He’s a lifer.
Chesterton High School and its Athletics Department like Garry Nallenweg
important that I’ve been here my whole life,” Nallenweg said. “I hope the
next person has as much pride in this place as I do. Anybody can go through
the motions, but you do it for the kids, the school and the community.”
And that has always
been at the forefront of Nallenweg’s mind.
“Whenever I’m done,
I’ll miss the student-athlete’s and all the relationships with all the
colleague’s, coaches, officials and support staff. The associations and
friendships you make over the years will be hard to see go.”
“He’s run a great
Athletic Department at Chesterton for a lot of years,” former CHS football
coach and current Crown Point Athletic Director Bill Dorulla said. “He
probably puts in too much time at Chesterton and he works so hard for the
student-athletes. It’s a model for how you want an Athletic Department to be
“It’s insane to
summarize what Garry has meant to the CHS Athletic Department,” former
long-time CHS swim coach Kevin Kinel said. “I knew he would do a great job,
because he treats every coach and every sport equally. There is that kind of
culture at Chesterton that every sport is important.”
Nallenweg, a 1973
grad of CHS, returned to teach in the Duneland School Corporation after
getting his degree from Indiana University. He taught for 16 years while
coaching “2-3 sports” a year before getting into administration.
“I got into
administration because I was concerned with the direction I saw CHS going in
the ’90’s,” Nallenweg said.
In 1995, he was
hired as an Assistant Principal and spent five years in that role before
becoming Athletic Director.
“I really felt like
we were following the mission of the school corporation at the time and I
felt good about things,” Nallenweg said of the decision to become AD. “We
had just built this new school and facility and I was already going to
everything. I decided to get back into the coaching arena and it would give
me a chance to be an advocate for CHS, 75 coaches and the athletics program.
“I missed being
involved in athletics.”
Kinel, who grew up
with Nallenweg, remembers the conversation when interest in the AD job
“We were playing
golf at Mink Lake when (former CHS AD) Mel Bair was talking about being done
and (Garry) was talking about throwing his hat in the ring,” Kinel said. “I
told him ‘it’s a no brainer. You are exactly what that job needs.’ He had
the passion and dedication that it needed.”
Nallenweg is quick
to acknowledge the people that stood beside him through the ups and downs --
“It was a wonderful
time in my life to see my three kids (Adam, Bryan and Kirstyn) participate
in athletics at CHS,” Nallenweg said. “It was icing on the cake for me. I
didn’t have to miss my children’s activities because of my job and having
them involved in sports made me so proud. Two of them have come back here
into the education arena and it was such a positive experience for all of
“You have to have
an extremely supportive wife (Mary) and family when you put in the hours
that go with having this job.”
“He’s like the
energizer bunny. He’s at every event, no matter where it is in the State,”
Kinel said. “I don’t think people realize the scope of his job. It’s an
impossible job that he’s made possible. He’s always jumped into everything
with both feet. That kind of work ethic, intensity and passion for athletics
and his job is a lost art. I can’t imagine the amount of hours he puts in.”
There have been
lots of changes in high school athletics over the years, but Nallenweg feels
blessed to have had several long-time coaches on staff.
helps my job,” Nallenweg said. “We’ve had coaches that have been here for a
long time and that have been inducted into their sports Hall of Fame’s.
Those people are respected and have put in the years and that’s invaluable.”
“I feel fortunate
to have had him as my AD for the last 20 years,” Kinel said. “As someone who
grew up with him and has him as one of my best friends, I got called on
things if I messed up. He’ll support you blindly, but he’ll let you know if
you screw up.”
expressed gratitude to the Duneland School Board and the community.
support we’ve had and the support within our school system has been second
to none,” Nallenweg said. “I’ve worked for some extremely supportive people
and you have to have that support or things can get messy. I’ve had a
wonderful situation, working for some great people.
“You’ll get no
complaints from me.”