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Sarchione Garrettsville Chevrolet’s Getting to Know: Streetsboro track coach Rob Kidd

Sarchione Garrettsville Chevrolet’s Getting to Know: Streetsboro track coach Rob Kidd


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor

“Getting to Know” is a regular Portage Sports feature 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 Streetsboro High School track and field coach Rob Kidd, who is in his sixth season leading the Rockets.

Q: Hometown?

A: I am a Youngstown boy, who moved to Struthers, Ohio, during my elementary school days.

Q: High school?

A: Struthers High School. Class of 1991. I played football, ran track and field and played basketball.

Q: College?

A: I got my Bachelor’s in Secondary Education, Comprehensive Social Studies.

Q: Current occupation?

A: Teacher at Streetsboro High School in my 25th year at the district.

Q: What inspired you to become a coach?

A: Thinking back, I was fortunate to have several coaches that served as instrumental role models throughout my athletic experiences. Their impact on me was a big part of my inspiration to attempt to do the same for kids. They helped install a high-level work ethic, competitiveness (sometimes overly so), dedication and other attributes that I hope I can pass along.

Besides the influence of those men, several of which I still see several times a year, I have always loved working with kids. The opportunity to shape a young person in any way is such a powerful ability, and I hoped to be able to be someone that they could respect, turn to and trust and provide guidance in sports and life.

Q: What makes being a coach at Streetsboro special to you?

A: This could be answered in so many ways. At this time in my career, the most special part of coaching here is the people that I have had the opportunity to work with, coach and interact with in so many ways. I have learned so much from my peers, including technical aspects of the sports I coached, ways to handle diverse types of athletes and how to be flexible when I needed to be. The memories of these people will last forever.

I can still see the way some kids’ hair bounced when they ran, different styles of running, etc., that always bring a smile to my race. The first two visitors to see my first born were former runners of mine. I have been to many weddings and other events of their life that I feel so privileged to be a part of.

Q: Who has been your biggest influence as a coach?

A: This is a two-part answer. The biggest influence was Mr. Rob Conklin. He was a middle-school teacher, high-school teacher, my linebackers coach and track and field coach. He was the first person to hire me as a track coach and installed so many tendencies and beliefs that I still have as a teacher and coach today.

The second part of this is coach Tom Fesemyer. He brought me into track and field here at Streetsboro and shared his knowledge and vast experiences with me. I was privileged to be treated the way I was under his leadership. He trusted me and allowed me to grow into the head coach that I currently am. I will forever be grateful to him.

Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your playing days?

A: Since I can’t self incriminate and my wife vetoed all my good stories, I guess I would say that as an underclassmen, I was selected as a defensive captain. This was a big deal for me and to start the season we were going to have a late summer community pep rally out on our field. Football in our area is really popular so it seemed like our whole town was there. The captains had to give a speech and I’ve always been somewhat of a motivator and intense player. So I came up with my lines and we practiced all week. I was to go second. When they handed me the microphone and I started my lines, I got through only a few words before I noticed the time lag in the speakers. At this point I went blank, totally lost everything I was going to say. I looked at the crowd who were silent and intently listening. We both stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity, probably seconds, when I announced that I forgot what I was gonna say and then the crowd erupted with laughter. I started laughing and turned around to face my team and they were dying, several of my closest friends were literally crying tears they were laughing so hard. So I learned a little about humility and also technology that day.

Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your coaching career?

A: I have a lot, however, most of them may not be totally appropriate and I prefer to keep my friendships with those involved. One memory that stands out is after a track meet in Ravenna. I was the boys and girls sprint coach at the time. Since I lived in Ravenna, the head coach allowed me to drive separately so I can just go home after the meet. Once the meet was complete and all obligations were done, I went home. About 30 minutes or so later, the head coach was giving me a call. This was not uncommon since we usually got together or talked after each meet to go over the events. However, this phone call was a little bit different. He proceeded to tell me that he had something to update me about. I didn’t really know what this could mean other than maybe an issue with a parent. He proceeded to tell me there was an issue on the boys bus, which he rode home on that night instead of me. This issue involved one of our best sprinters, an athlete who went on to win a Division I 100-meter dash state title a couple years later. However, at this point, because of the issue on the bus, our head coach made a decision in the heat of the moment to kick him off the team. Needless to say I was shocked and speechless. All I can do is tell him that as his assistant coach I would support him and understood. That athlete did not come back that year but did the following year and had an amazing career.

