Mike Navarro Stadium: a microcosm of coaching excellence

October 7, 2016

August 26, 2016 was the home opener for the Sandburg Eagles varsity football team; a game they would go on to lose 42-14. Even though it wasn’t the Eagles best showing, the renaming of the stadium after former player and coach, Mike Navarro, provided a bright spot for those in attendance. The new sign bearing his name was revealed just before kickoff in front of Navarro’s family, friends, former players, and former colleagues who he impacted throughout his time at Sandburg. Hundreds of them crowded the tents behind the south end football field in order to support Coach Navarro.

The amount of people in the tents showed the magnitude and the impact Coach Navarro had on anyone he crossed paths with. His impact on Sandburg goes well beyond his accomplishments on the football field as a coach and a player. He is well deserving of the name sake of the stadium due to the amount of lives he changed and the records he set for our school.

Coach Fahey a PE teacher and Offensive Coordinator at Sandburg said, “Coach Navarro is the reason I am teacher and a coach. He mentored me and because of that I went back to school to become a teacher and a coach.”

Also Coach Fahey said, “He is one of the top four or five people that influenced my life.”

Coach Fahey appreciates all Mr. Navarro did for him as a coach. Navarro coached his peers in football and life. This trait is common among the highest regarded and well respected coaches across the sport. John Madden, Vince Lombardi, Don Shula and Mike Navarro are all hall of fame coaches who are known for their incredible impact on their players lives on and off of the field.

There is a direct correlation between being an amazing life coach and a great football coach.

Scott Peters, the Head Coach of the Sandburg Varsity Football Team says, “Everybody that coached with him has said they learned a ton, and still teach the things Navarro taught them today: attention to detail which includes everything from placement to technique.”

Mr. Balle, a Linebacker Coach for the Varsity Football Team said, “Navarro taught me to lighten up because you never knew what a kid was going through at home.”

This speaks volumes to Navarro’s character. He taught people to care for everyone around them like they were family, which earned him much respect from nearly everyone who spent time around him.

Coach Peters said, “Everyone I’ve talked to says he is a top notch person, and that he would do anything for you.”

With that being said, the people who knew Navarro personally had no doubt in their minds that the stadium should be named after him.. They weren’t surprised when they heard the news of the dedication, they felt Navarro deserved the recognition for a long time.

The dedication itself was seen as a great thing for the school and a special moment for Navarro and his family. It was a once in a lifetime experience for all who witnessed.
Coach Peters said, “It was a unique experience, to be able to experience that was obviously a special moment for our school”

As much as the dedication was appreciated by others, Navarro’s emotions when the sign was revealed matched that tenfold. While standing on the field Navarro was overcome with tears of joy and receiving hugs from all of his loved ones.

Coach Balle said, “I thought it was awesome, I talked to him before the game and he was emotionally overwhelmed”

The sign is a microcosm of the excellence Navarro displayed in his coaching, teaching and character. The love and respect he receives from all of those he has impacted over the years proves that it’s been a long time coming for the new Mike Navarro stadium. Thanks to the newly named stadium, Mike Navarro’s legacy will live on for years to come in the community.

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