MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- With Mike Minick's decision to step down after DeForest's 2019 football season, which ended with a WIAA Divison 3 state championship, the question loomed of who would take over the storied program.
Today came the answer as Aaron Mack was announced to become the fourth head coach in DeForest football history.
"It's really, really humbling.." Mack said over FaceTime, "What a storied program that drives on great tradition. Most importantly, great kids, an amazing staff intact and a great community that's really really supportive of their high school athletics and especially football."
"Great tradition" is the simple way to describe DeForest.
The Norskies are coming off their second state championship in program history which was an 8-7 win over Menasha with Mike Minick at the helm. The 2019 WIAA Division three state title came 37 years after DeFo's only other state title when the great Jerry Roelke was head coach.
For Mack who's making his fourth head football coaching stop of his career, he plans to build on that foundation of tradition, "I'm not coming up to flip the program upside down. I welcome all those assistants to stay on staff with my open arms. That's one of the things that has been really, really attractive of that job, is that staff."
"I would like to continue to be that head coach, mentor role and really manage the culture of the program and continue the tradition of that program without flipping it upside down."
Prior to earning the DeForest job, Mack was the head coach at Iowa-Grant from 2007 to 2010, New Berlin West from 2010 to 2012 and then at Wisconsin Dells from 2012-2015 before becoming the Chiefs' athletic director.
Now Mack makes the move back to the sidelines.
"It is a little bit of a transition for me, having not been in the head coaching role (since 2015) but my AD job I think prepared me for this DeForest job. Managing staff, communication, organization, attention to details. I think those are all the things that this program has thrived on."
"I've always missed it (coaching) and I really really really really enjoyed being in the classroom and on the sideline coaching. That's what I've yearned to get back to."
All that comes with the DeForest job is what pulled Mack back from behind a desk, to the sidelines on a Friday night.
"This opportunity isn't great, it's a good opportunity that doesn't come along in a great community and it really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a head coach to get that opportunity at a position like this and that's what sparked my interest."
"I just continue to have that itch of being the teacher/coach role, and that's where my happiness lies."