HAMMOND | Retirement can be scary.
Greg Jancich never doubted he was ready, at age 76.
On Wednesday, he'll walk out the door at Morton High School for the last time, capping a 49-year teaching career, 33 of it coaching baseball for the Governors.
The 1954 Whiting grad and three-sport standout pitched in the Reds and Padres farm system (1958-63).
Jancich coached baseball at Morton from 1964 through '96, much of it as an assistant to the legendary Jack Georgas. He became the head coach in '84, winning four sectional championships and two Lake Shore Conference titles while helping to develop several major league prospects.
"People ask: 'Do you miss coaching?' but if you leave everything out on the field and you leave everything in the classroom that you can possibly give, what are you giving up?" Jancich said.
"You gave it your all."
Jancich also starred in baseball and basketball at St. Joseph College in Rensselaer. In 2008, he was inducted into the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame.
"What separates him from many former coaches is that he was a teacher first -- truly loved teaching (government/social studies)," said Morton grad Wes Lukoshus, who played freshman basketball for Jancich and is now the assistant vice chancellor for advancement/university studies at Purdue Calumet.
To Jancich, each day at Morton was a highlight.
"I was one of the few people who went to work in the morning with a smile on my face," he said. "I'd encounter these people heading to the mill growling and angry looking.
"But I just loved teaching so much, I enjoyed going to school, I really did. Teaching was special."
Jancich and wife Helen have been married 30 years. They have six children and 11 grandchildren, most of whom live in the area.
"So I'll be busy," he chuckled.
With no shortage of highlights.