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bobref

Jason Grunewald new HFC at Munster

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Jason Grunewald is only the 3rd head coach in the history of the Munster Mustangs football program which started in 1966 succeeding John Friend and Leroy Marsh.

Hopfully Munster does not become another program that cycles through a new head coach/coaching regime every 4 or 5 seasons like Portage and Valpo has now seem to become.

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This is all very odd and weird.

When you look at the coaching transitions of 5 of the marquee high school football programs in Northwest Indiana over the past few years (Merrillville, Lake Central, Hobart, Valparaiso, Munster) you just have to shake your head and say WTF!!!!

It smells of the following possibilities/probabilities :

* Nobody wants these jobs.  They simply are no longer attractive for multiple reasons.

* High school football is rapidly descending down the hierarchy on the prep sports menu.  

* There are bigger fresh in the pan to fry, so lets kick this can down the road and let someone else deal with it.

* Clueless ADs were unprepared and didn't see it coming.

* Gun shy and resource hoarding admins have no interest in taking a chance on an outside candidate, regardless of resume.

* There is no push from the community to hire a difference maker.  

The results, collectively, are the continued demise of Region prep football.  It's really a shame.  And it helps explain why a downtrodden school and program like Michigan City can so quickly and easily ascend to the top of the heap.  

I really expected more from Munster.  

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I bet with Coach Marsh's untimely retirement, the applicant pool wasn't as deep as it would have been if Coach had retired right after the season and given the ADs 5 months to make a hire instead of 5 weeks. Very poor timing with summer coming up for an established head coach to leave their program for Munster. Marsh was expected to go 1 more season and somewhat surprised everyone with the untimely announcement in April. 

Interesting that Grunewald has an interim tag. See how he does this season and if it doesn't go great, open it back up and allow for a proper time period for applicants and interviews. I think this was a smart move by Munster admins.

DT, Hobart made the best out of the hand they were dealt with Coach Turley's legal incident. I think Coach Osika will do well at Hobart. LC consistently underpreforms, but I think Coach Bart is a great coach and will eventually turn them around. That was another goofy situation with Coach St. Germain leaving mid season 2016. Valpo was a joke from the point the parents ran Coach Coyle out of his job and hired the whacko who has no head coaching experience and sent his resume to the Hammond Times, but they ended up with who should have been hired in the first place with Coach Marshall. Finally, the cupboard is seemingly starting to run dry at Merrillville. Boys Basketball isn't the powerhouse it once was, a once Northern power girls bball team has fallen off the map and freshman level teams in all sports have apparently very low numbers. Baseball and softball are at all time lows, especially from the dominant run softball had in the 90s with a state championship. And finally, Pirate football had their worst season since 1960 going 1-9. I don't think all the blame falls on Coach Seiss as things seem to be going downhill at Merrillville. And from what I've read of your posts, you are viewing Region football from afar and don't have the same perspective as someone who still lives in and is involved in NWI football. Not trying to be disrespectful, but when was the last time you stepped foot in Highland to watch a game in person? 

Region football will probably never be a consistent force in 6A football unless a really good class comes through a Duneland school. The state success for Region schools will come at the 5A level with Laporte, Michigan City and Munster, 4A with Lowell, 3A Andrean and 2A Whiting. Fort Wayne and Indy schools are complete different animals than Crown Point, Dyer/St John/Schereville, Valpo and Merrillville with Fort Wayne having nearly 8x the population of the largest Duneland city of Merrillville (3500) and Indy being nearly 25x larger. The talent pool is too large in these areas for Region 6As to compete for state titles on a consistent basis with Carmel, warren, Ben davis or Center Grove. That is not to say that Portage or CP couldn't theoretically break through one year on a miracle run and win a state title. And I doubt we'll ever see a Hammond school compete for a title unless some consolidation occurs  

Long story short, I think Coach Grunewald will do great at Munster. Coach Marsh has been grooming him the past few seasons and he knows the program well. If worst goes to worst, the position reopens after the season and then I think we'd see Munster make a big hire. But let's hope he wins their first sectional in 22 years..

Good luck to Coach Gruney! Not an easy task to replace Coach Marsh. 

My 2 cents. Rat man. 

Edited by rat man
  • Upvote 1

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I think the “late” decision by Coach Marsh was more a reflection of the fact that the successor was already hand-picked, so there was no concern about continuity or transition.

As to DT’s observations about the decline of Region football over the years, I think his last two points are very accurate:

* Gun shy and resource hoarding admins have no interest in taking a chance on an outside candidate, regardless of resume.

* There is no push from the community to hire a difference maker.  

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This hire confirms one thing. Continuity trumps success at Munster High School

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10 hours ago, DrivenT said:

This is all very odd and weird.