Q: Favorite TV show?

A: Anything that my kids will watch with me is a win. One guilty pleasure, believe it or not, is a show I started watching with my kids called Henry Danger.

The adult shows would be South Park, Sopranos, Peaky Blinders and Game of Thrones.

Q: Favorite movie?

A: I’m known for horror movies when the kids have friends over, but one of my favorite movies would be Gladiator.

Q: Favorite musical artist?

A: I like Kid Rock, Jimmy Buffett, Chris Stapleton, Jelly Roll and Morgan Wallen.

Q: Favorite food/meal?

A: Thanksgiving Dinner, fried chicken or steak and mashed potatoes. I love them all!

Q: Best vacation?

A: This past summer I went on a family trip to St. John and had such an amazing time. The beaches, food and shared memories will last forever. Very blessed to have had these experiences with the people I love most.

Q: Shoutout to former teammates?

A: Chris Gentille, John Evans, Mike Annichine, Tom Blazek, Sal Lucente, Rich Rovnak, Rick Cummings.

Q: Favorite quote?

A: “Regret is an opportunity unfulfilled.”

Q: Describe your coaching philosophy?

I believe in working my kids hard physically and developing them mentally and intellectually. I try to install challenges, positive thinking, a growth mindset and knowledge of sport and body. I teach goal setting in the short and long term and like to motivate my kids to be their best. I want my kids to learn as much as they can, from me and other sources. I always tell them there are many ways to measure success and provide them an avenue to be successful regardless of talent.

Q: Favorite restaurant?

A: LaVilla, small Italian hometown place that is filled with memories.

Q: Favorite teacher from high school?

A: Mr. Conklin and American History. He inspired me to become a teacher and coach. Mr. Guappone, Algebra, he made teaching fun and not always serious.

Q: Advice you would give the younger version of you?

A: As much advice as I would like to say I would give, I wouldn’t say anything because the journey got me here with my family and friends and I’m happy with that.

Q: Favorite coach from your playing days?

A: Mr. Gary Zetts and Mr. Rob Conklin. Very instrumental men.

Q: Coaching resume (schools, years, position)?

I started coaching football (defensive coordinator) and track (sprints) in Struthers for two or three years before I got a teaching job at Southeast and then Streetsboro. I immediately started coaching middle-school track for two years before I came up to the varsity team.

I began coaching distance runners — since I was the girls cross country coach (I did that for about 16 years). I coached girls basketball with Jeff Rainer and then about 5 years with John Zelenak, working mainly with post players.

When our sprint coach left, Tom Fesemyer asked me to move to coach sprinters, which I did and had immediate success. I coached sprinters for about five years until our head coach retired. I was then hired as the head coach for the boys and girls program which I currently still hold.

Q: Favorite sports team?

A: Not popular around here, but the Pittsburgh Steelers, Yankees and Celtics. Also OSU.

Q: Favorite athlete then?

A: Joe Montana and Barry Sanders.

Q: Favorite athlete now?

A: TJ Watt and Caitlin Clark.

Q: First job as a teenager?

A: I worked at a Sami Quick Stop, mainly stocking items and working the register and deli.

Q: Family member that always gave you the best advice?

A: My mom and dad. Always supported me and provided me guidance through love and encouragement. I owe them everything.

Q: Halloween costume last year?

A: Beach Ken from the Barbie movie.

Q: Favorite video game (then or now)?

A: So many, Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed are great. Old school Miss Pacman and Galaga were favorites.

Q: Can you play any instruments?

A: Depends on who you ask. I recently got a guitar for a gift. I’ve been asking for one for a while so come back to me later on that.

Q: Favorite candy?

A: Anything chocolate, it’s a problem. Reese’s peanut butter cups full size are a favorite.

Q: First car?

A: Oldsmobile Ciera Cutlass Supreme with a moonroof.

Q: Best friend(s)?

A: Dan Duran shares a lot of history with me. Bill Lewis for sure. Joe DeToro and Kris Gaug as well.

Q: Most memorable moment as a player?

A: So many great memories were made during those years. One of the most memorable moments would probably be walking off the field for the last time. Just knowing that my high school football days with my childhood friends were over left a memory that I think all high-school athletes go through.

Q: Most memorable moment as a coach?

A: Probably the day that Dakari Carter won the boys Division II 100-meter dash at state, beating the big favorite Paris Campbell. It was so surreal. Sharing that day with Kari, his teammates and family as well as my family will never be forgotten.

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