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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Erick Kozak working towards retirement

Working hard. Coach Eric Kozak works with students in swimming during class.
Ashley Carini
Working hard. Coach Eric Kozak works with students in swimming during class.

Erick Kozak has been a coach in this school for 29 years starting in 1995. Kozak has done and seen it all in his coaching career and has not regretted any of his choices. Now that he has worked and had a great time doing it he feels that he is ready to retire. 

“Years ago, when I realized that at age 55 I could retire, I decided to get myself in financial shape to be able to do that,” Kozak said. “So that was a goal financially. And that took some dedication as far as spending and investing and getting with financial advisors to get me in that shape.” 

Kozak works closely with Ron Bowser, an art teacher at the high school, to coach the boys’ golf team, but this was not Kozak’s initial plan. He originally had other plans. Even though that dream didn’t come true, he had other options 

“Initially, I really thought I would be a basketball coach. But that door did not open for me,” Kozak said. “But the volleyball coaching position opened for me, and so did the assistant golf position. I just embraced those things, and when the head coach for golf retired, I was able to move into that position. And then I retired from coaching volleyball.”

Kozak’s enthusiasm never dwindles even a month before his retirement. He continues to come to school and do his job with a smile and look back on his long career.

“I’ve enjoyed my coaching career immensely,” Kozak said. “I’ve gotten to meet so many nice kids and work with so many nice kids and families and other coaches that I’ve gotten to know.”

After Kozak leaves, he knows what he wants to continue doing, he planned it out for years and is excited to get out there and spend more time with his family. 

“I have some options. I’d like to travel a little bit; I’d like to get a part time job at a golf course so that I can stay connected to golf,” Kozak said.

Though Kozak will be leaving after this year, sophomore Christopher Lafferty is planning to host an end of the year celebration, celebrating Kozak as a teacher and person. 

“It’ll only be our eighth period swim class because doing all of his periods would be too expensive,” Lafferty said “But there will be food and drinks out in the field house after some swimming of course.” 

Erick Kozak will be retiring, but that doesn’t mean he will forget his students or colleagues or they will forget him. 

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