SYRACUSE — Wawasee High School’s new boys basketball coach will have to juggle two jobs, but at least it’ll be a short walk between his two offices.
In fact, it’s the distance between an athletic office and a locker room.
Wawasee athletic director Steve Wiktorowski was named the Warriors’ next head boys basketball coach at the school board’s meeting on Tuesday, July 16.
Wiktorowski, who will continue to serve as the school’s athletic director, said principal Mike Schmidt had approached him about replacing Phil Mishler, who resigned in June after 13 years as the boys basketball coach.
Wiktorowski said the school board was initially concerned with balancing administrative duties and coaching duties at the same time, and it was something Wiktorowski said all parties “looked at very carefully.”
“I just feel having been an athletic director for two years, I have a pretty good feel and am pretty established in the program here,” he said. “There are going to be some Saturdays in the winter where we’re going to have to be more organized.”
Mishler remains as a teacher at Wawasee and, hopefully, a coaching resource, Wiktorowski said.
Wiktorowski returns to coaching after two years as Wawasee’s athletic director. Previously, he had spent 23 years as a head basketball coach, 14 of which were at Fairfield and Prairie Heights high schools and nine of which were with the Goshen College women’s team.
“Coaching is a little bit like farming,” Wiktorowski said. “Once you have it in your blood, it’s hard to get rid of it.”
He acknowledged that taking over the team so late in the summer will present a challenge to draft new schemes before school starts.
“But we have good, young kids in the program and coach Mishler instilled dedication and work ethic in them,” he said in a statement released by the school. “We will hopefully learn a new style and catch up to other teams shortly.”
Wiktorowski will address his team for the first time on Friday at a meeting for the Wawasee’s sophomore, junior and senior players. The meeting runs from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the high school.