New faces are common in high school football. One graduating class makes way for the next wave of All-City linebackers, running backs and standouts on both sides of the ball. But for this upcoming season, TPS welcomes new faces of a different kind: three new head coaches ready to lead their respective teams on and off the gridiron.

Marek Moldawsky, head coach for the Woodward High Polar Bears, sums up an objective shared by all of the coaches: “I expect the best effort on the field and off. In fact, right decisions made off the field translate to smart decisions on the field.”

Mike Robinson, head coach for the Bowsher High Rebels, similarly stresses the importance of teamwork and developing young men not just as football players but as well-rounded, contributing members of the community. “The goal of Rebels football is to develop student athletes who lead by example,” Coach Robinson stated. “I’m looking for young men who can be role models, players with high character. The football team represents the school.”

Just as Coach Robinson expects a 100 percent high school graduation rate and college acceptance from his players, Marcus Waugh, head coach for the Rogers High Rams, considers this an opportunity to change the lives of the student athletes. “Football lasts just a short span but it can teach you lessons that last a lifetime,” Coach Waugh said. “Football teaches you how to be a man. There is no better game to teach you how to deal with adversity and come together as a team.”

Teamwork serves as a critical component in the coaching philosophy of each of the new coaches. Coach Robinson boils his philosophy down to, “Be a team. If we come together as a team, we can accomplish all of our goals.” Coach Waugh is looking for “22 hard workers over all-stars. Everyone needs to leave their ego at the door.”

Beyond the confines of the 100 yard field the Polar Bears will compete on this fall, Coach Moldawsky considers the community as part of the team. “The new changes in the staff and culture are exciting,” Mr. Moldawsky beams. “There is a correlation between success in sports and the community. I preach positivity and when we engage the kids in a positive manner that energy spreads.”

All three coaches bring vital experiences and lessons learned in past coaching gigs. This is the first time Mr. Waugh and Mr. Robinson have had the opportunity to test out their football vision and strategy as a head coach. Mr. Robinson, a Toledo transplant from Shaker Heights near Cleveland, values his experiences as a defensive backs coach with the University of Toledo and the two state titles he and the rest of the coaching staff enjoyed at Central Catholic High School.

"Coaching is natural for me because of my passion for the game. I wanted the chance to teach discipline, integrity and accountability; teach these kids how to be men,” Coach Robinson stated. “I’m excited about the winning tradition at Bowsher and the opportunity to develop young men who can serve as leaders."

Coach Waugh, who helped the University of Cincinnati Bearcats to two Big East championships as a player, can draw upon coaching experience with several teams, starting as a defensive coordinator for the Start High Spartans. And his goals as head coach sound more like those of a well-seasoned veteran than a first time head coach.

“My main goal is to get all of our players graduated and into college classrooms. On the field, though, I want a city championship,” he said. “Let’s start with the city and shoot higher from there. With our hard work and study, we’re going to show that Rogers is back on the map.”

While Coach Waugh hopes to implement a high-paced, relentless scheme like that of his former coach at Cincinnati, Brian Kelly, he also looks forward to trying out some things he learned from another mentor, Coach Moldawsky.

" I learned a lot from Coach Moldwasky. He showed me how defense can keep you in the game," he recollected.

“I’m excited for Coach Marcus,” Mr. Moldawsky stated. “I think hiring him and Coach Robinson points to a new direction for TPS.” Coach Moldawsky’s current stay at Woodward brings him back to TPS, where he got his start on the coaching staff at the now-closed Macomber High School. “I wanted to come back to TPS and be a part of this,” he said. “There is strong support from the principal and community at Woodward. This will help us build on our past and advance further as we continue to increase our numbers and develop our kids to their full potential, on and off the field.”

Although the start of the season is still months away and the new coaches can’t run football drills or practices yet, all of the coaches use workout sessions to impart their vision and expectations of teamwork and work ethic.

Coach Moldawsky notes that he already has a strong core of guys frequenting the newly remodeled weight room at Woodward.

Chomping at the bit, Coach Waugh noted, “I can’t wait for two-a-days to start. We’re going to have the best conditioned team in the city.”

Similarly, Coach Robinson eagerly anticipates sitting down with his players and setting goals for the season. “I let the team set the goals. I keep them focused on playing a complete team game, but it’s important for the players to have a say,” he noted. “I show them how to push the bar higher and that through dedication and teamwork you can accomplish those goals.”

As the coaches and players begin to put in long hours and hard work off the field, all of the members of the TPS Proud Nation look forward to watching that dedication and excitement play out on the football fields across the city this fall.

Posted on April 23, 2015