Friday, April 22, 2016

Warriors Linebacker Coach Mike Weber Retires after 31 Years

Retired Linebacker Coach Mike Weber
Williamsport, PA - Every good thing comes to and end. That is the case with Warriors Linebacker Coach Mike Weber who has retired after 27 years of coaching. Weber played linebacker for Lycoming in the mid-1980s and was a member of the Warriors first national playoff team in 1985. All in all, he was associated with Lycoming for 31 years as a player and coach.

Weber had become an integral part of the Warriors’ defensive staff, joining the coaching staff in 1989 and helping the team to 11 conference titles and 11 NCAA Division III playoffs. A member of the staff of both national finalist teams in 1990 and 1997, Weber helped produce six All-Americans at the linebacker slot, including 2012 MAC Defensive Player of the Year Kabongo Bukasa, and he coached 25 all-conference players at the slot.

Mike Clark
Head Coach Mike Clark:
Lycoming Head Coach Mike Clark told me that he found out Tuesday, April 19th that Coach Weber was going to retire. Clark was in his office talking to someone when Weber appeared at his door. Coach Weber then headed down to Defensive Coach Steve Wiser's office. When Coach Clark was finished, Weber then handed in his resignation.

"I was disappointed," Coach Clark said, "Not with Weber, but with not having him on the team anymore." Clark continued to explain how much time the coaches put in and he knew that with Weber's son going into his senior year at Muncy High School, the family wanted to take care of coming priorities. Coach Weber is the Dean of Students in Muncy and his son, Michael plays baseball. So all of that makes it even harder when you consider the time needed to coach Division III football.

Coach Clark was quick to point to the many things Mike and wife Tanya did for the player outside of coaching. They fed the players and became so close to the 2012 defensive standout and MAC Defensive Player of the Year Kabongo Bukasa. Kabongo stated that they were like a mother and father to him. And there are many more players dedicated to the Webers.

Finally, I ask Coach Clark if he had any interesting stories of Coach Weber. He said, "No, nothing that stands out right now, but for sure there are no bad stories about him. Mike is a great person and he has a great family."

Steve Wiser
Steve Wiser Comments:
Mike worked for Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Steve Wiser for all of his coaching career. When I talked to Coach Wiser he said that he was sad in a way, but glad for Mike. He had so much praise for Weber.

Coach Wiser said that he "lost a buddy!" Webby as he called him "was a friend, buddy, son, loyal and they were always on the same page. Mike was such a great influence on the young players. He was my sideline buddy," Steve continued. "Everything he did he wanted to do it well."

Steve was quick to comment about Mike's wife Tanya. During the football season, Mike and Tanya would have the defensive players to their home on Friday evenings for chicken and other goodies. Tanya also helped in the clothing store during the games and helped at the Annual Lycoming Football Golf Outing. She gave a lot of her time to Warrior football.

Wise Remember's One Story:
"There was one story about Mike that stuck in Coach Wiser's mind over the years, Steve recollected.  It was during Frank Girardi's last year of coaching and the team was struggling a bit. The defensive staff and players were having a meeting discussing the situation. Then Coach Weber spoke up!"

"You guys know that I am a man of few words," Coach Weber stated. Well, those few words lasted 40 minutes Wiser said as he chuckled. Wow, Webby, a man of few words he grinned. 

Coach Wiser finished talking about coaching Mike in the mid 80's. "Weber played linebacker and was on the first undefeated regular season football team in 1985."

Steve concluded praising Coach Weber for being such a great player, great coach and a great friend.

Retired Head Coach Frank Girardi
Frank Girardi Comments:
"I remember recruiting Mike and his brother from Marian Catholic High School in the mid-eighties," Coach G said. 

"He played during the first undefeated football season in 1985. Then I hired him as a linebacker coach. He was a loyal coach and did a great job for us. He treated the kids so well which was very important for any of our coaches. He was a good communicator," Frank concluded.

John Green '77
John Green Summary:
For me personally, I have been covering Lycoming home and away football games for 20 years now and Coach Weber always made it a point to come over and shake my hand and say hi. He would ask me how I am doing. He was always interested in the fans. 

I watched him on the sidelines and he was a joy to watch. The interaction with the players, the screaming calls from the sideline to the players during the game, and the chess match played against the opponent offense was fun to watch. 

I have to say that I will be saddened in the 2016 season when I do not see you Mike Weber on the sidelines with Steve Wiser. It will be very different. So from a Lycoming Alumni, football fan and friend, I want to wish you "All the best in the coming years. May your family enjoy your adventures as your son starts his last year of high school and heads into college. And I know the coaches, players and fans of Lycoming Football wish you well! Go Warriors!"

By John Green '77
Lycoming Football Fan

Mike Weber (Second from left) 2014 Defensive Coaches - Lycoming MAC Co-Champions
Mike Weber (Top Row second from left) 2014 Defensive Coaches and players - Lycoming MAC Co-Champions