Football

Sheehan: Nesbitt's release puzzles me

Matt Sheehan

Matt Sheehan

Sometimes you catch word of a rumor that just doesn’t make a ton of sense.

When I got a text a while ago saying Bill Nesbitt was let go of his coaching duties at St. Clair, that was one of those moments. As we all know by now, that rumor turned to truth.

I get it – not everyone was happy after missing playoffs for the second straight year. It’s impossible to please everyone. I know that because I once witnessed a coach get berated by a parent minutes after a quarterfinals loss. Quarterfinals.

I was also in the room when Marine City head coach Ron Glodich – arguably the area’s best football coach – read off a hateful letter in the midst of this season.

However, what’s happened with Nesbitt and his staff tops those two instances. Did the previous decade of St. Clair’s best football in program history not mean anything?

St. Clair coach Bill Nesbitt talks with players in the locker room at half time during a football game September 6, 2014 at East China Stadium.

St. Clair coach Bill Nesbitt talks with players in the locker room at half time during a football game September 6, 2014 at East China Stadium.

Actually, let’s hold on for a second before we dig deep into wins and losses.

How about the man he is to those players? You talk to any past or current player, most of them will tell you how great he was to play under, no matter if it was during the last season or the state semifinal season in 2013. He’s a person who genuinely cares about the kids before the record, and sometimes that’s not easy to find.

Guidance like that, I believe, is the top attribute to have in a youth sports coach. Not everyone has it, but everyone that plays under it cherishes it for years after they graduate.

Alright, back to the actual performance on the field with the team.

Letting go offensive coordinator Chad Miller was also…interesting. The Saints averaged 31 points per game – the third highest total in Nesbitt’s 12 years as head coach – and did so with a myriad of young playmakers.

After the season I was asked what team was I most surprised by – Marysville, Richmond and Algonac were a few suggestions. I gave them an honest surprise by saying St. Clair, despite the fact they missed playoffs.

This was a team with some of the lowest depth combined with youth you’ll find in the MAC Gold. The fact they were able to get to 4-5 with close losses to more experienced teams like Marysville, Port Huron Northern and Croswell-Lexington showed me how much promise there would be next year.

Well, who knows what will happen next year now? All I know is that St. Clair will be missing a good coach and a better man leading the program, and that’s a shame.

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