When you look at the coaching transitions of 5 of the marquee high school football programs in Northwest Indiana over the past few years (Merrillville, Lake Central, Hobart, Valparaiso, Munster) you just have to shake your head and say WTF!!!!

It smells of the following possibilities/probabilities :

* Nobody wants these jobs.  They simply are no longer attractive for multiple reasons.

* High school football is rapidly descending down the hierarchy on the prep sports menu.  

* There are bigger fresh in the pan to fry, so lets kick this can down the road and let someone else deal with it.

* Clueless ADs were unprepared and didn't see it coming.

* Gun shy and resource hoarding admins have no interest in taking a chance on an outside candidate, regardless of resume.

* There is no push from the community to hire a difference maker.  

The results, collectively, are the continued demise of Region prep football.  It's really a shame.  And it helps explain why a downtrodden school and program like Michigan City can so quickly and easily ascend to the top of the heap.  

I really expected more from Munster.  

 

 

 

 

I think Munster will be fine.  But you're right, Region football is down for the most part.

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5 hours ago, bobref said:

I think the “late” decision by Coach Marsh was more a reflection of the fact that the successor was already hand-picked, so there was no concern about continuity or transition.

Then why the interim tag?

"Zimmer and Munster athletic director Brian Clark were part of the hiring process, but didn't have a lot of time to talk to potential candidates in the six weeks since Marsh retired. With summer football beginning in June, they needed to get someone to lead the group as soon as possible."

"The time was so short it was hard to do a good search," Zimmer said. "Jason will be able to prove himself. We believe in him. We'll just review it all in the fall."

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5 hours ago, bobref said:

I think the “late” decision by Coach Marsh was more a reflection of the fact that the successor was already hand-picked, so there was no concern about continuity or transition.

As to DT’s observations about the decline of Region football over the years, I think his last two points are very accurate:

* Gun shy and resource hoarding admins have no interest in taking a chance on an outside candidate, regardless of resume.

* There is no push from the community to hire a difference maker.  

And this all but ensures the Mustangs will remain in the NCC.  Then again the DAC really isn't setting the IHSAA on fire.

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2 minutes ago, Gipper said:

And this all but ensures the Mustangs will remain in the NCC.  Then again the DAC really isn't setting the IHSAA on fire.

Agree

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3 hours ago, DrivenT said:

This hire confirms one thing. Continuity trumps success at Munster High School

Who cares?  Munster did what they felt best for their school.

Good luck Munster.

  • Upvote 1

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Why does continuity have to Trump Success?  Doesn't Coach Grunewald have a unique perspective of seeing what did and didn't work for Coach Marsh?  He is rooted in the community, will retain the staff whom he has a working relationship with, he knows the opponents they play year in and year out.  

If the school and the community want to push for greater success on the field isn't a lot of that tied to how much support a coach gets compared to who the coach is?  Will admin back him when angry parents come calling?  Will they hire teachers who coach?  Will they set a class schedule that allows players to consistently take a weight training class all through HS?    Will they sell a vision that promotes educational athletics to their students?  

The game is not that complicated, run, block, tackle, and get kids to believe in and take pride in what they are doing.  I worry that sometime we paint "big hires" as these coaching gurus, and sometimes they are.  But also don't you think that sometimes they are just in a great situation with great administrative support?    

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I happen to like the hire. I think Munster could at least hang with the athletes at Michigan City, and with a fresh perspective being padded by the continuity on the staff we could see Munster do great things like they consistently do in other sports. 

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41 minutes ago, Wedgebuster said:

Why does continuity have to Trump Success?  Doesn't Coach Grunewald have a unique perspective of seeing what did and didn't work for Coach Marsh?  He is rooted in the community, will retain the staff whom he has a working relationship with, he knows the opponents they play year in and year out.  

If the school and the community want to push for greater success on the field isn't a lot of that tied to how much support a coach gets compared to who the coach is?  Will admin back him when angry parents come calling?  Will they hire teachers who coach?  Will they set a class schedule that allows players to consistently take a weight training class all through HS?    Will they sell a vision that promotes educational athletics to their students?  

The game is not that complicated, run, block, tackle, and get kids to believe in and take pride in what they are doing.  I worry that sometime we paint "big hires" as these coaching gurus, and sometimes they are.  But also don't you think that sometimes they are just in a great situation with great administrative support?    

I strongly believe that a coaching search, and ultimate choice, reflect on the competitive profile of the hiring school.

Contrast the decisions made by MIchigan City, New Prairie and Laporte, which are basically neighboring schools on the far eastern edge of Northwest Indiana.  

