By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
When Steve Wiktorowski had to start looking for a new football coach he looked over the past three seasons for the Wawasee Warriors and the school’s athletic director liked what he saw.
Tom Wogomon, who resigned after six seasons to take the job at Northridge High School, had posted three straight winning seasons. The Warriors advanced to a 4A sectional championship before falling to Concord by a 24-10 score.
That was one of the reasons why Wiktorowski looked inhouse for a new coach and that searched culminated on Monday when the school board approved the hiring of 28-year-old Joshua Ekovich.
Ekovich has been the offensive line coach for the past two seasons.
“It was a good long process,” Wiktorowski said. “When we started I’m not sure what the chances of an inhouse candidate were. But we looked at the last three seasons, like what we saw and didn’t see a need for a change.”
Ekovich is a 2003 graduate of New Prairie High School where he was a North All-Star offensive lineman as a senior. He went on to play at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne where he was a three-year letterwinner and a two-year starter.
“I’m excited to take over the Wawasee program and I’m excited about Coach Wogomon started,” Ekovich said. “The big thing to me was if it isn’t broken don’t try to fix it. We have a great coaching staff and my goal is to keep them together.”
The coaching he received as a player is one of the reasons he went into the profession.
“I like coaching because it gives me the ability to impact young lives and give them something I got as a kid.”
There were about 25 applicants for the position, five of them inhouse candidates.
“Josh was the applicant that rose to the top,” Wiktorowski said. “He had to answer some tough questions. One of the things that impressed was he remarked he was just looking for a head coaching position, he was looking to be the Wawasee head coach. Loyalty to the program was one thing the committee was looking for and since Josh has been here few people have dedicated the amount of time to the program that he has.”
Joshua and his wife Jeni have two children: Tyler (4) and Kalyn (1). The family lives in Avilla.