Next season will be Mike Kosiara's last as the T.F. North baseball coach.
It will be his ninth as the Meteors coach and 34th in organized baseball in Calumet City and Lansing. The T.F. South grad and Valparaiso resident said it is time to step aside and watch his grandson play baseball. His reasoning is simple — he has spent too much time away from his wife, Joan, and his children and grandchildren.
"We have our eighth grandchild on the way in November and with my grandson Carter playing travel ball, I am missing too many games and practices," Kosiara said, including two of his other grandchildren as well. "Tatum, the oldest is involved in cheerleading at Wheeler High School, and Alyssa involved in volleyball and chorus."
He won't miss the commute from Valparaiso either. In eight seasons as Meteors coach he is 109-174. He took over a program that was at rock bottom and worked to get the Little League and feeder systems going. In 2009, North went 16-18 — its best record in several years and it finished with a winning conference record for the first time since 1979. Kosiara was The Times Coach of the Year in 2009.
"My wife will be happy seeing me around and I am sure with a big list of things to do," Kosiara said. "I hope to be traveling with her now that we are empty nesters and playing golf and driving my '67 Mustang around town."
The 1973 T.F. South grad played for hall of fame coach Bill Anderson and got his start playing in the Lansing Little League. He has held board positions in Calumet City Little League as vice president and president of the league, Calumet City Babe Ruth president for eight years and president of Southeast Suburban Babe Ruth League since 1992. He has also served as District 2 Babe Ruth Commissioner for six years and assistant state commissioner of Illinois for two years.
"It has been fun and rewarding. I am sure I will miss it greatly and have enjoyed my opportunity at T.F. North," Kosiara said. "I thank (North principal) Dr. (Dwayne) Evans and (former North athletic director) Therese McLauglin for the opportunity and working with (North athletic director) Dale (Pietranczyk) this past season.
Kosiara and his wife also established the Edward A. Kosiara Scholarship Award, which is given to a graduating T.F. North senior who is in the school's baseball program. It is named in honor of Mike's dad, who died in 2009.