39 years in, Dave Cesky inducted into state football coach Hall of Fame – Baltimore Sun
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Fallston High School football coach Dave Cesky wrapped up 39 years as head of the Cougars grid program last fall.
And last month, Cesky was inducted into the Maryland High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in a ceremony held at the University of Maryland’s Gosset Football Center in College Park.
“Well, I think it’s the fact that you’re honored among the coaches that have been in Maryland. They take a lot into consideration, your service to the Maryland Coaches Association, being a member. Service to the school, the fact that I’ve been at one school for a long period of time was a real positive thing in my favor,” Cesky said Tuesday from his athletic director’s office at Fallston High.
Cesky’s induction follows five others from the county to be honored.
“It’s an honor if you’ve ever seen the list,” Cesky said. “I think there’s five Harford County coaches in there. My father [Al Cesky] was one, Jim Smith from Aberdeen, Macon Tucker was one, Bill Mackley from John Carroll, Bud Coakley from Edgewood.”
Al Cesky (Bel Air) was part of the first induction in 1988. Coakley followed in 1992 and Smith’s induction came in 1995. Mackley was honored in 2005-06 and Tucker (Aberdeen) in 2008-09.
“So, it’s a pretty tough list to be on, to be a member of that,” Cesky said.
Cesky’s induction makes three father-son duos to reach the Hall of Fame.
“That was one of the things the master of ceremonies brought up,” Cesky said.
In his 39 years, Cesky has won 217 games and the teams’ postseason successes have really come of late, although the Cougars are still in search of their first trip to the state semis. The Cougars have been a region runner-up three times, 2008, 2010 and 2013. They also lost in region semis in 2011 and 2014.
Cesky’s coaching stint began in Aberdeen, where he says the principal had him coach volleyball. Feeling the urge for football, Cesky says he went out after the volleyball practices and worked with the football team and head coach, the late George Connolly. In his second year, Cesky served as the Eagles offensive coordinator and no longer had to deal with volleyball.
So, why has Cesky been at Fallston so long and did he ever want something more?
“Never in college,” Cesky said of coaching the next level. “I always knew I’d stay in high school. Didn’t realize I’d stay this long. My first involvement with football, I was the manager for dad’s teams, the Bel Air Bobcats. That’s kind of where I got the passion and drive for being a football coach. Watching what my father was doing and just the kids, watching how they reacted to the coach.”
Cesky was also a football player, which was instrumental in his career.
“I was an average player in high school, average in college. I didn’t quit in college like a lot of other kids do,” Cesky said. “I just kept saying, it’s going to help me in coaching somehow. I was very fortunate to work two years at Aberdeen and when the job opened up at Fallston, I went for it and just fell in love with it.”
Even with 39 years and now the Hall of Fame honor, Cesky still has that love.
“The main thing is, you’re really instrumental in developing a young kid in the maturing of a young man and the fact that kids come back to see you all the time,” Cesky said. “I still see kids from Aberdeen. They really appreciate what you’ve done and the discipline that you’ve put through with them and especially in the sport of football.”
What really keeps him going, Cesky said: “It’s very tough. I’ve been involved with other sports, but football is a team sport and it takes a lot of individuals, passion and courage to continue with it. It’s a physical sport, so I think a lot of the life lessons you learn through winning and losing have carried over. That’s the kind of message that kids get back to me and say [I’ll never forget the two-a-days, the running of the hills.] You touch a larger number of kids with football.”
Cesky is married to Diane and they have three children; Jenna, Erin and Mike. Cesky proudly says he has eight grandchildren.
So, the biggest question that Cesky faces is, when is he done?
“It’s hard for me to walk away from the kids. You keep getting a group of kids and go, I want to see that quarterback through, or I want to see those guys go through,” Cesky said. “So I guess the time and point will come when I say, I’ve got to stop, but right now it just hasn’t.”