It already was shaping up to be an eventful opening month of the 2015 season for Canton head football coach Tim Baechler.
On Friday, Aug. 28 at Wayne State University, Baechler’s defending KLAA South Division champion Chiefs will open the schedule against Dearborn Fordson in the Prep Kickoff Classic.
But Baechler’s calendar just got busier with an unanticipated trip to Central Michigan University on Sunday, Sept. 20. He won’t mind one bit because he’ll be formally inducted that day into the prestigious Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
The MHSCA honor trumps his 2012 induction into the state football coaches’ hall, noted Baechler in an e-mail to the Observer.
“Being inducted into the Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012 was a tremendous honor,” Baechler said. “Being chosen by my peers in the same sport of football was extraordinary.
“However being selected from a pool of coaches representing all high school sports to be inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame is incredible.”
Baechler is one of 15 honorees who will be inducted in the Terrace Room of CMU’s Bovee University Center. Among others are John Walker (Troy Athens), and John Osler (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s).
“There are so many coaches who do a great job year after year in every sport, and who have stood the test of time,” Baechler continued. “These coaches continue to put teams on the field, court, track, or pool and maintain successful teams year after year.
“I suppose being chosen from all the talented coaches in Michigan is very flattering.”
Not just about him
The coach might be the person receiving the award and accolades that come with it. But he is adamant about sharing the kudos with many others.
Right up there are Canton assistant coaches: Bob Williams, Tony Boucher, Dave Smilo, Rich Mui, Tom Garrett, Andy LaFata, Drew Dodds, Mike Edwards, Bob Smedley, Pat Schneider, Ferras Isa, Vince Tata, Bubbs Hnatuk, Tom Dixon, Brett Phillips, Jeff Sanctorum, Pat Korona, Adam Payter, Tracy Scott, Mark Kersten, Jake Roberts, Devin Thomas and Dennis Dolan.
“They have all sacrificed and made our program better,” Baechler said. “Some past assistant coaches like Jake Houser, Jeff Powers, John Wright, Mark Blomshield and Mike Tomasitis were also impactful coaches and dynamic role models.
“Over the years, I have been very fortunate to have had unparalleled people on my team. They are loyal, they believe in our approach to this game, and I consider them my brothers.”
Also, Baechler gave a lot of credit for his success to the support of his wife, sons and parent volunteers in the Canton Booster Club.
“If your spouse isn’t all in, then it is impossible to spend the amount of time we spend on preparation,” Baechler stressed. “Believe me, my players like her a lot more than they like me. It’s not always easy to be the football coach’s son, but my sons, Brocton and Lou, have been my wing men.
“We have had tremendous support from our Booster Club over the years and from specific parents, which have made our jobs as coaches easier. Kerri McCue is our long time equipment manager, and is a godsend.”
Last but not least, Baechler credited the plethora of outstanding players who have populated his rosters year after year.
“The players for whom I have had the honor of coaching over the years provide the most significant ingredient to our success,” he summed up. “Without their trust, belief and hard work, success cannot happen.”
The Michigan High School Coaches Association was founded on the campus of Central Michigan University in 1954 with the Hall of Fame located in the Student Activities Center.
Those interested in attending the Sept. 20 induction banquet may purchase $30 tickets by contacting MHSCA executive secretary Mark F. Holdren, firstname.lastname@example.org.