Barrington High School Varsity Football Coach, Joe Sanchez celebrated a major milestone with Saturday’s Homecoming victory. As the team defeated Conant, Coach Sanchez achieved his 100th career win at BHS. Filmers from 238 Studios captured the excitement on camera, including his words to the players immediately following the game. We also caught up with Coach Sanchez after the fact to ask him a few questions about the process of “winning”.
Joe Sanchez began his BHS coaching career 20 years ago when he was hired to teach U.S. history and coach both the sophomore football and JV Girls’ softball teams. Since then he married his high school sweetheart and BHS PE teacher, Wendy Sanchez, and now has two beautiful daughters Ellie & Aybree. After Saturday’s homecoming victory, I asked Coach Sanchez what it takes to motivate students to achieve their best and what it means to be a “winner”. His insights apply well beyond the football field…
How would you define winning and what have you learned at BHS about what it means to be a “winner”?
“I know this is going to sound cliche but I mean this sincerely when I say that, winning to me, quite honestly is not defined by what is on the scoreboard, but more on the process that it takes to be a ‘Champion’. We stress in our program the core values of Family, Effort, Toughness, Commitment, Discipline, Believe and Battle. Our coaches do a great job of teaching and instilling these into our players. We believe that if we can put these into action and believe in the process and play the game for not only ourselves but for our families (those on the team and those that help and support us in our everyday lives), the scoreboard will take care of itself.”
What does it take to constantly motivate students to achieve their peak performance?
“I think to motivate student-athletes, both in the classroom and the competitive arena, you have to get to know them beyond just who they are in that setting. You need to build a relationship with them and establish a connection that you care about their well-being as people first and foremost. I think once you are able to establish that trust, then you can push them beyond what they think they can accomplish. When this happens special things occur and it is great to be a part of.”
Can you win when you lose and, if so, how? What is your view on lessons to be learned from the losses?
“Yes you can win and still lose on the scoreboard. Though the normal fan may not see it once again it goes to the process and values that you are striving for. If you prepare the correct way, compete and leave it all on the field for yourself and your teammates then to us we have done all we can and sometimes things just don’t go the way you would hope. You have to remember the team you are competing against they are preparing & competing and are coached well so it’s not as easy as it may appear.”
What have the BHS athletes you’ve coached taught you in all of these years?
“With all of the athletes I have been blessed to be around over 20 years I have learned a lot. More than anything they have taught me the value of relationships, how if you are willing to go all-in and commit fully to your teammates and coaches, that anything is possible. More than anything I have learned that whatever experiences we share, they will be used to help all of us be successful in the real game of life. I have said this before, every season I become a better man, teacher, coach, husband & father because of what we share together and I cannot thank them enough for that.”
How does your 100th win at BHS compare to your 1st?
“Each victory we earn as a team is special because of all the preparation and hard work that goes into it by our coaches & players. Our 1st victory when I became head coach was special because it came against my alma mater – Wheeling High School. I have so many fond memories from my four years there as a student athlete and the fact that Wendy (my wife) & I started dating there made that special. Also it should be noted that same year Wendy earned her first victory as the Head Girl’s Gymnastics Coach at BHS against Wheeling as well – SPECIAL. This most recent victory was special because of so many reasons. We had a great week of preparation and it came against a great team in Conant in a battle of unbeaten teams. It was homecoming and, as a town, we are celebrating our sesquicentennial so the team was wearing our throwback uniforms and there were a lot of alumni in attendance.”
“I would also like to say that none of this would be possible without the support of so many great players, coaches and families over the years who have supported us along the way and believed in what we are doing. I would also like to thank Jeff Doles and his crew at 238 studios. They have captured so many great memories over the years and really helped to make this even more special. It is an honor to be a part of this and we are going to continue to work hard to represent our high school & community in the best possible way.”
Congratulations, Coach Sanchez, on your 100 wins, and counting! With your lasting influence, we predict great things for the countless students who have crossed your path.