Get to Know new Gator Coach Don Militzer
Posted April 26, 2013 12:46 am
The search for the Gateway Gators head coach has finally come to an end. The lucky winner who inherits arguably the most athletic team in the WPIAL is Head Coach Don Militzer. Finestpreps.com got a chance to meet up with the new Gator head coach and get him acclimated to the WPIAL with a Q&A session to get people to know him better.
To get a little background on Don Militzer, he seems like your typical high school football coach with the credentials to be a high school head coach. He has a wife and three kids, and is the vice principle of St. Thomas Moore grade school in Bethel Park. His hobbies include working out and football. His previous coaching experiences include 3 years at Bishop Canevin working with a lot of positions there. He then went on to coach running backs and defensive backs at Peters Township for a year. From there he went to Carnegie Mellon University where he coached linebackers for three years, and then from there he went to Washington and Jefferson coaching runningbacks for two years. After that he went on to be the defensive coordinator at Carlynton for two years. He now finds himself as the head coach at the National Powerhouse Gateway High School.
Now that we have some background on coach Militzer, here is what he had to say in a Q&A interview:
Finestpreps: Are you an offensive guy or defensive guy? What’s your mindset when coaching?
Don Militzer: Im kind of both, I’ll have my nose in the defense but I’m going to call the offensive plays… I’m an up-tempo spread kind of guy; we’re going to try to get these kids the ball in space.
FP: What are you bringing to Gateway that is unique that the other candidates couldn’t bring to the job that you think you can?
DM: I’m very enthusiastic, I’m the kind of guy that can rally everyone together and get the kids to jump on board with what I’m doing. I can also bring a lot of experience. I’ve been with a lot of different places and coached at different levels… We’re bringing in an offense that works to our kid’s advantages because lets face it I’ve inherited a very talented football team. So I think I’m able to bring that up-tempo spread style that will utilize all of our kids. We’re gonna get up to the line, get some quick passes and get our kids into open space. We’re also gonna pound the rock a little bit too, we are going to be a very fun team to watch. We’re going to find all different sorts of ways to get kids the football.
FP: Have you done research on the Gateway roster beforehand? Have you been looking at their film from previous years?
DM: Absolutely, I’ve been watching film for the past three or four days when I knew my name had a chance to be picked by the board. I actually started before that, I watched some when I started interviewing, because you have to have an idea of what the roster has. I’ve been studying them trying to find out about the team… The best thing is, is that these kids know how to win. You can see on the film that they’re hungry and aggressive.
FP: How did your first experience with the team go?
DM: I think it went well. My biggest thing today is trying to get the kids excited with the things we are trying to do, and they all seemed excited. I just wanted to get them enthusiastic today and let them know I have high expectations and I think that’s what they wanted to hear because they are winners and they want to win, because our main goal is to end up in Hershey.
FP: Is there any pressure going to such a prestigious high school program like Gateway?
DM: No, because I’ve been other places. If I had only been at a single A program it would be different but since I have five years of college under my belt, schemes and things like that are not going to phase me, and since I’ve been an administrator the past few years, it has learned how to help me deal with any kind of organization stuff that may come my way. I think the pressure is going to be the pressure I put on myself and my staff to make sure that we’re getting the most out of these kids and winning football games. I don’t listen to any noise outside of our program I just listen to the things we have in our office.
We wish Coach Militzer and the Gateway Gators good luck on their upcoming season!