Pobolish moves up coaching ladder

College football coaches move around like the wind.

As success grows, so does the level of demand and opportunity for advancement up the coaching ladder.

Buckeye Local graduate Chet Pobolish will certainly vouch for that. It was formally announced late last week that Pobolish would join the coaching staff at Southeastern Louisiana as the special teams and wide receivers coach, following head coach Ron Roberts, who accepted the head coaching job after turning Delta State into one of the most respected Division II programs in the nation.

“I think we’re going to just continue to do what we did at Delta State,” Pobolish said during a phone interview late last week.

At Delta State, Pobolish was the wide receiver coach and special teams cooridinator for a team, which won four conference titles, played for the NCAA Division II National Championship and this past season advanced to the national semifinals.

So, why leave an established program for one that’s only been playing football since 2003 and is coming off a tough, 3-8, season?

“It’s a step up,” Pobolish said. “We’re going to have more scholarships, our budget is increased and our recruiting base is going to be a lot bigger.”

Southeastern Louisiana is located just some 50 miles north of New Orleans and plays in Football Championship Subdivision, which is formally known as Division I-AA.

“There’s a wealth of talent in that area,” Pobolish disclosed. “However, the academic requirements here are tough, so it does narrow the prospect list somewhat, but we’re confident we’ll be able to recruit well.”

While the Lions are coming off a rough season, Pobolish and the new coaching staff aren’t looking at this as a major re-build.

“We’re coming in to win and win now,” Pobolish said. “That’s our mindset. We’re here to change the culture and do what we’ve always done. Coach Roberts has a formula that’s proven to work.”

Pobolish was visiting family over the holidays when he heard Roberts had been hired for the job officially. He and the rest of the coaching staff knew that opportunity might present itself, but until he got the call from Roberts there was still some nervousness.

“I knew the opportunity to (join Coach Roberts) might be there, but you never know officially until he offers the job,” Pobolish said. “I’ve been with coach for five years, so it was actually more of a positive anxiety.”

Pobolish will maintain the same duties he held at Delta State, which he’s quite excited about.

“I love my role with Coach Roberts,” Pobolish said. “Some coaches micro-manage, but Coach Roberts trusts you to do your job and gives you the freedom to succeed.”

Along with Delta State, Pobolish has also coached at William Penn University in Iowa and spent eight years as a coach at his alma mater, Emporia State.

Pobolish’s wife Holly and their daughter Lola are still residing in Cleveland, Miss., but will be making the nearly five-hour trip south in the coming weeks.

The one unfortunate part for Pobolish is the fact that this move takes him even further away from the Ohio Valley and his parents.

“Every time I move, it seems like it’s further away,” Pobolish said. “My parents are excited that I have this opportunity. Not so much about it being further away, but they’re excited.”

Pobolish is in touch with his parents – Ron and Laurie – almost every day.

“My mom’s been kind of sick lately, so I touch base all the time to see how she’s doing,” Pobolish said.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com