July 20, 2019

FOOTBALL: LaPorte Coach Dave Sharpe Resigns

LAPORTE — LaPorte football coach Dave Sharpe, has resigned from his position, effective immediately, he announced at a Tuesday press conference.

He and his wife, Kristen, along with their two kids, Lindsey and Katelyn, will be moving to Indianapolis following the end of the 2018-19 school year.

The move came down to personal factors as it will put the family closer to Riley Children’s Hospital, where Kristen has become a member of the hospital’s advisory council. Dave and Kristen’s son, Jacob, passed away at the age of 1 on June 4, 2018 after battling dural sinus thrombosis and arterio-venous fistulas in the brain.

“My wife and I have had long discussions since the season has ended, and our reasons are many. Primarily, since our son died in June, we have felt a huge emptiness and void,” Dave Sharpe said. “Since Jacob died, we’ve become really close friends with the nurses, doctors and the whole team that took care of Jacob throughout his life. They have been great over the last few months and have become lifelong friends and will really help us in Indianapolis.”

He said the move will also be important for the Jacob Sharpe Foundation, a non-profit organization that the Sharpe’s founded dedicated to providing funds for families to honor their child’s life through memorial and funeral services.

 “We feel a great call and pull to be there to really get more traction on our foundation,” Sharpe said. “We really feel the need to be near Riley and continue to volunteer there and just do what we can. We think that’s gonna help with our healing.”

Kristen Sharpe will seamlessly transition to Indianapolis for her job at Crowe LLP, while Dave, a social studies teacher, said he’ll start doing his homework on where he fits in before applying at schools.

“I’d love to still coach or teach somewhere,” Sharpe said. “I don’t know if I’ll be head coach or assistant coach, but I know I can’t live without football and I hope to land on my feet somewhere soon.”

Sharpe informed the team of his decision at a team banquet on Monday, calling it very difficult, but ultimately the best move for his family.

“When it came to our bye week (in October), I had a couple days to catch my breath and it all started to hit me in different ways,” Sharpe said. “Kristen is in Indianapolis maybe a month out of the year and we talked about how we both just felt a need to be in Indianapolis. It’s been a crazy episode of our lives. We’ll be forever changed by it, but we feel like we’re going to be happier down there.”

LaPorte Athletic Director Ed Gilliland said the job will be posted as soon as possible and the information will be distributed to various coaches’ administrations. He hopes to take applications through December and maybe the first part of January before setting up interviews for the middle to end of January.

There are a lot of us who have an emotional tie to the Sharpe family,” Gilliland said. “Not only just above and beyond football, it’s a great family. We hate to lose young professionals in LaPorte, so I’m disappointed to see him go, but I certainly understand. I will help him and support him any way I can and I wish him nothing but the best.”

Sharpe was 26-17 in his four years at LaPorte, including a Duneland Athletic Conference championship in 2016, the Slicers’ first since 2003.

“I’ll miss the type of kids we have here and the coaching staff, particularly Bob James, Ryan Sosinski, and Robby Schellinger,” Sharpe said. “Those three were on staff when I was hired after Bob (Schellinger) retired and they were great to me and loyal from day one. I can’t thank them enough for buying into everything I wanted to do.

“I hope to follow them from afar and I wish nothing but the best for the Slicers. I think we have great kids and it’s a great place to work.”

Information on the Jacob Sharpe foundation can be found at

www.jacobsharpefoundation.org.

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