Lowell Scearcy's coaching career started in Pillager and now might end there.
At Monday's Pillager School Board meeting, Superintendent Chuck Arns announced that Scearcy has agreed to become the Huskies' head football coach.
The 61-year-old Scearcy, who graduated from Pillager in 1963, returns to where his teaching and coaching careers began.
"I always thought I would some day come back and coach at Pillager, but I always thought it would be as a volunteer assistant" said Scearcy. "When Chuck offered me the opportunity to return as a football coach, the more I thought about it, the more excited I became."
Scearcy spent the last 34 seasons as a coach for the Central Lakes College Raiders. He was the Raiders' head coach the past two seasons. He was the longest-tenured community college football coach in Minnesota, but after CLC hired new head coach Greg Medeck, Scearcy figured it was time to leave.
"The football program is in good hands with Greg," said Scearcy. "Greg brings a new energy to the program and has a great group of assistant coaches. I look for him to take the CLC football program to a new level.
"I want to thank the previous CLC football coaches, Al Kilgore, Al Holmes, Dennis Eastman and Mike Degen, for allowing me to work with them. I learned a great deal from each and every one of them."
Arns and Scearcy both know this isn't a long-term commitment. Scearcy conceded this is the home stretch in a hall of fame coaching career and he hopes to give the Pillager program a few good years.
He admitted there will be things he must get used to. For instance, athletes playing both sides of the ball. But Scearcy said he'll use his many contacts within the coaching community to help with the transition.
Family: Wife Diane, son Ryan, daughter Kim
High school: Pillager, 1963 graduate
College: Bemidji State University, 1967 graduate
Coaching experience: Baseball: Head Brainerd coach 35 seasons, 38 total; Football: assistant at Verndale three seasons; 34 seasons at Central Lakes College
Arns said Scearcy is respected throughout the state and is someone credible who can fill the hole the sports department had after Derek Schlieve left to coach college football.
"After Mr. Schlieve left I thought, well, who is the guy who would come over and help the district out," said Arns. "I saw Scearcy at a Pillager boys' basketball game against Bertha-Hewitt and I mentioned it to him. He was receptive to it. We just talked over the course of time and he gave me his verbal commitment last Wednesday.
"He has a strong pull to the community. This is an exciting opportunity."
After graduating from Bemidji State University, Scearcy went back to Pillager nearly 40 years to the day. There he taught six math classes and coached basketball, track and field and cross country. His wife, Diane, is also a Pillager graduate and Scearcy said she was excited about him taking the position.
"Sometimes the coaching career moves a person makes are not so much where you go, but when you choose to do it," Scearcy said. "This just seems like the right time in my career to come full circle. Pillager has what any coach is looking for - a group of eager, hard-working athletes along with a supportive administration and community."
JEREMY MILLSOP can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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