Players Speak Out About Nowak’s Decision of “One More Year”


Madison Polack, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

As many in the NDA community have heard, our very own head football coach, Mr. John Nowak is retiring after he coaches one more season.

Coach Nowak led NDA to the Division 3 state title this past season. Many believed that he would retire having just won a championship. However, that was just a rumor.

“After we won the state championship it probably was the ideal time to do it,” said Nowak. “Then I started thinking about a lot of those younger kids who played an important role in that team. A new person comes in and has a new system, I didn’t think it was fair to to them, so I decided to stick around.”

In 1971, Coach Nowak started his coaching career at Green Bay Premontre as the freshman coach. When three local schools (Green Bay Premontre, Abbot Pennings, and Saint Joseph’s Academy) combined in 1990, he became the Triton head coach. He has led teams to a WISAA championship in 1992, and WIAA titles in 2003 and 2015. In addition to coaching football at NDA, he is also the physical education teacher and track coach.

Coach Nowak met with the boys to inform them that he is only coaching for one more year. His message to the boys was to keep working hard if not harder than last year because the team has big shoes to fill.

The returning players next year are thrilled that he will be coaching for one more year, mostly the current juniors who will get to share their last year with him as seniors.

“It is exciting being the last team to play for someone who has such a great history of coaching,” junior running back Nate Ihlenfeldt said. “Hopefully we can give him another great season that he will never forget.”

Coach Nowak has brought much success to many NDA football teams. He has affected everyone whom he has coached.

“There was never really a dull moment with coach,” senior wide receiver and kicker Vinny Pallini said.  “He pushed us every day whether it was lifting, practice or games. He knows how to get the best out of each of us as players and that was a big reason why we were able to be so successful.”

“Playing for Coach Nowak was like playing for your dad,” senior quarterback Robert Petitjean said. “He is very hard on players who can take it and pushed me specifically into becoming the best player I could possibly be. I have never seen a coach like him bring a team together as well as he does every year. He is definitely the reason we went so far this past season.”

Lastly, senior lineman Blake Olejniczak said, “It was a great experience to play for Coach Nowak. It was so awesome to play for a guy who cared so much about his players, the program, the school, and the game of football itself. He has taught me so much on and off the field. I would not have wanted to play for anyone else.”