ESCANABA - Dave Wilson has said he's always considered himself a teacher and a coach. The opportunity has arrived for him to return to his roots and on Tuesday, WIlson said he will take that path.
Wilson announced his resignation as Athletic Director at Escanaba High School after seven years of holding that position. During that time, a man many came to know as the face of the Eskymos achieved much as a communicator, a promoter of athletics and a proponent of academics.
"There's no real reason why," Wilson said. "I've just always considered myself a teacher and a coach. I was a teacher and coach for eight years before I was an Athletic Director for the last seven. There is an opportunity for me to go back to doing that. This is what I want to do. It's a tough job, it's not an easy job.
"I'm not mad or vindictive at anyone," Wilson continued. "Obviously, I have a younger family, I want to spend more time with them. It's a good time right now. I've enjoyed working with everyone. I'm a proud Eskymo."
Wilson said he plans on staying on as AD at least through the end of July and into August. Afterward he will remain at Escanaba as a teacher and possibly a coach.
"I don't know if I'll coach right away, but I want to coach something," he said.
Of Wilson's many successes as Athletic Director he said he was most proud of raising the bar on academics for athletes at Escanaba. Other highlights for him included witnessing Escanaba's athletic successes on the field.
"The biggest thing I'm proud of is all the academic achievements kids have gotten," he said. "I tried to get the standards up for athletes. We were academic all-state in baseball, softball, hockey, boys basketball and football. Our GPA on all our teams was at least a 3.0, and I'm very proud of that.
"Watching the softball team make the state quarterfinal the last two years, watching our boys basketball team win the district - those were the highlights of this school year," Wilson continued. "It's lots of things that stand out. Coaches have really risen to expectations to put school first. Sports are extracurricular. There's a reason they call them student-athletes. They're both important, but student comes first."
Escanaba High School principal Doug Leisenring accepted Wilson's resignation and said it was bittersweet. Though the school will miss Wilson as AD, they will gain a teacher.
"I'm sad to see Dave go. He's a hard worker, loyal, and great with the kids," said Leisenring. "I support him. It's a step he needs to make, and selfishly, I'm happy I get to keep him as a teacher and a great coach."
Leisenring said the position will be posted internally and externally and that the position will be filled before the start of the 2014-15 school year.
"We'll be posting the job in the month of June and we hope to interview in July with a person selected to start in August," he said. "Hopefully we'll have a nice solid candidate."