Prep football: Sinnaeve drops football from busy calendar

GWINN – The time commitment can be quite a burden for a high school varsity head coach, no matter the sport, if he or she wants to have a program that squeezes every ounce out of the talent available.

Multiply that by two, and in the two biggest sports at just about any school, and it’s obvious how it could become a recipe for burnout.

That’s the dilemma faced by Darren Sinnaeve, the head coach of both the Gwinn varsity football and varsity boys basketball programs.

It’s why he decided to step down from the top position after two years with the football program at the conclusion of the recently completed season. He’ll keep his spot as he has begun his 14th year as head basketball coach, however, compiling a mark of 121-164 entering Friday’s game at Manistique.

“At times it was just overwhelming,” Sinnaeve, 49, said in an interview before watching the Modeltowner girls basketball team play at home on Thursday night. “It’s my 29th year with the football program as an assistant coach, JV coach or head coach, and I’d still love to stay with the program if they want me.

“I thought it was an opportunity too good to pass up,” he said about taking the head varsity football position about 2 1/2 years ago and putting together a 5-13 record in two seasons. “And I’m still glad I did it.

“It was as much because I had a familiarity with our kids having success (on the JV level). But with all injuries this season, it turned out to be much different than we expected this season.”

Gwinn athletic director Rob Soyring said the position has been posted, including in The Mining Journal, and he hopes to take applications this month and conduct the interviewing process in January.

“Darren was good enough to let me know right after the season was over,” Soyring said. “To go from varsity football, with all the time you have to put into that, into varsity basketball, it’s just not a lot of downtime.

“We’d like to get the position filled sooner rather than later so we don’t lose any momentum with our off-season conditioning program.”

He lauded the program’s set of assistant coaches, in particular head JV coach Dion Brown, for taking over that off-season program.

For more information on the position, call Soyring at Gwinn High School at 346-9247.