Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

May 25, 2011

Wiktorowski new Wawasee AD

SYRACUSE — The new face in the Wawasee High School athletic department is one very familiar to area sports fans.

Former Fairfield High School boys basketball coach and Goshen College women’s basketball coach Steve Wiktorowski’s hiring as the Wawasee athletic director was approved at the Wawasee School Board meeting Tuesday night.

“It’s a good opportunity at a Northern Lakes Conference school with a reputation for having competitive teams,” said Wiktorowski. “It’s also a community which supports the school and its sports teams. Wawasee also has a reputation as a school with a solid academic program.”

Wiktorowski has been the GC women’s basketball coach for the past nine seasons, winning 93 games.

“We are grateful for the nine years Steve has given leadership to the Goshen program and wish him well as he transitions to new opportunities,” said GC Athletic Director Tim Dement in a press release. “He has always shown tremendous concern and care for his players and sought to teach them more than just basketball.”

In his second season at Goshen (2003-04), he lead the Maple Leafs to a 26-9 record (most wins in school history) and to the Mid-Central Conference regular-season championship. Goshen went on to win the MCC tourney and earn the program’s first-ever appearance in the NAIA national finals.

“I have enjoyed coaching at the college level and some day might want to do it again,” said Wiktorowski. “I wasn’t looking for a new position, but when the opportunity at Wawasee came along it was just to good to turn down,”

Wiktorowski will be replacing Mary Hurley who is retiring at the end of the school year.

“Mary has done a great job at Wawasee,” Wiktorowski said. “This is a situation where I can come in with the idea of just keeping things going instead or having to restructure things. My biggest challenge will be to keep the continued success of the programs going on.

“My plans are in the next week to get in and spend some time with Mary so I can see how things are handled. The first priority will be making sure things are ready to go for the summer programs and that things are in place for this fall.”

Among successes in Wawasee sports are two state runnerup finishes in football (1985 and 2004), two state runnerup finishes in girls basketball (1985 and 2007) and a class 3A boys basketball regional championship in 2005.

Among standout individual athletes is 2002 Indiana “Miss Basketball” Shanna (Zolman) Crossley, the all-time leading scorer in Indiana high school girls basketball with 3,085 points.

“The NLC has a great reputation throughout the state,” said Wiktorowski. “The conference is strong in all sports and has produced a number of very good individuals.”

Prior to going to Goshen College, Wiktorowski spent 21 seasons as a high school boys basketball coach (seven at Fairfield and seven at Prairie Heights) with 123 wins. His teams were 72-38 against Northeast Corner Conference teams while at Fairfield, winning three consecutive NECC titles  (1987-89).

“Besides basketball I’ve coached baseball, cross country and track,” he said. “I’ve coached a lot of sports and am familiar with most of the schools Wawasee plays. I’m also familiar with the reputations of the other athletic directors in the NLC.”

Wiktorowski graduated from Indiana University of Bloomington in 1980 with a degree in physical education and acquired his maser’s degree in secondary education from IU-Fort Wayne in 1990.

Wiktorowski and his wife Donna have two children, Troy and Erin.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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