New Wauwatosa East football coach Mike Richards will take over a struggling program this season.
And if the Red Raiders win one game in the rugged Greater Metro Conference, that will surpass the total of the past three seasons combined.
Oct. 10, 2008 was the last time the Red Raiders won a conference game as they won, 42-38, at West Allis Central. Since that time, the Red Raiders have lost 23 straight GMC games, going 0-7 the past three seasons.
So why would Richards take on this challenge?
"I teach here at school and I'm the only coach in the building," he said. "I enjoy the kids. They're good kids, hardworking and I want to see if I can get this program turned around.
"The kids know me. I have them in class. They get to see me as a teacher and a coach and I can see them both as a student and an athlete."
The administration felt that it was important to have someone on staff help with the transition.
"I think it's very important," Richards said. "It's going to make the transition very easy. In talking to our administration, they wanted to keep our staff together as best as they could.
"We're only bringing in two new coaches aboard. Everyone else has chosen to stay. I'm very happy with that. I think it also says something about me."
Richards' goal is simple this year.
"To get better, to improve," he said. "I know we have struggled to get wins. My goal is to improve each year. I want those juniors to be better as seniors and those kids who were sophomores last year to be better as juniors. Regardless of the situation, you always put forth your best effort.
"I told the boys - you can control your effort. The wins and losses will come. As a coach, all we can ask is give us your best effort and let the chips fall where they may."
Richards brings 18 years of experience to the helm, having started his career at Plymouth High School where he coached for eight seasons. A Plymouth native, Richards also played football for the Panthers and graduated from the school.
While at Plymouth, he spent his first seven years on the freshman level before coaching the defensive line on the varsity. Richards then came to Tosa East and just finished his ninth year of coaching with the Red Raiders.
After being the head freshman coach for his first five years, he has been the head JV coach and coached the varsity wide receivers the past four years.
He has also coached golf for the last eight years at the freshman and JV levels. He has taught physical education and health the past nine years.
"I've really enjoyed it," he said. "The kids here are great to work with both in and out of the classroom. I am also looking forward to coaching these kids again this year."
Richards emphasized to his team to act in a respectable way, both on and off the field.
"Always represent yourself, your school, your teammates, your family, in a very positive way," he said. "Take pride in wearing that Wauwatosa East jersey, because not every kid in the school gets to wear it."
East coaching staff
Mike Richards, Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs
Steve Radomski, Quarterbacks
Eric Halleen, Wide Receivers
Nick Schueller, Offensive Line
Pat Reid, Offensive Line
Jeff Kaszubowski, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
Nick Monreal, Linebackers
Charlie Mann, Defensive Line
Tim Reichelt, Special Teams Coordinator
Joey Carioti, Head Coach
DJ Cupertino, Assistant
Kasongo Kalumbula, Assistant
MIKE RICHARDS FILE
Education: Plymouth High School (1989), UW-Whitewater, UW-La Crosse (MA)
Hobbies: Golf, Exercise
Music: Country, Rock, Pop, Rap
TV Shows: Deadliest Catch, Duck Dynasty, Swamp People, Big Bang Theory, Last Man Standing
Movies: Tombstone, Rocky II, Longest Yard (original), Caddyshack
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