All three schools have a strong upward football trajectory, aggressive competitive profile, and are considered  NWI "top of class" in their respective state classifications.   These are the type of schools that think "state championship" during the offseason.  Do you think Munster, with its current competitive profile, is thinking about anything beyond the local level?

Until you instill a belief and a mentality that you are better than "NCC Champ" or "Sectional Champ," you will never take that next step as a program.  

On a side note, I like the Highland hiring of Pete Koulianos.  I believe he is a guy who has a vision of something better for the Trojan football program.  

 

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44 minutes ago, DrivenT said:

I strongly believe that a coaching search, and ultimate choice, reflect on the competitive profile of the hiring school.

Contrast the decisions made by MIchigan City, New Prairie and Laporte, which are basically neighboring schools on the far eastern edge of Northwest Indiana.  

All three schools have a strong upward football trajectory, aggressive competitive profile, and are considered  NWI "top of class" in their respective state classifications.   These are the type of schools that think "state championship" during the offseason.  Do you think Munster, with its current competitive profile, is thinking about anything beyond the local level?

Until you instill a belief and a mentality that you are better than "NCC Champ" or "Sectional Champ," you will never take that next step as a program.  

On a side note, I like the Highland hiring of Pete Koulianos.  I believe he is a guy who has a vision of something better for the Trojan football program.  

 

Highland made a very good move by hiring Koulianos.  I'm not sure how much it will impact this year's race, but I can see them entering the top 4 of the NCC in the near future.

2 hours ago, Coach Ellenwood said:

Who cares?  Munster did what they felt best for their school.

Good luck Munster.

Maybe it was, that's why they play the games...

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Posted (edited)

Not true. Michigan City had 40 applicants after Mike Kapinski resigned in 2015, the pool was narrowed down to a handful and Phil Mason was the one that stood out.  I was very flattered that so many guys wanted to come to Michigan City and be our boys coach.   We stayed right on top of our AD during the entire hiring process and he could not have been more transparent. 

Edited by tommy

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12 minutes ago, tommy said:

Not true. Michigan City had 40 applicants after Mike Kapinski resigned in 2015, the pool was narrowed down to a handful and Phil Mason was the one that stood out.  I was very flattered that so many guys wanted to come to Michigan City and be our boys coach.   We stayed right on top of our AD during the entire hiring process and he could not have been more transparent. 

Get a clue tommy.  We are passing kudos on to MC for doing things the right way.  What the hell are you reading?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, DrivenT said:

Get a clue tommy.  We are passing kudos on to MC for doing things the right way.  What the hell are you reading?

Just responding to your statement that nobody want to take any of these coaching jobs and the ADs are clueless.  Our AD at City holds a BA from the University of Illinois and 2 masters from DePaul and Loyola and prior to coming here held positions at the professional, Division 1 college and some of the top tier High Schools in every section of the Chicago area.  We were not just going to hang around until the end of the school year and promote from within and hang him with the interim tag.

Edited by tommy

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Maybe Bobref can shed some light on who were some of the other candidates. 

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Michigan city should get credit for the hiring, but this situation fell in their lap, and was an obvious one for both sides.  For Mason, the move represented a move to a school where he was paid more than at a private school, and got him away from the administrative disfunction of Andrean.  He also knew that MC had the athletes.  Mc had the ability to pick a coach who had won a state title, and wanted to move to a bigger division.  Worked out great for both sides.  Sometimes schools make things too confusing trying to make an enlightened decision, when the obvious one is right in front of them

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30 minutes ago, rafterman said:

Michigan city should get credit for the hiring, but this situation fell in their lap, and was an obvious one for both sides.  For Mason, the move represented a move to a school where he was paid more than at a private school, and got him away from the administrative disfunction of Andrean.  He also knew that MC had the athletes.  Mc had the ability to pick a coach who had won a state title, and wanted to move to a bigger division.  Worked out great for both sides.  Sometimes schools make things too confusing trying to make an enlightened decision, when the obvious one is right in front of them

Let's give MC some credit. Before Mason, this is the same school that lured Craig Buzea and his all star coaching staff into the fold. 

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Dt,

Why do you think good successful coaches go to MC?

1.  They are on their way out of some program for various reasons...money....fight with admin...etc  Was case for both Buzea and Mason

2.  The know that MC always has athletes  Even if the school district has had problems and the program has had problems you know you will always have kids who can play football if you can get them coached up

3.  They are polishing their resume for a high paying job somewhere else.  This was the case for Buzea

4.  Finally, not having to play in 6a is huge for a coach that want to make a run in post season  5a is place to be

 

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10 hours ago, rafterman said:

Dt,

Why do you think good successful coaches go to MC?

