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Gallery: 2A baseball semistate: Whiting vs. Alexandria (Griffith football)

Adam Musielak, right, was promoted to be Griffith's interim football coach. He has been on the Panthers' staff for the past four years and also coaches baseball at Whiting.

Griffith didn’t search far for its new coach.

After four years as one of the Panthers’ assistant coaches, Adam Musielak will take over the program for the 2019 season. Musielak said athletic director Neil Dimos shared the news with him Monday and Thursday evening his one-year contract as an interim coach was approved during a Griffith school board meeting.

“Working with the guys I’ve been working with, working with the coaches that have been there for several years, I’m extremely excited,” said Musielak, who is also the Whiting baseball coach. “Knowing our system, knowing the Griffith community as a teacher in the elementary school, I love Griffith. We all know Griffith football is something special.”

Ben Geffert, the Panthers’ previous coach for the past four seasons, stepped down last month to accept a teaching position with the School Town of Munster. He announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he will be the Mustangs’ new offensive coordinator.

While Griffith conducted a search for Geffert’s replacement, Musielak said he and the remaining coaching staff made sure the team stayed on track. They’ve kept up their weight room sessions and conditioning, and he anticipates that his promotion will be much smoother because the players remained active and together.

“I think having a familiar face helps,” Musielak said. “We just wanted to keep the consistency that we’ve had throughout the summer.”

The Panthers finished the 2018 season at 8-3 and took home their second consecutive Greater South Shore Conference (South) title. Griffith lost to Lowell in the Class 4A Sectional semifinals, and Musielak said he will try to build on the team’s strong campaign.

In his first year at the helm, Musielak added that he isn’t looking at the upcoming season as a one-year audition for a permanent head coaching job. If the opportunity presented itself in the future, he will be ready. But even if the school decides to hire a different coach down the line, Musielak doesn’t plan on leaving the program any time soon.

“I love Griffith football,” Musielak said. “I love being a part of it.”

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Sports Reporter

James Boyd is the Lake County prep sports reporter for The Times. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a proud native of Romeoville, Illinois. Before anything else, his main goal in life is to spread love and light.