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COACHES/SPOUSES



Published: Thu, February 14, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Here are a few pages from the stories of love.

By JOE SCALZO

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

YOUNGSTOWN -- Late at night on Feb. 13, 1997, Indiana University defensive coordinator Jon Heacock got a call from his wife Trescia in Youngstown.

Trescia was pregnant. Really pregnant. And if Jon didn't get back to Youngstown, she said, she wasn't going to be pregnant much longer.

So Jon, now the head football coach at YSU, set out at 3 a.m. in the worst blizzard of the year to drive from Bloomington to St. Elizabeth's Hospital.

Hours later, the Heacocks got the best Valentines Day gift of their lives -- a son, Jace.

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"I always say I am going to talk about sex and marriage, but being a football coach's wife, I don't know much about either."

Anne Hayes,

wife of the late Woody Hayes

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Trescia had a crush on Jon before they went out, which was probably a good thing for him. The highlights from their first date, June 25, 1985, included dinner at Pizza Hut and a viewing of Rocky IV.

"I don't know if you would consider Jon a really romantic person," Trescia said. "But I really liked him. I liked him before he asked me out."

They dated for seven years -- often from long distances -- before getting married in July of 1992. They had a daughter, Adelyn, in October of 1998.

Being married to a coach usually means long hours with strange schedules. It requires a lot of patience and support. Because they dated for so many years, Trescia felt prepared.

"I knew what I was in for," she said with a laugh. "He's always busy, but I know he's thinking of me and that's important."

Because Valentines Day usually falls so close to the recruiting season, Jon doesn't make a big deal out of the holiday. He usually gets her roses -- her favorite -- and takes her out to dinner.

But they're usually not thinking about each other.

"It's all for our son now," Trescia said.

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"A woman might as well propose; her husband will claim she did."

Edgar Watson Howe

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Bob and Mary Beth Poweski met at a party while they were students at Kent State in 1994. Bob, an All-Mid-American Conference wrestler, was working as a bodyguard at the party.

He walked up to Mary Beth -- who had caused a small scene minutes earlier for refusing to pay full price to get in -- and offered to buy her a beer.

"The beer is free," she said.

They ended up talking late into the night and he asked her out. The rest is history, sort of.

On their first date, Bob drove up and down her block because he was too nervous to come to her door. He eventually worked up the nerve and the two dated for two years before Bob proposed in 1976.

Bob, now the wrestling coach at Warren JFK, was traveling across the country as a bodyguard for the Rolling Stones at the time and kept putting off the wedding date. One night, back in Warren, he asked her where they were going on their date.

"He asked, 'Are we going to a movie, a restaurant?' " Mary Beth said. "I said, 'No, we're going to talk to a priest. We're going to set a date to get married.'"

She had already made the appointment. They got married in May of 1977 and will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this spring. They have three sons. Thad is a sophomore wrestler at John Carroll. Jared, a senior, and Bobby, a junior, are both wrestlers at JFK.

Bob had quit his job as a deputy sheriff in 1976 to tour with the Rolling Stones. In February of 1978, the Stones weren't touring and he was unemployed. The two had little money -- they had just bought a house in Champion -- but Bob was determined to do something for Valentines Day.

"So he made me a card out of a little sheet of paper and a spaghetti dinner," she said. "He was really depressed because he didn't have a job, but it was really romantic. That was one of the more memorable Valentines Days."

Bob -- whose nickname is "Big Bear" -- has never forgotten to give her something on Valentines Day.

"He always gets me a card with a bear on it," Mary Beth said. "He acts tough, but he's real sentimental. A real romantic."

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"Man's best possession isa sympathetic wife."

Euripedes, in "Antigone"

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Mooney boys soccer coach Len Krispinsky has also never forgotten to give his wife Carmen something for Valentines Day.

This year, she's just thankful she has his heart.

On the morning of Dec. 22, Len felt some slight pressure in his chest. Wanting to be careful, Len and Carmen went to the emergency room to get it checked out. Within hours, Len underwent a quadruple bypass surgery on his heart.

The surgery went well, and Len is back working with his wife at the Jock Stop in Boardman.

"I'm just so thankful for his health," Carmen said. "We're very fortunate that he's here with us."

The two first met at a club in the spring of 1970. Carmen was engaged (not to him) and Len was a drummer in the rock band, "Flagg," one of many bands he has been in over the years. They talked, but neither thought much of it.

Three months later, she saw him again. By that time, she had broken her engagement, but never expected to see Len again. They didn't even remember each others' first names.

"We think it was sort of a fate situation," Carmen said. "He was real outgoing, real friendly and loved music. We had a lot in common.

"He was a jokester. He still is."

After their first date, Len went home and told his mother he had met the girl he was going to marry. They got married on Sweetest Day in October of 1972. They have three kids: Todd, 27, Chad, 23, and Ryan, 21.

Len usually buys Carmen flowers and takes her out to dinner on Valentines Day. Because of his health, she knows this year will be meaningful no matter what he does.

"He always brings me a special gift on Valentines Day," Carmen said. "He's pretty good about things like that."

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"Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

Sextus Propertius

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Dan Gorski was a sophomore basketball player at Adrian College (Mich.) in 1976 when he met his future wife, Denise.

Denise was a junior at Kent State, but her college roommate was one of Dan's teammates at Adrian. The two were introduced and went out with a group of friends that night.

It was low-key, although Denise remembered him being a good dancer. They didn't see each other again until Denise went back the next year.

They went out again, and Denise invited him to her graduation party, but he couldn't make it. It was the sort of friendship that would likely just fade away.

After graduation, Denise got a job as the girls golf coach at Boardman High School. She had been there a year when she walked into the athletic office one summer morning to find the office secretaries giving her strange looks.

"I said, 'What are you looking at me for?' " Denise said. "They said, 'We've got someone for you. He's interviewing for a job right now.'"

It was Dan. He was interviewing to be a boys basketball coach. They both laughed, Dan got the job and they started dating that October.

"When we first met, I thought he was a nice person, but I didn't think it was going anywhere," Denise said. "But when we started dating I thought it probably would."

They were married on July 11, 1981.

Both still coach at Boardman -- Denise was just named the Fred Dafler Career State Track Coach of the Year by the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches. Dan is head coach of the boys basketball team, which is 8-8.

They have busy schedules, but being at the same school allows them to see each other more often, right?

"Never happens," Dan said with a laugh. "We can go for days and our paths won't cross. It's kind of crazy, but it's not like we're miles apart. If something big happens, I know she's there."

In the beginning, they only saw each other once a year. During the winter and spring, it can still feel that way.

"I don't think we realized how complicated it would become," Dan said. "We had to adjust, but it's a great situation. The years have gone quicker than you would think."

They still make time for each other. A couple years ago, they went away for a Valentines Day weekend in Pittsburgh. Dan threw a surprise 40th birthday party for Denise and she returned the favor at a golf outing for Dan's 40th birthday.

Dan even planned a cruise for their 16th anniversary. Problem was, he thought it was their 15th anniversary.

"He kept saying how nice it was to celebrate our 15th anniversary this way," Denise said with a laugh. "I told him it was 16. His comment was, 'Well, it feels like 30.' "

The time apart sometimes wears on them, but they're very supportive of each other.

"When I was named coach of the year, he acted so proud," Denise said. "I feel the same way when he gets honored."

They don't have kids, but their students have almost become part of their family. It's a fulfilling job, and neither plans to slow down.

"We're tired, but we both enjoy what we're doing so much," Dan said. "We realize we're very fortunate to be where we're at."

scalzo@vindy.com




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