Ashwaubenon boys basketball coach John Miron has stepped down after four seasons with the team.
Miron, 58, informed his squad of his decision on Thursday, although walking away has nothing to do with how he feels about the school’s administration, parents and players.
He loves all of them.
What he didn’t like quite as much is the car ride to and from practice each day from his home in the Kimberly area.
“I really enjoyed my time at Ashwaubenon,” said Miron, who is a teacher at Kimberly High School. “I had great kids and a wonderful administration. We struggled a little bit the last few years, but the bottom line is that to run it from 25 miles away and all the driving, I don’t teach in the school and I don’t live in the community.
“If I could somehow move Ashwaubenon 20 minutes away, I would still be there.”
Although it wasn’t a major factor in his decision, Miron also is set to have hip replacement surgery on June 13.
Ashwaubenon went 12-12 this season and finished tied for sixth in the 10-team Fox River Classic Conference. It lost to Kaukauna in a WIAA Division 2 regional.
Miron led the Jaguars to a 57-37 mark in his four seasons. It included a 20-4 record and a share of the FRCC championship in his first season in 2013-14.
“I would not have wanted to play for anyone else,” said senior guard Ben Wittig, a first-team pick in the FRCC this season after leading the league in scoring at 20.5 points per game. “He was a great coach and he not only made me a better player but also a better man. I am happy for him and honored to have played for him.’
Miron arrived at Ashwaubenon from Little Chute, where he had been an assistant since 2008. Before that he had a highly successful run as the coach at Kimberly, leading the Papermakers to back-to-back Division 2 state titles in 1994 and 1995 while winning 14 regional championships and five sectional titles in 17 seasons.
He has not ruled out a return to coaching in the future, whether as an assistant or running his own program. There is no burn out issue at play, it’s just about all those miles logged.
It’s also about not being able to open the gym for his players when they want to shoot or having a presence in the community and in the school each day.
“It was kind of one of those things that once I was there, I was fine,” Miron said. “But on a Sunday night practice it was like, ‘OK, let’s get in the car and drive.’ In the middle of the winter, you know what it’s like.
“I guess it wore on me a little bit.”
Still, Miron is satisfied with what he and his team accomplished during his tenure here.
“Talking to the kids today and looking them in the face, there is a lot more than wins and losses in this game,” Miron said. “To look at those young men, we were 12-12 this year or whatever, but they came to work every day.
“They did everything I asked. I think sometimes people say a cliché about that, but it was really true.”