Boys cross country

Prow leaving Valpo, to coach cross country at small school in Arizona

2014-06-12T18:45:00Z 2014-06-14T21:51:08Z Prow leaving Valpo, to coach cross country at small school in ArizonaJim Peters james.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com

Back in 1990, Valparaiso took a chance on a middle school coach from rival Portage, naming Mike Prow its boys cross country coach.

Twenty-four years later, with 21 state finals appearances, 11 top-five finishes and two titles on his resume, Prow is headed to warmer climes. He is departing Valpo and moving to Sedona, Ariz., where he will teach and coach boys and girls cross country at Camp Verde High School.

"I'm way too young to retire," Prow said. "I'm excited. I'm going somewhere where they want me. It's the perfect situation."

The 56-year old Prow is eligible to receive his pension from Valpo, having completed his 30th year of teaching, and opted to do so before changes in state laws negatively impact his earnings.

"I was retiring at Valpo regardless," he said.

Arizona has been a spring break destination for over a decade for Prow, who has an aunt in Sedona and a daughter who went to college in Tucson. While there, Prow met John Ortiz, a retired teacher transplanted from New York now coaching at Sedona Red Rock High School. Prow spent some time with Ortiz and his team, clerking a meet and attending the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., with him.

"I learned quite a bit," Prow said. "We had a good time hanging out. It was always in the back of my mind, the possibility of moving out that way some day."

Prow actually started sending out resumes last summer and applied at Camp Verde, though it had no openings at the time. Two days after returning from spring break, he received a phone call from the principal about a possible opening, which was confirmed by the end of April.

"I was the only candidate at that point," he said.

After a series of phone interviews and reference checks, a contract was offered. Prow accepted the position last week, notifying Valpo principal Reid Amones on Friday. He announced it to the distance runners after the state meet.

"The timing is perfect," Prow said. "'AC' (Assistant coach Aaron Crague) just got his P.E. teaching license. I want him to get the job. We had a good bunch of seniors this year and last year. The kids got medals. Everybody was excited. I was like, 'OK, let's go.'"

The Camp Verde school board approved Prow's hire Tuesday. Arizona ranks 49th in teacher pay nationally, but with teaching, coaching and his pension, Prow said he will be a little ahead of where he was here financially.

"There weren't any speeches," he said. "I didn't want any of that kind of stuff. I'm not about that."

Prow plans to coach and teach for about a decade and return to the region, specifically Porter County. He headed to Arizona on Thursday to finalize the paper work with Camp Verde, a school of about 450, roughly the size of one grade at Valpo. The girls team only had four runners last year, the boys, eight.

"It's class, so I've been telling everybody, look out," Prow said. "I'll find five kids and get them to run fast."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best girls volleyball team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News