- You can tell you've had a successful career when you become a Hall-of-Famer.
Former Lakeland Football Coach Don Scharbarth will be enshrined into the Wisconsin Football Association Hall of Fame in March.
"I was fortunate that I had great assistant coaches, I had players that absolutely bought into the system, I had parental support, I had community support, so this really was a group effort," said Scarbarth.
Scharbarth's coaching career started as an assistant coach at UW-LaCrosse, where he had played college football. From there, he was a high school coach assistant coach in Texas, and a head coach at Phillips. He landed at Lakeland and was a head coach for 18 years. In those seasons, his philosophy was to have a coaching staff and a team overly-prepared for each game.
"Just tremendous hours at practice, at meetings with film," Scarbarth said. "I was a leave no stone unturned kind of guy, we spent a lot of time and our philosophy was we don't want to beat ourselves."
Scharbarth is now in his second stint as athletic director at Lakeland. He enjoys his role away from the sidelines.
"Being an athletic director is very rewarding because you see the success of all of our sports, all of our activities but also you can dabble into things that might need to be fixed, I try not to dabble too much. but if I can help I certainly do," said Scharbarth.
Being an athletic director gives Scharbarth an opportunity to be immersed in school spirit. Something he couldn't always do as the head football coach.
"What I found about homecoming, sitting in this chair, the activities director chair compared to the head football coaches' chair, the head coach doesn't always enjoy homecoming," Scarbarth said. "It's maybe a little bit of a distraction, but as the activities director I get to see kids do so many fun things."
The most enjoyable aspect of coaching for Scharbarth was building relationships with his players and having the opportunity to be a mentor.
"Not everybody comes from a two parent or a stable family and a lot of times it is the teachers, the assistant coaches, the head coaches that come into these kids' lives and really make a difference and I like to think at the end of the day, for a couple kids, I may have made a difference," said Scarbarth.
Information on how to get tickets for the hall of fame banquet in Middleton can be found at http://www.wifca.org/page/show/492469-hall-of-fame-banquet