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Monday, May 2, 2016

Maesch steps down as head basketball coach at Northview

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Times Sports Editor

Ernie Maesch watches the Knights from the sideline during a game last season. [Order this photo]
Basketball has been at the forefront of nearly half of Ernie Maesch's life as the sport has taken him from high school player, to college athlete ultimately to head coach. On Tuesday however, Maesch stepped down as the head coach at Northview High School in order to spend more time with his family.

Maesch cited the demands that are required of a coach in the highest classification of basketball in the state as the biggest reason for his decision to resign.

"The rigors of (coaching) 365 days a year with the intensity that I do it has taken a toll. You hope to see the fruits of your labor and then all of a sudden we would be hit with a devastating injury. That starts to make you question whether this is worth all the time away from your wife and kids," Maesch said. "We don't spend Christmas together because of the (Wabash Valley) Classic, I am on a different spring break than my kids and the majority of summer is spent playing games each weekend. If you want to compete at a 4A level, you can't take time off. I think it is hard to do this job the way I want to do it and still be a good husband and father. I just need a break from basketball."

Maesch played basketball at Northview High School through 1990 before continuing his career at Indiana State. After graduating from college, Maesch became an assistant coach at Northview under coach Jon Crooks before moving on to become a college assistant at Grand Valley State in Michigan for a season.

Maesch returned home to coach as an assistant at Northview once again from 2000-02 before spending a year with the Rose-Hulman program. He got his first, head coaching job at Shakamak High School and eventually led the school to the semi-state in 2006 and a regional in 2008. The next year, he joined the Northview program as the head coach as his basketball life came full circle.

"I am very blessed to have been given the chance to coach and teach at my alma mater," Maesch said. "Nobody has wanted this program to succeed more than I have. But some things you can't control, you just have to keep preparing and fighting for the next opponent."

Injuries have played a big role in Maesch's mark of 36-54 while with the Knights, but his career head coaching mark in Indiana is 131-120 over 11 years.

When asked about some of the highlights while coaching at Northview, Maesch noted the relationships that he's built with his staff and seeing his players develop.

"I don't think one moment really stands out. Our first game we beat Terre Haute North and that was an enthusiastic moment. I think the most memorable moments have been seeing the kids overcome adversity and still compete," Maesch said. "We have been devastated with injuries and had to play a lot of kids sooner than expected. I admire how the kids prepared, played together, and performed for the program through those difficult times.

"I believe we have had one of the best coaching staffs in the state. Our middle school guys have done a great job, they have ran open gyms and AAU teams in the past," Maesch added. "Coach (Phil) Leonard has done a super job as an assistant coach. He has brought a wealth of knowledge from his previous stints as head coach. Coach (Scott) Fosdick and Coach (Kendall) Sheets have been great for our program. Chris DeHart did a very good job for us until time constraints kept him from continuing."

Maesch will remain as a teacher at Northview High School where he is a Physical Education teacher. He'll continue to be a staunch Knights' supporter and wouldn't rule out an eventual return to the sidelines.

"I am awfully competitive, so I will never say never," Maesch said in regards to a return to coaching. "But I need a break. For now I just plan to root for Northview and do everything I can to help as a teacher. Only time will tell if I want to get back to the grind."