Prospect head football coach Mike Sebestyen held a meeting on Oct. 27 to discuss offseason workouts. Little did the team know that during that meeting, Sebestyen would announce that he would be stepping as head coach of the football team.
“The whole room just [went] silent,” junior quarterback Jimmy Martin said. “I couldn’t move, I just froze. It was definitely a big surprise. I did not expect it.”
According to Sebestyen, he had a gut feeling that told him it was time to move on, spend more time with his family and approach new challenges as a person and teacher.
“You take into account the fact that my kids are getting older and we don’t live close so it would be helpful [to my wife] to be around more,” Sebestyen said. “You take into account your energy level. Coaching football is a 12 month 365 day a year, it is constant… People always would joke ‘Oh now that football is over you have a little more time,’ and I would be like ‘No’ because it doesn’t end.”
Sebestyen explains that the hardest part of stepping down as the head coach will be knowing that he is leaving behind a great group of kids.
“I think the relationships you build with the adults and the kids in the program [is what I will takeaway or remember most],” Sebestyen said. “A lot of people will be like ‘Was it this state title, was it this state tile?’ and they are nice and they are special, but they are a trophy in a trophy case. It is a ring. They are just symbols. The relationships that I have been able to build with young men in the program and the appreciation I have for watching people work together at 15-18 years to age, relationships that I have built with coaching staffs that have been here.”
Moving forward, Sebestyen will continue to teach AP Human Geography and coach track. Though Sebestyen will miss working with the football team, he understands that high school is only four years and change is something he has to deal with every year.
“I always came into each year with a one year and a four year plan,” Sebestyen said. “What am I trying to do for the group that we have now and what am I trying to do for the group that is four years from now? … None of this was easy, but that just shows you how special of a program that I was fortunate enough to be a part of.”
Ultimately, Sebestyen says that he will stay connected with the kids on the football team and try to be their biggest fan moving forward.
“I think it is good sometimes for change,” Sebestyen said. “I think change for me, change for my family, change for this program. I think we are both in good positions to take the next step the next challenge going forward.”
Look for a feature on coach Sebestyen’s career with insight from players and athletic director Tom Martindale in the next issue of The Prospector on Nov. 10.