Saharsky resigns as West football coach
By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – The Green Bay West High School football team is searching for a new varsity head coach after John Saharsky recently stepped down.
Saharsky’s two-year run at the school didn’t result in many wins, but the Wildcats saw improvements in other areas.
“Over the course of the last two years, I have raised over $30,000 in cash donations and grants and the team won its first game in five seasons,” said Saharsky, who is a teacher at West. “We volunteered in the community and made sure to be seen. We have some businesses in the area which help, but we might not have the funding other school districts do.”
One of those volunteer opportunities came at the Green Bay New Community Shelter Oct. 22 when the West players helped serve soup to those in need with Packers offensive lineman David Bakhtiari.
“I became a football coach because of the importance of developing young athletes into young adults of character,” Saharsky said. “I coach because I believe young athletes need to learn to compete, sacrifice, persevere and work together as a team. These are the skills they need in this world, and I believe in teaching them through football.”
Saharsky stepped down in part because he said more needs to be done at West compared to the other Green Bay public schools.
“Most coaches who step down do it because of burnout,” he said. “I’m not burned out – coaching invigorated me. Inside West High School, the support is tremendous and awesome. In my opinion, in Green Bay as a whole, we need to rethink the importance of athletics. We have big questions with schools shutting down and our population decreasing. We need to show people outside of the school how awesome it is inside the walls at West. That’s why I always made sure to get my team out into the community.”
Saharsky said West’s academic report card was as good as anyone else’s in the district, but it’s a matter of keeping kids in the school and getting the word out.
“Right now, things are based on the numbers,” Saharsky said. “I don’t feel we can do that any longer – it needs to be based on need. We have great kids at West, but honestly, we probably have a greater need than the other public schools in Green Bay. Our population is 100 percent free and reduced lunch. West is awesome, so how can we give it more resources and funnel more kids over there? We had a great report card.”
Saharsky said he will coach again.
“I want to coach again, but I want to do it correctly,” he said. “The kids at West mean so much to me, so I don’t want to be hopping from place to place. It’s important for everyone to realize I am a teacher first – coaching is teaching.”
West, which was a member of the Bay Conference, will be joining the Fox River Classic Conference-2 division for football only with Green Bay East, Manitowoc Lincoln, Menasha, Notre Dame Academy, Sheboygan North and Sheboygan South beginning with the 2020 season.