1. Tell me a little about yourself? I was born and raised in West Bend. Graduated from West Bend East in 1999. My wife Melissa and I are classified as “high school sweethearts” even though we didn’t start dating until 1 month left in our senior year. We were married in 2005 and have a son named Ryken who we adopted when he was born. Ryken is currently 2.5 years old and is the light of our lives!
2. Why do you coach? I have had many influences in my life. Both my head football coach and my throws coach in high school were the two biggest influences on me to get into coaching. They both showed so much love for the sport that they coached and wanted to make every single athlete the best they could possibly be. There were also numerous coaches throughout my high school and college level that influenced me to get into coaching. I also coach to see the success that athletes have each and every year. It doesn’t matter if they care winning championships or taking last. As long as they are having fun, getting a workout in, and enjoying their time with their teammates that means more to me than anything.
3. What are your hobbies? On our spare time (when a babysitter is available) Mel and I like to ride on our 2016 Harely Ultra Limited. We have taken many rides throughout the US and will continue to do so as long as we are able! I also like to run. Many years back I was challenged to complete a half marathon. Now, I am addicted doing almost 5-7 a year. This year I will hopefully complete my first full marathon.
4. Tell us about your family? Besides Mel and Ryken. I have two parents who also live in West Bend. My dad is a retired Police Officer for the city and now serves as District 6 Alerman and Acting Mayor for the City. My mom, Cindy, is also a retired buisness owner and worked for a vet clinic. She currently is a dispatcher for the City Taxi service. I have an older brother who is a Leutenant for Sheboygan Falls Police Department. He is married to Heather who works as a special ed aide for Random Lake School District. Together they have two children, Mackenzie and Tyler. Kenzie is going to be 20 and is going to college and works for a farm. Tyler is in high school and also works for a farm. On Mel’s side My father in law, Steve and Mother in Law Patti are both retired. Steve was a police officer for Candian Pacific Railway and Patti reitred from RR Donley in West Bend. They reisde in the town of Barton in their log home. I also have Jess and Andrew. Jess is Mel’s sister and she is a Chiroprator in Thorp Wisconsin. She owns her clinic and is very successful in that area. My brother law Andrew owns his own painting and pressure washing buisness. Together they have two children, Lakyn (3) and Aubree (7 months).
5. What do you like best about West Bend East? East High School is where it’s at! Having being a former student/athlete for East as well as a former teacher for the high school it is a great community to be a part of. West Bend School District is wonderful district to be apart of. There are very talented teachers and coaches in this district and I am extremly proud to be apart of it.
6. A funny story about you? Um, I am going to leave this one alone. You can ask any athlete or student that I have had and I am sure they can come up with something. Come out for track and you will hear or expeierence some of the funny stories!
7. What you are doing during these trying times to stay entertained and continue some normalcy? Currently I teach Health Educaiton at Badger Middle School. So I am working on getting things organized with the “live” classrooms that we are having. With Mel and I both being teachers we are throwing ideas off of each other on how we can reach of our students and make them as successful as possible.
WIth Track I am sending out emails and updates to parents and athletes so they know what is happening with the WIAA. I am the current president of our association (WISTCA) and the Director of Track and Field and I have been in talks about different things throughout the last week. I do what I can to keep everyone informed.
Lastly when I am done with teaching for the day I am working on my summer projects that I have. I have completed a couple of different things already and still have many more things on the “list”.
8. Some advice to students during these times. Don’t get bogged down on what is happening in the US. I know for some of you this is your senior year. Your senior year is to be the best time of your high school career. Please know that we do feel for you, but it is beyond any of our control. This is a first for the United States so we are all experenceing the same things you are. Keep in touch with your friends and still try to make the best of this sitatuon. Also (and this goes for everyone) keep up with your school work but also find time for yourselves. With virtual learning a lot of time is spent in front of a computer. Find a time to step away and get out and do something, individually of course. Just keep a good state of mind, don’t go stir crazy!