I spoke with Batavia freshman football head coach and an old friend of mine in coach Mike Theriault. We talked his playing experience, his advice for recruits looking to play in college and life lessons he teaches his athletes.
You can find coach Theriault on Twitter @Coach_Theriault.
LPI: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself. Where did you play football at, how long have you been coaching and how did you get into it?
MT: I graduated from Batavia High School in 2009 and then went to Benedictine University to get my math and teaching degrees and play football. Right out of college I coached Sophomore Defense at Glenbard South High School and then got a full time teaching job at Batavia High School where I am now the Head Freshman Coach.
LPI: You went through the recruiting process in high school. What advice can you give to kids that are going through it now?
MT: It is important to pick a school that suits your academic needs and that you can see yourself at for four years. I chose Benedictine because I enjoyed the people and atmosphere when I visited there and it had the academics and athletic programs that fit my abilities.
LPI: What is your ultimate goal in coaching or what keeps you coming back everyday to coach football?
MT: I have played football since I was little and have learned a lot from the many great coaches that I’ve had. They taught me not only about the game of football, but important life lessons that I carry with me to this day. I wanted to be a coach to make the same impact on my players and teach them about the great game of football. I love seeing players grow throughout the course of their “careers” and it is great to see when players come together as a team and have fun through all of their hard work. Most of my players will not play football past high school, so along with developing their skills, I try to develop them as young men who can be successful in whatever they do life.
LPI: On or off the field, what are the most important lessons that you try to teach your athletes?
MT: Teamwork, hard work, and having fun! I want my players to be hard workers and work well with others in whatever they do. They also must have positive attitudes and have fun. These are important skills that will help them be successful in any environment. I also try to instill the lesson of fighting through adversity. When something bad happens in a game, we must learn from it and then have a short memory and move on to focus on the next play. The same is true in life.