Wall steps away from coaching for a year

By: Matt Long
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The stresses and workload of being a varsity basketball coach have caught up to Mike Wall. Folsom High’s head coach the last four years is taking a year off from being the head of the program. The 41-year-old coach will still be teaching economics at the school and will be behind-the-scenes helping out the program, but will not be coaching the varsity team, running practices or looking of the shoulder of the interim coach, whoever that might be. Folsom Athletic Director Matt Navone hopes to have Wall’s replacement in a few weeks. Wall said the time away will allow him to work on reorganizing how the program is run, while also spending more time with his family; wife, Stacey, and kids Jared, 12, and Cameron, 8. “I began thinking about this (stepping away for a year) last basketball season, but I got deep into the wheel of year-round offseason activity and I couldn’t pull away,” Wall said. “As soon as this season ended, I did some soul searching and knew I didn’t have the energy to give all year and didn’t think I’d be happy doing it so I decided to let someone else do it.” Wall described his meeting with Folsom High Principal Kathryn Allaman and Athletic Director Matt Navone as very positive, saying both parties are interested in keeping the continuity of the program in tact. Wall said he will be back for the 2011-12 season. He said by stepping away for a year, he would be able to reorganize the structure of the program, which would likely add to the longevity of his coaching career. “I want to reorganize it so it will allow me to be more efficient and less bogged down with the extra daily year-round responsibilities,” Wall said. “There are a lot of jobs I do as coach and I want to reorganize them so it’s not so much a day-to-day grind.” Like most coaches, Wall said the job consumes him and that he has trouble stepping back and focusing on the other things going on in his life, such as his family. Wall said he met with the players of the program on March 26 and told them of his decision and sent out an e-mail to the parents as well. Justin Woody, a sophomore who played on the varsity team this year and will be the only current varsity player around when Wall returns in 2011, was sad to hear that Wall was stepping away for a year. “I thought he would come back, so I was sad,” Woody said. “He’s a good coach. People think he’s hard on us, but he makes us better.” Woody said he will still stay in contact with Wall throughout the year and will ask him for advice when necessary.