It’s been said “if you find something you really love to do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
If that saying is true, Fair Park head coach Mike Greene hasn’t had to work for the last 27 years, 21 of them as a head coach at a high school in the Shreveport-Bossier area.
The man obviously loves what he does for a living.
Greene began his coaching career in 1987 at Loyola when his former Jesuit high school coach talked him in to taking over the recently vacated head baseball coaching position.
“I had just graduated from Centenary with a degree in business,” said Greene, who played baseball for the Gents after a stellar career at Jesuit (later to change its name to Loyola College Prep). “I had no designs on coaching high school anything. But then I fell in love with coaching.”
That was after he had fallen in love with and married the girl of his dreams, Aimee Franklin, whom he had met while at Centenary. They would have three children together – who also learned to love the game of football.
“They all grew up going to games every Friday night during football season,” Greene said. “To them, it was just a natural way of life.”
Coaching has certainly been a natural way of life for Greene, whose record as a head coach currently stands at 123 wins, 105 losses. During his time as a head coach at his alma mater (’93-97), Greene made the playoffs all five seasons, and all the way to the Superdome for the championship game in 1994, losing to perennial power Haynesville in the finals.
Greene then accepted the head coaching position at 5A Airline and was certainly up to the challenge as he made the playoffs 10 of the 13 years he was at the helm for the Vikings. He was 10-1 his first season at the Bossier school. Then it was on to Fair Park for his next opportunity to influence the lives of young and impressionable high school boys. Greene surprised everyone but himself when he led the Indians to a share of the 1-4A district title his first season (2011) at Shreveport’s second-oldest high school (1928) and has made the playoffs two of the three years he’s been there.
Greene gladly took a job at a school that may not have been considered by some to be quite as “glamorous” as his previous stints. He had developed a strong relationship with Fair Park principal Jerry Davis while Davis was an assistant principal at Airline. When the head coaching job came open, Davis didn’t hesitate to call the recently available Greene — and Greene didn’t hesitate to accept Davis’ offer.
“Jerry and I have always gotten along beautifully,” Greene said. “I knew we would be able to work well together, and I have always been impressed with the rich tradition Fair Park has.”
Greene now finds himself in a very large, very competitive district (1-4A) with a plethora of talented, extremely experienced football coaches.
Defending champion Northwood has Jim Gatlin, North DeSoto is coached by Scott Abernathy, and longtime head coach and former Caddo Parish athletic director Alan Carter (the first head coach Greene worked with in 1987) is back at Loyola.
“When you look at the coaches in this district, it reads like a ‘who’s who’ of coaching,” Greene said. “That’s why I believe each and every game is going to be a dogfight and any team can beat any other team on any given Friday night.”
And Mike Greene should know a thing or two about Friday nights.
Fair Park Indians
Coach: Mike Greene
2013 record: 6-5
…..(lost in 1st round 4A)
Sept. 5 BTW (Indy)
Sept. 12 Southwood (Nw)
Sept. 19 at Green Oaks (Nw)
Sept. 25 at Huntington (LH)
Oct. 3 Minden (Indy)
Oct. 9 at Benton
Oct. 16 at Northwood
Oct. 23 Loyola (Indy)
Oct. 31 at Woodlawn (Indy)
Nov. 7 North DeSoto (Indy)