By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Wheaton (Illinois) Thunder head football coach Mike Swider has announced his retirement. He will officially leave the program on December 31st, 2019.
He had been the team’s head coach for the last 24 seasons. His first year with the program was the 1996 season.
“I have known for a while that this is the right time. However, I decided to wait until now to make the announcement because this entire program is about the whole team and not one person.” He continues, “If I had announced this decision before the start of the season, then it becomes about me. I did not want to put this program in a situation where every single game was about me. This season was about our seniors and our whole football team. Now that the season has ended, this is the right time to make this announcement.
“You know in your heart when it is time. It is very important to me to leave when there are good coaches and players in place, and they are definitely here. The future is extraordinarily bright for Wheaton football…..especially 2020!.”
He had a 209-52 record as head coach. When he was the Thunder’s head coach, he had the ninth active win percentage among Division III head football coaches.
The 209 wins were 14th among active Division III head coaches at the time. He had an 80.1 win percentage.
He leaves the program following a 12-1 record during the 2019 season. The program lost its final game of the season in a 34-33 loss to the Saint John’s Johnnies on Dec. 7.
“I have seen Wheaton football through the lens of a player for four years, through the lens of a coach for 35 years, and through the lens of a dad for six years. I especially saw the impact it had on my sons,” notes Swider. “Through all those years you learn how special this place and this program is. We wanted to make a program that would transcend generations.
“If one half of one percent of Mike Swider is in the lives of each of my players then that means I have left something. Wins and losses fade, but if I have left something with my players and they leave that with others then that is how you can impact the world.”