Bill Beck
Bill Beck
In Side Lines, Bill Beck offers observations, quips and queries about Elkhart County sports, often heavy on high school football and Notre Dame. Now and then, he puts a twisted spin on a variety of hot topics.

Other Stories by Bill Beck
Sports editor Bill Beck covers high school and Notre Dame sports for the Elkhart Truth.

Goshen's Park family is coaching together on the same football field

He returns to the GHS program 12 seasons after he retired to help son Kyle, the new coach, and son Kevin, an assistant.

Posted on Aug. 6, 2014 at 3:56 p.m.

An energetic coach named Park was jumping around, sweating up a storm during a practice. It looked like he was having the time of his life working with promising young players.

Enthusiasm burst through his words and movements. But it wasn’t Kyle Park, Goshen High School’s new young head football coach. It was his father, Brad.

Brad Park enjoyed his 62nd birthday Wednesday, Aug. 6, in idyllic surroundings. He gets to be around football, he gets to help coach with both of his sons — Kevin, too, is an assistant — and when the final whistle sounds, he gets to go right home. No picking up gear, no staff meetings, no practice planning.

"I’ve told a lot of people, I have the greatest job I could have. I get to coach kids and I get to coach with my sons,” Brad said Tuesday. “It’s fun to see how they’ve grown up as young coaches, using the things they’ve learned. I just help out.”

Just helping out, he said. Not really. Brad Park, who came to Goshen in the early 1980s as an offensive line coach under Randy Robertson, is back in his element as an on-field teacher.

He jumped right into linemen drills, hovering over offensive and defensive players, demonstrating proper footwork and emphasizing proper technique. Not 10 yards away, Kevin was doing the very same thing with another group.

Brad Park is one of a group of reknowned GHS coaches who were invited by Kyle Park to help kickstart the Redskins in 2014. Steve Swihart, a former all-state GHS player and long-time assistant, as well as former assistants Craig Frazier and J.D. Russell are in camp this summer. Frazier will work with defensive backs, Swihart with linebackers and Russell with defensive ends.

Quite the blast from the past.

"Revel in the fact that I’m happy,” Swihart bellowed during a drill, “because it won’t happen very often.”

Good times. Missed that.

It’s been a rugged 12 years since Brad retired. GHS has logged just two winning seasons and only 40 victories in the last 12.

"Just brings back a lot of memories of me playing for him,” Kyle said of working with his dad. “It’s really special going out to practice, seeing them coaching together. Not a lot of people get to coach with their father and brother.

"I know (Brad) looks forward to it each day. And not that he didnt’ before, but it’s just different for him. It’s kind of a release for him.”

When Brad isn’t coaching or playing a round of golf, he’s playing grandfather with his grandchildren. On Friday nights, Brad will head to the pressbox, not the sidelines.

"I want to be up in the box,“ Brad said. ”I want it to be all about (Kyle). It’s all about him running the team.

"I’ve missed being around the kids and I’ve had a lot of fun doing that again. The kids listen and try to do what is asked. I’m probably enjoying it more now than when I was coaching.“

Glad to have you back, Coach.

Bill Beck is The Elkhart Truth sports editor. Contact him at bbeck@elkharttruth.com.

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