By Caleb Elliott
With the clock ticking down in the sectional semifinal boys’ basketball game against Yorktown, all the players and coaches were able to celebrate the win against their biggest rival. The players and coaches were pumped up to not have to deal with Yorktown until next year, but for head JV coach Chris Van Pelt, he had to go back into work the next day with the opponent.
Van Pelt has been working in the IT department for Yorktown Community Schools since 2008.
“It’s odd you know. You have to work on the game plan to beat them, and the next day you’re going to work for them,” Van Pelt said.
Coach Van Pelt is just one of many lay coaches at our school. Lay coaches are coaches who are not teachers or staff members in the Del-Com system who come from their regular lives and jobs to coach here at Delta. It may seem like an unorthodox way to find a coaching job, but these coaches have created many successful programs.
For athletic director Mr. Grant Zgunda, lay coaches have some pros and cons. Zgunda said hiring lay coaches opens up the application pool and gives the school more options, but these coaches aren’t around their players during the day as they would be if they were teachers here.
As hiring any coach, the process is always the same.
“We go through and see people who have applied for the job, then look at applications, do interviews, and go with the board’s approval,” Zgunda said.
There are currently 18 lay coaches for Delta, including three who are head coaches.
One of those is first-year wrestling head coach Joe Mosier, who has high expectations for this upcoming season.
“As the coaching staff works to build relationships with the players, parents, the school, and community at large we will strive to compete and represent our school well,” Mosier said.
After working as a volunteer coach and a board member of the Delta Wrestling Club, Mosier is ready to continue the success of the wrestling program.
He said he believes that coaching is beyond winning and losing competitions, but impacting a player’s life.
“As I reflect on my athletic career I know I would not be the man, husband, and father I am today without many of the coaches that impacted me through high school athletics,” Mosier said.
Before Mosier bled blue and gold as a coach, he competed in his wrestling career at Yorktown High School. Even with his past in Yorktown, Mosier plans to finish his career coaching here at Delta.
Along with Mosier, the other two head coaches are the girls’ golf coach Jim Fowler and boys’ and girls’ swimming and diving coach Laura Seibold-Caudill.
Fowler, a 1987 Delta graduate, has been coaching for five years now. After deciding that he would commit for five years he is uncertain of his future.
“I’m taking each year at a time now, and seeing where it takes me,” he said.
Fowler came in with the goal of winning county and sectionals and his teams have managed to come away with three county titles and two sectional titles in his five-year span. Even with this success Fowler’s main goal was to help his players have fun and learn to compete at the same time.
“When I got here I was excited to get the excitement and fun back into the game, but nervous because I had to earn the respect from the players and parents,” he said.
Even though Fowler doesn’t work at the school, he feels he doesn’t have a disadvantage because of how good of a bond he has with his players.
All of these coaches haven’t taken their time for granted here at Delta, and have created a winning culture for their programs.
Swimming and diving coach Laura Seibold-Caudill spent 33 years as head coach of the Ball State women’s swimming and diving program before retiring in 2012. In 2014-2015, she began coaching the boys and girls teams at Delta.
She has only seen success anywhere she’s been for her programs. After last year having two athletes medal in the state finals (state champion diver Sam Bennett and state runner-up sprinter Brady Samuels) Caudill can only imagine what lies ahead for her program.
As Van Pelt explained on being a coach at Delta, “Coming to Delta you’re expected to win from day one, and many great athletes and coaches have come through our successful programs.”