ESCANABA - With the annoucement of Escanaba Athletic Director Dave Wilson's resignation comes a wave of support from coaches and colleagues both former and present. Wilson was highly respected among those that knew and worked with him on a daily basis and the feeling that Escanaba High School was losing a great administrator was shared across the board.
"Dave has been a great colleague of mine over the past years and I have a great deal of respect for him and the job he's done. Personally, we talk often, almost every day. I'm going to miss that friendship that we've shared in our positions," said Gladstone Athletic Director Matt Houle. "I'm the longest tenured AD in the U.P., and a lot of AD's are going in different directions - either retiring or going back to the classroom. There's a lot of stresses to the job, a lot of multi-tasking and time commitment.
"With Dave having some young children, I know that's a priority for him. When you become an AD...unfortunately I regret the many football and basektball games I missed with my sons, and I can't get those back. Dave is certainly a great friend and colleague, and I will miss him. I could call him if he was having a rough day and he could call me. Our conversations always ended in laughter. I know that friendship will endure, but I'll miss him being a colleague in reference to the position."
Numerous Escanaba coaches also offered their reactions to wilson's resignation.
"Dave did a tremendous job as Athletic Director. He always put the kids and coaches and the best interests of the entire program first. We'l miss him. His abcense in that position is going to be tough," said Escanaba varsity football coach Jim Hansen.
"I am happy for him. I know he wants to go back into the classroom and affect kids in a positive way and in a different way then he could as AD. He's doing it for the fight reasons and I couldn't be happier for him. I'm thankful for everything he did for me and I'm looking forward to working with him as a teacher."
"He's been around a long time. He's kind of the face of the Eskymos, having been a student here, a coach and a former player. His roots are here. He's always been there if you need to talk to him. If you have a problem, you call. He always has your back," said Escanaba varsity baseball coach Kirk Schwalbach.
"I understand his decision, but I don't know if there's anyone else who can fill his shoes. He's been at every event. When we leave, he's always there to say goodbye. He's a good communicator. He really cares about the kids and cares about the coaches. He always makes you feel important."
"Dave was a great AD and him and I had a great relationship. He's all about the kids and he treats his coaches with a lot of respect. Dave was always behind his coaches, whatever we needed, he would find a way in the budget to help us out. He was always supportive of me as a coach. He'll be sorely missed," said former Escanaba varsity girls basketball coach Kelly O'Connell.
"Dave put a lot of time in an it's a very strenuous job and he managed his time well. Coaches go through a lot of ups and downs, tough nights, and Dave was always reaching out to us, texting us with support after the games. He always reminded us that it's just a game. Tomorrow the kids go back to class and we go back to work. He always kept it in perspective."
"Dave Wilson certainly is an advocate for kids. He always wanted to see kids succeed in Escanaba athletics," said former Escanaba varsity football coach Dan Flynn. "He'll do well. He's a very good teacher and a good coach."
"Dave is a good friend of mine. As far as AD's go, you could never find a more supportive person than him. I'm sure every coach that has worked for him and coached under his stint as AD, it was a positive experience. He's certainly going to be missed," said Escanaba varsity wrestling coach Jamie Segorski.
"It's a sad day for coaches and athletes of Escanaba, but my hope is that he returns to the field and continues his career on the coaching side. You won't ever find a more positive influence for the kids. He's so respected and so loved by the kids. I hope he continues on the coaching side."