Scott Oman has prepared for this moment his entire coaching life.
A longtime area assistant, Oman had been on the Del Pittman’s staff at Gavit when Pittman lost his dual duties of head coach and Athletic Director earlier this year. Oman got the job as head coach and this Friday will take the clipboard and headphones for the first time as the boss.
“I’ve been in high school coaching for 20 years, so I guess you could say that I paid my dues,” Oman said. “I’m ready and I hope to see some success here this season.”
Oman is not the only one to assume a new 2008 job. Tim McCormick, who has been an assistant at Calumet, Bloom (Illinois), and Lake Station, got the Lake Station gig in April and Phil Mason will take over the pressurized position at Andrean.
Of the three, Mason is the one whose name should be most familiar to area football fans. His resume includes a two year stint at Clark where he went 6-14 in 1999-2000. He took over the Wheeler job n 2001 and in five seasons Mason went 26-23 with the undoubted highlight a 9-1 record in 2003 and a Lake Athletic Conference Blue Division championship with a 7-0 record.
Lake Station and Gavit are programs that will require patience. The Gladiators were 2-8 in 2007 (0-3 in the Great Lakes Athletic Conference) and last had a winning season in 2003 under Bill Melby. The last sectional success was in 1986 when the legendary Marty Jamrose led the Gladiators to a sectional championship.
The Eagles last had a winning season in 1998 when they went 8-5 and won a sectional title under Mike Hepp. Last season Lake Station went 2-8 and 2-3 in the Greater South Shore Conference.
Mason’s task is different at Andrean. The 59ers are accustomed to success and have not had a sub-500 season since 1995 when they went 4-6 as an Independent. In 2007, Andrean went 9-4 and 4-2 in the Northwest Crossroads Conference. There have been 17 sectional titles as well as five regional and four semi-state championships. In 2004 the State Championship Trophy made its way to 5959 Broadway.
“No matter what the situation is, stepping into a new job is always a challenge,” Oman said. “We’re looking to start something positive here and I plan on being here for a long time to make sure it does.”