Dick Gallagher presents a JV high school coach profile on Kurt Diesfield, who coaches JV football at Clarence High School:
Why did you enter the coaching profession?
When I started coaching Little League football at the Town of Lancaster and youth sports at the YMCA I just knew I had an ability to communicate with athletes and coaching would provide me the best platform to impact the lives of young men both on and off the field.
What brings you the most satisfaction in coaching?
Knowing I have a strong impact on some of these athletes’ lives off the field means the world to me. At times I am an outlet to athletes who lack direction, motivation and accountability, and I feel it is my job to step in and help these young men when they need help. Seeing the athletes mature over the years and hearing them say meaningful responses during your communication are also satisfying moments.
What were your most memorable moments in coaching high school football?
I was lucky to be a part of book club, which was led by Coach Masters from Cross Training Football with coaches from all over WNY, and the club really helped me mature as a man. We read the book Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy and being a part of those conversations really opened my eyes to life as a coach and how much of an impact I could have on other people.
What is your primary role as a JV head coach?
As a JV head coach, my number one goal is to get these players ready for the Varsity level. The coaches I work with at Clarence are tremendous and we do an excellent job of installing a program wide philosophy and system that helps our teams be successful. Our JV staff also emphasizes accountability and how important it is to be a good teammate. The recruitment of players is also a role I feel is important and being able to coach basketball at the modified level at Clarence is a huge benefactor for our football program. We have a total of 50 athletes on the JV team this season and the goal is to increase these numbers every year.
What was the best teams you have coached?
Last season at Clarence was by far the best TEAM I have coached. We had some really talented players who had experience and were really coachable which helped us achieve an overall record of 8-2.
What were your most memorable moments in playing football?
I was fortunate to play at Lancaster under coach Jankiewicz during my high school years and being a part of the program was very memorable. The Lancaster-Depew week was very intense and ill never forget the bus ride to Depew with all the people on the streets at the atmosphere at both stadiums during my junior and senior seasons. The interactions with my teammates during games and knowing they had my back every play will be a memory that will last forever.
Who was your mentor?
Coach Jankiewicz played a huge role in my life and his impact he had on me as a player really shaped me into the man I am today. Whenever I see him WNY if it’s a game or event he still makes an impact with his thoughts and insight. I also spent a couple of years coaching basketball at Depew with Coach Larry Jones, Dan Seelig and Brian Wilson. All of these men played a huge part in my development as a coach as they helped me shape my philosophy and understanding of the lifestyle. I am also extremely lucky to have Coach Mark Layer in my life as a mentor. Mark has really shown me all the ins and outs of coaching and he has taken me under his wing. Mark takes time out to include me on everything and Im learning how to run an outstanding program from top to bottom.
How many years have you coached football?
I am going into my 9th season as a football coach and my second year as the head coach at Clarence.