Tony Dudik

It is with humility, appreciation and gratitude that I write this column of thanks. My journey as a teacher and coach has truly been a blessing. I can honestly say that I never went to work a day in my life. I was blessed to live my passion! I was able to use a game that I truly love and utilize it as a tool to help young men learn life’s valuable lessons. The greatest lesson — “If it’s to be; it begins with me!”

I want to thank my wife, Mary Ann, and my children, Chuck, Toni Lynn and Blair, for their support and sacrifice of time, as they allowed me to give my best to this calling. We had great times and many wonderful memories at Central and Bishop LeBlond high schools.

I want to thank all of the administrators, athletic directors and all of my teaching colleagues who supported me and my philosophy as we all worked to help young people become better people.

I want to thank every assistant coach and their families for buying into our program and giving our kids their very best effort each and every day.

I want to thank all of my former players and students whom I truly loved, for providing me with the motivation to give them my very best. Every one of you has value as a human being. My goal for all of you was that you would become more then you ever thought you could be. That is a victory!

I want to thank all of you parents over the years for trusting us with your kids. There were some tough and challenging times; but, I couldn’t be prouder of the progress your kids made.

I want to thank every coach whom I had the privilege to compete against. You guys are the best! I respect you all for your hours of dedication and commitment to your teams and the difference you make in the lives of your players. There were some great games!

I want to thank all of the journalists and members of the media who covered our games and matches over the years. Your efforts to tell our stories were greatly appreciated. I will forever cherish our conversations.

I want to thank all of the officials over the years who gave up their Friday nights to call high school football games. I always told my teams, “Without officials, there is no game!”

To everyone in the community, sports fans or not, thank you! Our young people are worth investing in! Every young person is trying to find their way. Participation in sports and activities will help them along their journey. The challenges they encounter will help them grow and mature into the best version of themselves that they can be!

In closing, thank you all for your goodness and your kindness and most importantly, your friendship. Always know that it has been an honor and a privilege to serve you all as coach. From the bottom of my heart, “Thank You!” May God bless you all today and always!

Tony Dudik is a longtime teacher and coach at Central

and Bishop LeBlond High School. He announced his retirement from coaching, after 32 years as the head football coach at the two schools.

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