After 39 years, Minnich looks forward to retirement
Priorities have played a big part in the life of Adams Central athletic director Rick Minnich in a growing way for many years. Recently, however, that concept has taken Minnich to a new junction in the road of life.
The former state champion football coach decided earlier this year that he was going to cross his final goal line in education after 39 years of teaching and coaching students, all in the Adams Central school system. A love for his family and a desire to spend time with his grandchildren were the major pulls in Minnich’s final decision.
“Retirement came about because of priorities,” said Minnich. “I’ve realized that I want to enjoy my family more, to enjoy the years that God has given to me. Those are an unknown factor.
“I’ve spent 39 years in education at Adams Central,” said Minnich. “I’ve been blessed my whole career. I’ve enjoyed it and have been blessed. My family is such a blessing. My two kids are beside me and are my best friends.
“Barb (wife) and I are best friends with our kids and their spouses and our grandkids,” continued Minnich. “Our kids know Jesus Christ as their Savior and attend church. That is the foundation for living. If we could spend a week or a month with our kids and their family, they make us feel like they don’t mind seeing us.”
Minnich noted that his children include son, Joel, a full-time firefighter in Noblesville, his wife, Erin, an elementary teacher, and grandchildren Addison and Ethan.
In addition, Andee is an elementary teacher in the Goshen area and is married to Dan Rieff, who is in the banking business, and have two children, Zach and Steven.
“These are our treasure and this is what we live for,” said Minnich.
Minnich’s educational career at AC started in 1974 as a sixth grade and eighth grade social studies teacher. He also taught government, economics and physical education.
Minnich’s career included 20 years in basketball, first as eighth grade coach, then junior varsity basketball and eventually as varsity assistant. For three years he served as the head track coach and assistant baseball coach.
But his most notoriety came on the gridiron where he served as assistant football coach before becoming head of the football program retiring in 2008. Over that time, he compiled a lifetime football record of 235-136 and he garnered a state championship in 2000, one semi state title, 10 regional titles and 16 sectional titles.
“It’s amazing; somebody brings up a year and I can remember specific plays from that year,” observed Minnich. “Every year had its success stories. I remember most years now from the success stories of the kids from those years.
“I’m thankful to be part of their lives,” continued Minnich. “Football is a temporary thing, but I look at the kids and their life successes.”
Minnich said that his biggest praise goes to Barb who was forced to tolerate a lot, no suppers, late suppers.
“She has been so supportive of me. She had to put up with a life of travel and she had to travel a lot of miles without me,” observed Minnich. “My biggest fan that would do anything and never miss a ballgame was my mother-in-law, Barb’s mother, Donna Lou Nussbaum.
“We were both controlled by everybody else’s schedule,” said Minnich.
Minnich stressed that three priorities that he established at the offset of his career were still his main emphases at the close - attitude, discipline and responsibility.
“With all of the things I dealt with over the years, if I wouldn’t have had a good attitude, I wouldn’t have been very successful,” Minnich observed. “I was always known as a discipline teacher. If I asked you to do something, I expected it to get done.”
Minnich said that one of the most important lessons he ever learned occurred in 1981.
“At one point, I thought that football was pretty important,” said Minnich. “My whole emphasis was on football. It was our first really successful season. I would go home in the evening but I wouldn’t be with Barb and the kids. All I would do is sit and write plays all evening.
“South Adams was undefeated that year. We got beat by them; I realized right away that the Lord was teaching me a lesson. After that we played better and won the sectional. God had to get me off my high horse. From then on, I stressed that winning was important but there were also more important things to focus on in life,” Minnich said.
Still, there is nothing more that the former coach enjoys more than running into former student athletes he coached. He noted that it is not unusual for him to spend an hour and a half in area businesses talking to former players that he comes across.
For the past 18 years, Minnich has served as athletic director, middle school through high school. When he didn’t have middle school events, he had high school events.
“There is an abundance of hours in the job. Like everything else, the stress level has lots of sacrifices. Forty percent of the athletic directors in the state turn over every year,” said Minnich.
Minnich noted that his family moved into the AC school district when he was three-years old and he has lived inside the Adams Central confines his entire life since, except for the four years that he attended college at Taylor University.
“I am thankful that I didn’t make some unwise choices when I could have,” Minnich said. “I couldn’t be more thankful that I stayed in this district and am retiring from Adams Central schools.”
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