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A mentor on and off the football field

By Isaac Yeaker and Quinton Billy

Long time football coach and science teacher Ron Strine announced that he will be stepping down as head football coach before the 2020 season. Although Strine will no longer be coaching football, he will continue to be involved with Godwin, as he teaches oceanography and environmental science.

According to Strine, his father, Ronald Strine Sr., was his coaching inspiration and mentor. “He loved teaching football to high school students,” said Strine about his father and mentor.

 For Strine’s father, coaching was about more than just winning, but about teaching students the game.

“It [football] was in my blood,” said Strine. Strine went to his father’s football practices in 1967, and realized how much he enjoyed being around the football environment. 

Strine grew up playing football. He was the quarterback for his high school football team. He got into coaching football in 1981 for the University of Toledo. Strine’s favorite memory at the University of Toledo was playing Wisconsin in front of 80,000 people. 

Although Strine played and coached football before coming to Godwin, Strine did not start coaching football at Godwin until 1993. Before football, he was a track coach at Godwin for around 10 years. When Strine saw the opportunity to coach football at Godwin, it was one he couldn’t resist. For Strine, coaching football served as a connection to his father.

According to Strine, track is very different from football. Track is more individualistic, but football is all about teamwork. With that being said, Strine believes track can be beneficial to football players and highly recommends it. 

“I would highly encourage any athlete who does not play a spring sport to participate in track. It will keep them in shape and improve their speed and quickness,” said Strine.   

Strine looks at coaching football not only as coaching the game, but teaching it to high school students. While coaching at Godwin, he always preached “team beats talent if talent isn’t a  team.” No matter who the team is or how talented they are, Strine always instills the same motto into each athlete.  

According to Strine, his favorite Godwin memory was coaching in the playoffs in 2000. Strine led Godwin to play Varina High School. Although Varina was favored to win, Strine and Godwin beat Varina’s football team. This was considered an upset and was one of Strine’s most prideful moments coaching football at Godwin. According to Strine, the Godwin football team from the year 2000 was a tight-knit group. 

“[The members of the 2000 Godwin football team] were very close and fun to coach and be around.” 

According to senior Grayson Hanks, Godwin’s quarterback, Strine was a mentor to him on and off the football field. 

“He was an amazing coach who helped not only on the field, but in my personal life as well,” said Hanks. 

Godwin Director of Student Activities, Tom Nadeau has known Strine for nearly 20 years as a coach. 

“[Strine] is a family man and educator. Myself and other coaches could always rely on Strine to mentor us on how to do things,” said Nadeau.

Although he was able to achieve success on the field, Strine will miss the relationships he created with the players and other coaches the most. Strine is grateful for the opportunity provided to him by the administrators and hopes the future players and coaches “continue to strive for excellence on and off the field.”

“I can honestly say that Coach Strine has left a huge impact on the young men and women who have been part of the football program and will continue to play a role in their lives” said Nadeau.

photo courtesy the Statesman

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