BY DENNIS CHASE firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Mark Fisher, who led Glen Lake to three state downhill ski championships, is stepping down.
Fisher informed school officials of his decision Monday.
“I’ve been involved in skiing for a lot of years,” he said. “It’s been such a big part of my life. I love the kids. I love standing at the bottom of the hill, talking to the kids, working with the kids.
“But some things are evolving in my life. We have an opportunity to go out west and spend some time. I have a daughter, who lives in Colorado, and a granddaughter, who is one.”
Of course, that trip will enable Fisher to — what else? — ski.
“You dream about spending time out west and it’s kind of my time to live the dream,” he said.
Fisher, who turns 61 in a few days, said he’ll continue to be active in skiing here.
“I’m not going away,” he said. “I’m just stepping back. This will allow me more time to work with the Leelanau Ski Club and work with the middle school program.”
And, perhaps, volunteer with the varsity.
“I knew the time was coming, but one just sort of hopes that it doesn’t come and that he continues,” Glen Lake athletic director Mark Mattson said in an e-mail. “Needless to say, I am extremely sorry to see him retire, but at least he promises to ‘hang around’ and help the new coach adjust to what it takes to be a varsity head coach.”
The job will be posted. Fisher believes his assistant, John Kasben, is well suited for it.
Fisher led the girls to state titles in 1998 and 1999 and the boys in 2004. The two teams had a combined four state runner-up finishes.
In addition, the girls won 13 league titles and five regionals. The boys captured 11 league crowns and four regionals. Fisher coached 11 individual state champions, including his sons Peter and Kevin.
“We have a great program,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of success.
“But if you’re going to do it right, it has to be 100 percent. It’s a good time to let some one else do it.”
Fisher has almost 40 years in coaching. He started the Leelanau School program in 1975, then moved on to Glen Lake, where he’s been the coach for 23 years. One of his great joys, he said, was coaching his children. He now works with one of his sons in the Glen Arbor office of Coldwell Banker Schmidt Real Estate.