1.  They are on their way out of some program for various reasons...money....fight with admin...etc  Was case for both Buzea and Mason

2.  The know that MC always has athletes  Even if the school district has had problems and the program has had problems you know you will always have kids who can play football if you can get them coached up

3.  They are polishing their resume for a high paying job somewhere else.  This was the case for Buzea

4.  Finally, not having to play in 6a is huge for a coach that want to make a run in post season  5a is place to be

 

Agree with all your points. I would add one additional. Both Buzz and Mason could clearly see that The DAC was not nearly what it used to be, and a quick turn around and instant success were both possible and attainable for the MC program

 

 

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On ‎5‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 1:34 AM, rat man said:

I bet with Coach Marsh's untimely retirement, the applicant pool wasn't as deep as it would have been if Coach had retired right after the season and given the ADs 5 months to make a hire instead of 5 weeks. Very poor timing with summer coming up for an established head coach to leave their program for Munster. Marsh was expected to go 1 more season and somewhat surprised everyone with the untimely announcement in April. 

Interesting that Grunewald has an interim tag. See how he does this season and if it doesn't go great, open it back up and allow for a proper time period for applicants and interviews. I think this was a smart move by Munster admins.

DT, Hobart made the best out of the hand they were dealt with Coach Turley's legal incident. I think Coach Osika will do well at Hobart. LC consistently underpreforms, but I think Coach Bart is a great coach and will eventually turn them around. That was another goofy situation with Coach St. Germain leaving mid season 2016. Valpo was a joke from the point the parents ran Coach Coyle out of his job and hired the whacko who has no head coaching experience and sent his resume to the Hammond Times, but they ended up with who should have been hired in the first place with Coach Marshall. Finally, the cupboard is seemingly starting to run dry at Merrillville. Boys Basketball isn't the powerhouse it once was, a once Northern power girls bball team has fallen off the map and freshman level teams in all sports have apparently very low numbers. Baseball and softball are at all time lows, especially from the dominant run softball had in the 90s with a state championship. And finally, Pirate football had their worst season since 1960 going 1-9. I don't think all the blame falls on Coach Seiss as things seem to be going downhill at Merrillville. And from what I've read of your posts, you are viewing Region football from afar and don't have the same perspective as someone who still lives in and is involved in NWI football. Not trying to be disrespectful, but when was the last time you stepped foot in Highland to watch a game in person? 

Region football will probably never be a consistent force in 6A football unless a really good class comes through a Duneland school. The state success for Region schools will come at the 5A level with Laporte, Michigan City and Munster, 4A with Lowell, 3A Andrean and 2A Whiting. Fort Wayne and Indy schools are complete different animals than Crown Point, Dyer/St John/Schereville, Valpo and Merrillville with Fort Wayne having nearly 8x the population of the largest Duneland city of Merrillville (3500) and Indy being nearly 25x larger. The talent pool is too large in these areas for Region 6As to compete for state titles on a consistent basis with Carmel, warren, Ben davis or Center Grove. That is not to say that Portage or CP couldn't theoretically break through one year on a miracle run and win a state title. And I doubt we'll ever see a Hammond school compete for a title unless some consolidation occurs  

Long story short, I think Coach Grunewald will do great at Munster. Coach Marsh has been grooming him the past few seasons and he knows the program well. If worst goes to worst, the position reopens after the season and then I think we'd see Munster make a big hire. But let's hope he wins their first sectional in 22 years..

Good luck to Coach Gruney! Not an easy task to replace Coach Marsh. 

My 2 cents. Rat man. 

how good will Whiting be in 3 years when Hammond Clark as a turf field and Hammond kids stay home?

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1 hour ago, futbolfan said:

how good will Whiting be in 3 years when Hammond Clark as a turf field and Hammond kids stay home?

Is that for sure happening? I know there have been talks and things in the Times, but I haven't seen any recent articles about all that was proposed to go up by Wolf Lake. Was that passed with the referendum last year? What all was proposed? Clark could use an update. Their facilities are on par, if not lacking behind Hammond High's and Gavit's.

You have a good point, but until Clark starts winning, I don't think Whiting and Clark will completely flip or trade program success. As long as Whiting has Jeff Cain the HOF caliber coach that has built an incredible program and stays a little better academically than Clark, I don't see Whiting going downhill. It also helps that Whiting is 2A and Clark stuck in the 3A sectional with Andrean, Hanover, West Laf, Twin Lakes and Wheeler, the at most 20 kids that stay at Clark aren't going to win that sectional any time soon. Soccer is king at Clark and I don't see that changing with a new field.

All that said, I really like Coach Testa at Clark. From the interviews I've read, he seems like a good guy and has made good progress with the Pioneers in his first season. 

Also, I love that we finally are talking Region football on this board. Very rarely get to do so. 

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