Beloved Linden High School coach retires after 50 years

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A Linden High school coach who coached six different sports over his career will be retiring after 50 years.

“I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s been a whirlwind. It went so fast,” says coach Wayne Mehalick.

After finishing his 27th season as the head coach of the girls’ soccer team, Mehalick says that it is time to move on. He also coached football, softball, winter and spring track and cross country.

Mehalick, 71, says that one of his proudest moments was being able to coach the 1981 championship track team. A semi-final softball win in the county tournament over Cranford also is a fond memory.

Mehalick says that some health issues have slowed him down, so he wants to spend more time doing other things.

“I want to spend more time playing golf. I have a place in South Carolina, so I want to watch my daughter coach. She’s a head coach at Drew University,” he says.

Mehalick says that he knows that he will miss coaching. He says that he truly appreciates all of the players who have reached out to him to tell him about the impact he has had on their lives.

“The kids, the outpouring of compassion and the devotion to the sport and things I asked them to do. It’s been fantastic. It’s been a great run,” he says.

Mehalick also taught biology for 37 years at the school, which he also attended as a teen.

The coach says that he enjoyed coaching girls more than boys because the girls were “no-nonsense.”

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