Genoa’s Spiess set to retire

First an assistant, then head coach of successful turnaround

3/29/2014
BY STEVE JUNGA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Genoa head football coach Tim Spiess in a game last fall.
Genoa head football coach Tim Spiess in a game last fall.

GENOA — Following seven memorable years teaching and coaching football at Genoa, including the last two as head coach, Tim Spiess has announced he will be leaving.

“After 30 years in education I have decided to retire,” said Spiess, who turns 52 today. “I am also retiring as head football coach at Genoa. I have had so much fun helping coach [Mike] Vicars in rebuilding this once-proud program.”

Spiess will retire, but he will not be without future employment options.

His wife, Lee Ann, also plans to retire this year after 31 years as a teacher with Toledo Public Schools, and the couple has friends in Missouri.

A move to that state is a possibility for them and their two junior high sons, Marek and Brennan. Their oldest son, Quentin, who played at Genoa and will graduate in June, will be headed to college.

If Spiess and his family relocate to Missouri, it will be so Tim can join the new staff of highly successful former Kenton coach Mike Mauk at Glendale High School in Springfield.

Mauk concluded his tenure with the Bulldogs last fall after guiding Kenton to 220 wins and two state championships in 31 seasons. He will be moving closer to the University of Missouri in Columbia, where son Maty Mauk is currently a quarterback for coach Gary Pinkel’s Tigers. Coach Mauk’s daughter graduated from Evangel University in Springfield, and still resides there with her husband and family.

Spiess
Spiess

Mike Mauk has offered Spiess the position of defensive coordinator at Glendale. Because of his wife’s ties to Springfield, Spiess and his family have vacationed there in the past.

“We were out there a month ago checking things out, and that’s an offer that’s on the table that I’m still considering,” Spiess said. “I’ve always had a great deal of respect for coach Mauk. “I think he’s going to build a national power there.

“I know the type of coach he is, and it’s just a fantastic opportunity for him and his family. He’s asked us to join him out there to run his defense, but I’m still weighing that option.

“My wife’s best friend lives there, and we’ve vacationed there. It is something to consider, but I haven’t committed to anything yet."

Spiess dismissed the idea that he would join former Genoa head coach Mike Vicars at Swanton, where Spiess has owned a home since 1999.

Vicars returned to coach Delta last season, after having had a successful run there from 1999-2006. But he resigned his administrative and coaching positions last week to accept an educational post and head football coaching position at Swanton.

“That’s purely speculation,” Spiess said of rejoining Vicars. “I do live in the Swanton school district, and I think a great deal of their leadership. But I have not applied at Swanton.”

With Vicars as Genoa’s head coach, and Spiess as his defensive coordinator, they inherited a program in 2007 that had gone 9-31 the previous four years.

Genoa went 56-7 overall (48-2 regular season) with four Suburban Lakes League titles in five years with Vicars as head coach from 2007-2011. Spiess took over as head coach in 2012 and went 21-2 overall (20-0 regular season) the last two seasons.

“I’ve always thought that I was a better assistant coach than a head coach,” said Spiess, who also was an assistant at Liberty Center under Rex Lingruen in the 1990s and 2000s. “I really do work better when I’m helping other people.

“At this point I don’t have any applications in at any other school in Ohio. My wife is also retiring this year, and we’re taking a leap of faith actually.”

The seven-year Vicars-Spiess stretch at Genoa included a combined 77-9 overall record, an Ohio-best 68-2 regular-season record, a 48-game regular-season winning streak (2007-2011), six league titles (two Northern Buckeye Conference, four SLL), and playoff appearances all seven years. The Comets also scored a state-best 3,996 points in that span.

Spiess points to these numbers — and the fact that the Genoa junior varsity is currently riding a 56-game winning streak — as evidence that his successor will arrive to an ideal situation.

“We have a great nucleus coming back at Genoa, so whoever the new coach is, he’s going to step into a great situation,” Spiess said. “We have a great fan base at Genoa, I’ve always said we have the best weight room in Ohio, and we return a strong nucleus on both sides of the ball.

“This program is in a lot better shape today than the one Mike Vicars inherited seven years ago.”

Contact Steve Junga at: sjunga@theblade.com, or 419-724-6461 or on Twitter@JungaBlade.