Mike Sherman invested two seasons trying to put his imprint on the Nauset Regional football program, instilling the tenets and core values he learned in a 37-year coaching career on college and NFL sidelines.
From the start, however, the 62-year-old Algonquin Regional grad never envisioned the position on a long-term basis. “I always believed that it was best that the head coach be in the school full time, where he could see the kids every day,” said Sherman in a telephone interview on Thursday afternoon. “You need to be able to recruit the players in the hallways.”
When Sherman learned in March that two physical education positions were opening, he told Nauset AD John Mattson that it might be a good time to transition to the right teacher/head coach.
Bruce Strunk, who compiled a 72-29 mark in an impressive nine-year run through last fall at Howard High (Md.), is the right teacher/coach, according to Sherman.
Now a Cape resident, Strunk has been hired as head football coach/phys. ed teacher.
And Sherman steps away after coaching at the high school level for the first time since 1978 in Stamford, Conn. Though the Warriors were not successful record-wise — 1-10 and 3-8 the past two years, respectively — he believes that he was able to instill his core values, having integrity, playing with passion, and giving back. “We hit a fair amount of kids, and that is a win in itself,” said Sherman, who with his wife, Karen, has resided in Dennis full time since 2014.
“I’ve had a lot of memorable experiences in my coaching career,” he added. “Nauset was one of them. We had a lot of fun. I would have come back if we didn’t find the right coach.”
Now he has another major project on his agenda.
In the past year, Sherman and a business partner, Warren Nighan, have been working on the development of Total Athletics of Cape Cod, a projected $12 million, 90,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor sports complex covering 8.5 acres in Hyannis. An Olympic-sized hockey rink, future home to a junior team, and a football field, which will be used by the St. John Paul II program, are part of the plans. “It’s a process,” said Sherman.Craig Larson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.