'We got nowhere to go but up': Josh SeKoch embraces Youngker football coaching challenge

·2 min read
Valley Vista head coach Josh SeKoch on the sideline of their high school football game on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, at Valley Vista High School in Surprise, Ariz.
Valley Vista head coach Josh SeKoch on the sideline of their high school football game on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, at Valley Vista High School in Surprise, Ariz.

Former Surprise Valley Vista football coach Josh SeKoch, after a year away from leading a program, is taking on the Buckeye Youngker challenge.

He recently was hired to take over a program that won two games last season and has had only had one winning season (7-4 in 2017) in its 10-year history.

"When the Youngker job opened up, many of us in coaching know they haven’t been successful," said SeKoch, who had success building Valley Vista. "People aren’t even aware it’s there."

But SeKoch knows it is a growing area.

He knew the athletic director, Tonya Lee, from when they both were teachers at Valley Vista. Principal Mike Sivertson has an athletics background.

"Looking at those things, meeting the administration team, when they offered I jumped at it," SeKoch said. "Every coach wants a challenge. For some it’s to make the Open or win the title. For some, it’s just to compete.

"My wife Amy said, 'Quit pretending you don’t want another challenge.' "

After leaving Valley Vista last year, he took the summer off and for the first time since 1996 went on a drive across the country sight-seeing with his son.

Then, Peoria coach Will Babb (who recently stepped down) offered SeKoch a spot on his staff.

"The year away was supposed to be permanent as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a head coach again," SeKoch said. "But coming to coach with Babb at Peoria and seeing his positive mindset daily, people would be surprised to see what he did to keep the program running.

"But what it did was allow me to step back, learn."

SeKoch believes the Youngker program can grow. It won only two games last season and went 0-4 during the 2020 COVID season.

"We want to beat the other Buckeye schools and we want to send student-athletes to college," he said. "The facilities are great, support is great. It’s on me to put it all together. Like the kids say, 'You don't want the smoke.' Well, I guess I do. I want this challenge. I want this opportunity.

"We got nowhere to go but up. We are gonna put in the time, effort and energy to never be mediocre in class and on the field. That year off filled my tank, brought my juice back. I’m a West Valley type guy growing up in Allentown, PA."

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him on Twitter @azc_obert.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Josh SeKoch embraces Youngker football coaching challenge

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