By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
“Getting to Know” is an ongoing series that was created to spotlight the coaches and administrators that are guiding today’s Portage County student-athletes to be tomorrow’s leaders.
Today, we get to know Field High School boys soccer coach Kevin Sisak, who is in his first season leading the Falcons’ program and 14th year as a high school soccer head coach.
A: Munroe Falls, Ohio.
Q: High school?
A: Stow-Munroe Falls High School. Class of 2002. Played soccer and ran track.
A: University of Akron. Bachelor of Science in Physical Education (2007). Master of Science: Intervention Specialist (2014).
Q: Current occupation?
A: Field High School intervention specialist.
Q: What inspired you to become a coach?
A: I had my appendix removed at the beginning of my senior season in high school. I began to see the game from another perspective and realized there is another way to excel in soccer, and I started to visualize myself one day coaching.
Q: What makes being a coach at Field special to you?
A: Field has the best young people around. The student-athletes I have been around are coachable, they listen and they work hard. It also helps to have a ton of support from parents, community and administrators. I am reminded daily of how blessed I am to be able to represent and lead an amazing program with tremendous young men.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence?
A: Shawn Coakley, athletic director at Sandusky City Schools. Shawn taught me many things during my tenure at Sandusky High School, but most importantly how to teach young people and lead a program.
Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your playing days?
A: Warmups before a playoff game vs. Hudson during my junior year, I slipped on the track running after a ball and cracked the back of my head. I was so embarrassed that I got up and attempted to “play it cool.” In actuality, I was loopy for several days afterwards. In hindsight, I should have went into concussion protocol.
Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your coaching career?
A: I am a Type 1 diabetic and one time my blood sugar dropped extremely low during a game. I was so focused on the game and my team that I didn’t realize until it was almost too late. I saw the field turn like it was on a tilt, and I almost passed out. All I could do was take a knee and luckily the trainer was there. He mixed me up a sugary drink, and I was back on the sideline in about 10 minutes.
Q: Favorite TV show?
A: The Looming Tower.
Q: Favorite movie?
A: I don’t have one. My attention span watching movies is so bad (ask my wife), but I can tell you my favorite book is The Winners Manual by Jim Tressel.
Q: Favorite musical artist?
A: The Weeknd.
Q: Favorite food?
Q: Best vacation?
A: New York City. Every time.
Q: Favorite quote?
A: “Success is the sum of small efforts, day in and day out.”
Q: Describe your coaching philosophy?
A: My philosophy in coaching is that every day is an opportunity for my players and myself to learn and that we should embrace that. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new about the game, about ourselves, about teamwork and about leadership. Over time, I’ve learned that every team is different. So as a head coach, I have to quickly identify the strengths and weaknesses of the group early on, meet them where they’re at and grow the team from there. I want to leave places better than where I found them. I listen to those around me — especially my upperclassmen and assistant coaches. I value their feedback. I encourage players to think on their own, make good decisions and create some autonomy within the team. Lastly, and most importantly, my main message to my players is that success is a journey and not a destination, meaning that we, as a team, can’t ever settle and we can’t ever think that our work is done.
Q: Favorite restaurant?
A: Shake Shack (not Steak and Shake).
Q: Favorite teacher from high school?
A: Mr. Decker. Freshman English.
Q: Advice you would give the younger version of yourself?
A: Eat less fast food.
Q: Favorite coach from your playing days?
A: Kyle Kosmala, Stow High School.
Q: Coaching resume?
A: Coventry High School girls soccer assistant (2007-10); Coventry High School girls soccer head coach (2011-13); Sandusky High School boys soccer head coach (2014-17); Chippewa High School boys soccer head coach (2018); Field High School girls soccer head coach (2019-20); Field High School boys soccer head coach (2023).
Q: Favorite sports team?
A: Cleveland Browns and the USMNT.
Q: Favorite athlete then?
A: Tom Brady.
Q: Favorite athlete now?
A: Lionel Messi.
Q: First job as a teenager?
A: Paperboy for the Akron Beacon Journal.
Q: Family member that always gave you the best advice?
A: My dad and my brother. My dad has always given good feedback and recaps of games I’ve played in and that I’ve coached. Also, I value my brother’s perspective on leadership and the example he sets in his community and profession, so I’m able to take away a lot from him.
Q: Favorite video game?
A: NBA Live 95 for SNES.
Q: Can you play any instruments?
A: Piano lessons for eight years, and I can still play by ear.
Q: Favorite candy?
A: Sour Patch Kids.
Q: First car?
A: Gold Saturday (circa 2000).
Q: Best friends?
A: My wife Christina. She is my better half. She is the hardest working and most caring person you could ever meet. She restores my confidence when I need it, and we support each other in all walks of life. It doesn’t get much better than her. Also, shoutout to my little buddies: My son Hudson (4) and daughter Kennedy (2). They are big Falcon supporters and love coming to the games this year.
Q: Most memorable moment as a player?
A: Walking off the field in high school for the last time, knowing I have given all that I had for the game and my team.
Q: Most memorable moment as a coach?
A: Winning a district championship in 2017 with the Sandusky High School boys team. It was a thrill to be coaching in November in a regional semifinal.