Timing wasn't perfect, but the time was right for Park

Being a coach was all Kyle Park really wanted to do.
Posted on Nov. 26, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — It's been nothing short of a whirlwind six weeks for Kyle Park and his young family.

Oddly enough, though, his decision to become the next Goshen High School football coach was a few bullet points down from the top of a very busy fall to-do list.

The first item for business was the pending birth of Park's third child, Drew, which came as the family was closing on a new home in Zionsville — life-changing experiences which had to be woven into Kyle's Zionsville football playoff schedule.

Quite the juggling act.

“We were comfortable, we had just moved about a month ago, but I told people all along that this was the only job I would have left Zionsville for,” Park said. “I don't think there ever is a perfect time to be a head coach, but for us, this was good timing. It's challenging, but good timing.

“It's been crazy from October on, from closing, moving out, moving in, football playoffs. It's a goal I've been working toward and to be able to live it out is exciting,” he said.

Park, who accepted the GHS head coaching position Monday, Nov. 25, will finish the school year at Zionsville, where he's a business instructor, while trying to find time to meet Goshen players and figure out a new Redskins staff. Kyle also knows that win or lose, that comparisons to his dad, Brad Park, who coached from 1993-2002, are inevitable.

“I've kind of told myself I need to be my own person. I've taken a lot from my coaching style, how I saw him treat players and I know how we've coached down at Zionsville,” Kyle said. “I'm sure I'll be constantly reminded and that's OK ... it's big shoes to fill, but I'm up for the challenge.”

Dad thinks so, too.

Brad Park was always a rock on the Goshen coaching staff, as a head coach and as an assistant. This is Kyle's moment, he said.

“I think it's fantastic for him. Somebody asked him about three years ago ... I don't know if he was ready so much,” Brad said. “I think it's very good for our family with (Kyle's brother) Kevin being three years older, I think he's more mature as well and I think they're going to work very well together ... that was a dream of theirs, for many, many years, to coach together.”

The life of a coach was all Kyle knew growing up. It's all he wanted, too.

“I graduated with a business degree and very quickly realized that is not what I wanted to do after I graduated college,” Kyle said. “I knew I wanted to be a teacher and a coach.”

Kyle spoke of the many conversations with his wife, Heidi, his brother, Kevin, a current GHS assistant, and good friend Jody Weldy, a coach with him at Zionsville.

There was the three-hour trip to the Maple City this past weekend to reflect on memories, analyze pressing questions and dream about a future.

This is what young coaches do — they map out goals, they plan, and they teach. Sometimes goals get in the way of teaching. Other times, teaching gets in the way of goals.

Then there are times when fate just doesn't mesh with the timing.

In this Goshen's case, the timing was exquisite. For Kyle Park and his family, the timing wasn't exactly optimum, but it's as good as it gets in the foreseeable future.

“It was a full family decision, sorting things out with Drew coming a month ago, we had to think about that, and are we going to be able to do this right now?” Kyle said. “We drove up Saturday night late ... I had three hours to think about a lot of different things.

“Obviously, my brother has known what's going on, so being able to being able to bounce things off of him, talk to him about it ... just sharing memories and things we plan on doing here, turning the football program around and putting Goshen football back on the map ... gives me goosebumps just talking about it.”

Bill Beck is The Elkhart Truth's sports editor. Contact him on Twitter @BillBeckTruth or email to bbeck@elkharttruth.com

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