Hall of Fame Inductee - Paul Koscielski

Two words sum up the late Paul Koscielski’s coaching style: Passionate and devoted. A gregarious figure on the football sideline on Friday nights or in command of the wrestling room, Koscielski poured his heart into making his student-athletes better players and better men. He took pride in seeing each of his student-athletes graduate, as well as overcome obstacles. That’s why the 1977 wrestling team always was special. “They started off as sophomores and really took a thumping,” Koscielski said. “They came back as juniors and seniors to go to the regionals and did really well.” Koscielski served as the QHS head football coach in 1980-81, serving as the head coach when Flinn Stadium opened and setting the stadium record for most consecutive wins with three. He also served as head wrestling coach from 1972-79 and as girls golf coach in 1985. Koscielski graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1969. He started his career in Quincy as a physical education and health teacher at Quincy Junior High School. In 1973-74, he started teaching at QHS. In 1983, he accepted a position as high school dean of students, and in 1986, he became the assistant principal at Baldwin West. Koscielski served as the principal at Adams School from 1987-95 before becoming the principal at QHS, where he worked until his death in 2003.

Acceptance Speech

On behalf of our father, it is with great honor that my sister and I accept his nomination to the Quincy High School Sports Hall of Fame. I thank the committee and the wonderful people who make up the Quincy Public School District. There is no doubt that our father bled blue his entire adult life. He was very proud of the Quincy Public Schools, the teams that represented them and, most of all, the students who represented the district as a whole. The environment that all of these people created was something he truly loved. The most support for our father came from his wife, Susan, who like on so many other nights wearing Blue Devil blue, is once again cheering on her favorite team and coach. She never missed a game and was a major part of any of our father’s success. From when my sister and I were very little, we have countless photos of wrestlers or football players holding us in team photos. Those men today share stories with us of how it was to play for Coach K. We noticed that it was never a story about a team or an individual losing or winning. The stories usually are about the relationship they had with their coach. The special relationship between a coach and a player is something our father understood and enjoyed. The contact he kept with these men after their high school graduation meant as much to him as it did on game night years before. Their relationship was forged through a desire to attain a common goal. These men I meet today seem to have achieved the goal of winning. For all of those young men who competed for and with our father, the story ends with a win. For you, winning in life means our father won too. Thank you to all of you that made our father a winner and please, please keep the stories coming.

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