Ron Mimick celebrated his 300th win on Friday at Ponca. As you would expect from Mimick, he credited past players, former coaches and current members of his staff as the reasons behind the achievement.
Though he joined an exclusive club that only includes eight other coaches ever to have won 300 football games in Nebraska high school history, Mimick was the picture of modesty, only going so far as to enjoy the moment with a slice of cake and a Dr. Pepper.
Then he was back on the bus, preparing for next week's road contest at No. 9 Utica Centennial.
That's where you'll find Mimick at his most happiest. Though he may not have a smile across his face when he's preparing, the X's and O's, the film breakdown, the time spent learning his players abilities and personalities, those are the moments he cherishes the most.
The process, he said, is what keeps bringing him back. He'll never truly feel like he can rest on his or his program's reputation. There's always more to be done.
For Ron Mimick, that's how he prefers it.
"I really have come to enjoy the process," Mimick said. "Practicing and performance and improvement; putting the kids in the right places, it's always a challenge. It's something I look forward to."
And perhaps, he'll even admit, there's just that competitive streak inside Mimick never wanted to let go when his own career came to a close.
Though he was an all-state performer and Shrine Bowl selection for Columbus Scotus during his playing days, Mimick never went on to play college football.
He earned his degree at Wayne State and began his coaching career at Stuart in 1980. He then spent two years in South Dakota, returned to the area to coach at Hastings St. Cecilia then a year at Hartington Cedar Catholic before coming to David City to serve as Aquinas head football coach, head boys track coach and athletic director.
He arrived in 1990 and has been a part of nine state football championship games, winning seven, a state track championship in 2005 and three runners-up.
Before he coached a game or a practice, Mimick grabbed the Aquinas yearbook and went around to all the players' homes from the season before, introduced himself and asked them to be a part of the program.
Oftentimes on Sundays, he'll head out for a drive to see the changing colors of autumn with a voice recorder not far away. In his mind he's always considering possible adjustments to system and personnel, making notes to himself.
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It may sound like he's always working, and he sort of is, but its also real, honest joy for Mimick to dig into the facts and figures while looking for an advantage.
The winning, just happens to be a consequence.
"There's no exact game or moment that stands out," he said. "There have been so many."
And while that might sound brash to some, it's the furthest thing from it. If you've ever met the man you'll understand his reservations about elevating one memory to the top of the list.
He doesn't win because of what he's achieved. Ron Mimick wins because he's on to "what's next?"
And what is next for Ron Mimick?
Well, on the field, much will stay the same. He utilizes his version of the Wing-T and teaches it to such depth that the best Monarch teams have only needed a handful of plays to be successful.
A few years ago one of the sisters from the Aquinas Sisters Convent in David City told him all he's got is six plays.
He assured her that wasn't completely accurate. Yet, it's also not fully inaccurate.
What you see is what you get with Ron Mimick. While his system might be built on deception, there's nothing secret about his keys to success: show up, work hard, reflect on the wins and losses only briefly then move on. Rinse and repeat.
He said he only thought about number 300 once he hit 290 or so. It's hard not to believe him. He'll keep taking that approach for the foreseeable future.
"As long as my health, and mentally and physically I can keep doing it, I'll plan to keep doing it until I can't, I guess," he said, "or I'm told I can't do it. One of the two."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net.