The Man, The Myth, The Legend

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Coach Balash, posing for his staff picture.

Coach Balash, posing for his staff picture.

Forty Six years.  Coach Steve Balash, has given Hobart High School 46 years of his life, and that is only counting the years he has been working at the High school! Every year he coached three sports- football, wrestling, and track- coaching a total of 140 seasons! He has such a strong legacy, as the head coach in wrestling he took 64 kids to state, and had 8 state champions! Which is absolutely amazing. As an assistant coach for football, he has had 4 state championships. Even for track, he has taken 24 kids down to state, though he did not have any state champions, a lot of the kids placed, which is still impressive. When Coach Balash was asked what is was like to have such a successful legacy he answered: “Well when I started out I didn’t plan on anything winning awards or anything I just wanted to teach kids and luckily the more you do it the better you get at it and things come along your way”. It is amazing, as a coach, Balash is so involved, and puts his 100% in his coaching. When Balash was asked what keeps you motivated to come back and coach, he answered:“ a lot of it is, there’s always that next kid that has a lot of talent and you want to see what you can get out of them”. Coach Balash is such a genuine guy, he spent most his life trying to teach kids, and make them the best they can be. When he was asked about what advice he would get striving athletes he said, “reach for the most impossible goal you want, I mean want to be a state champion, but if you get third it’s still a tremendous effort, so reach for your highest goal”.

Many describe Balash as an icon, an inspiration, a role model, and those are only some of the things countless people would call him when asked about their opinion on him. He gives his 100 percent always, except for when he had some health issues a few years back and had to miss a year of school. It was so difficult for him, considering how much he loves his job, but because he was so weak, the only focus he had was to get better. When he was sick he lost 80 pounds,  he couldn’t stand very long, so he would bring a chair out and try to coach football and wrestling, and track, and that affected him, because he wanted to be up and about and do everything, and he wanted to give his full potential. When asked how his health issues affected him mentally he responded “it got really bad, I was depressed, I stayed in bed, I laid on the couch, I would never go out of the house, so that was pretty bad, but my wife was a saint and she worked me through it”. It is so hard to believe that Balash, the man who spreads positivity, was so down. It is heartbreaking hearing about Coach Balash fighting this illness, but also inspiring how he fought it, and came out stronger than ever. When asked how much longer we had Coach Balash, he answered smiling, “I’m not sure, I’m taking 1 year at a time, I’ve already signed up for next year”. Balash is an inspiration and an amazing role model to athletes. This school is blessed to have had him for so long, and hopefully, the upcoming athletes get to appreciate his genuine personality and great coaching.

Coach Balash’s senior picture from 1968.

 

Steve Balash in 1967, during his high school football career.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “The Man, The Myth, The Legend”

  1. Bill SeDoris on April 6th, 2018 4:36 pm

    One of the greatest coaches, and inspirations I have had in my life. A memory that sticks in my head was a after a football game, not my best. I sat alone, dejected. Last one in the locker room and coach came over. We didn’t talk much, but his presence was there and meant a lot. Get up, tackle the next day, and do better. Thank you coach.

  2. Jack W. Overturf on April 7th, 2018 9:58 pm

    Coach Balash is a great coach and a great man. Had so many good memories of playing basketball with him and against him. He was always easy to approach and talk to,giving advice where needed. Definitely, one of my favorite coaches or teachers I had the pleasure to meet.

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The Man, The Myth, The Legend