Stew’s Crew

In 40 years of coaching, Coach Stew has led the way for generations of FISD coaches

Sayde Blanchette, Reporter

Coach Stew has been a football coach for 40 years. He has coached generations of FISD athletes, some of whom are now FISD coaches, and continues to teach and support Wakeland students and athletes.

Although he has been a coach for many years, he did not originally plan to be a coach. Coach Stew originally wanted to be an accountant, and he followed that path for a couple semesters, while playing football in college.

“I got to thinking that I really didn’t want to be stuck in an office, inside every day. I really enjoyed being outside and a lot of the people I respected when I was in school were coaches. [Then] one thing led to another, and I became a coach,” said Stew.

However, coaching quickly became a fitting career. After decades of coaching, Stew continues to thrive in his profession. Stew claims his motivation for returning to coaching each year is the involvement with the students. 

“It’s always [about] being with the kids, leading the kids, and trying to get the best out of them. Always showing them how to work hard and do the things that will make them successful, not necessarily in football, but later in life,” said Stew.

It takes motivation to be successful in anything. Coach Stew has helped inspire and motivate countless athletes to be successful and dedicate themselves to their sport.

“He could always push others further than what they thought was possible,” said Wakeland head football coach, Coach Isom.

Coach Stew has had a positive impact on students, and he has been able to witness how his impact has changed students’ lives for the better.

“The success I’ve seen of some kids, turning around their attitude and willingness to work. Them becoming successful because a glimmer of hope came about because of something in athletics, and it gave them the drive to go on and be successful in their careers,” said Stew.

Coach Stew has watched countless students grow up and pursue different paths, including several who became FISD coaches.

“Coach Stew has taught me how to be a better person, not just a better player or coach. From Coach Stew I have learned how to be tough and demanding but caring at the same time. With Coach Stew, it was always more than just teaching us how to be better players,” said Isom.

In addition to coaching football, Stew also teaches biology.

“[Academics and athletics] go hand-in-hand. You can be a great athlete but slack off in the academics.  Eventually it will limit how far you can go and what can be done. Usually if [students] are great in academics, they’re going to be great in athletics, simply because they’ve got the drive, willpower, and discipline needed to succeed,” said Stew.

Coach Stew continues to be a positive influence, that both students and athletes can turn to for advice and encouragement.

“When people ask me how I am, my response is ‘Peachy.’ I always try to be positive and look on the bright side,” said Stew. “I am pretty tough as far as not taking no for an answer. I’m always requiring them to give their best because I always give my best when I’m out there on the field.”