At York High in Elmhurst, Illinois, Mike Shewchuk ran for legendary track and cross country coach Joe Newton, and his love of the sport continues today. After graduating from Elmhurst College, Mike spent the next 18 years in Illinois, coaching softball, basketball, and track, starting a cross country program, and producing 14 conference championships, a state runner-up, and a state championship.
During Mike’s 24 years at Winter Park, he coached girls cross country, boys and girls track, and girls weightlifting while teaching geometry and Algebra II. Mike was nominated for the Disney American Teacher Award in 1992 & 2001 and selected as Winter Park’s Teacher of the Year in 1992 & 1996 and as Math Teacher of the Year in 2007. As a coach, he was selected as Girls 6A Cross country Coach of the year in 1985 &1997, elected to the Metro Conference Hall of Fame in 1995, and named the 2000 All Star Coach and Cross country Coach of the Year by the FACA.
A parent of one of his runners summed up Mike’s coaching by saying, “It is very apparent to me that Coach Shewchuk’s interest in girls cross country goes well beyond that of just winning meets. Throughout the season Coach Shewchuk and his wife have shown a genuine interest in each one of the girls. Regardless of each girl’s individual performance, he consistently finds ways to praise and build the self-esteem of each young lady. Coach Shewchuk’s positive influence has truly been a source of inspiration.” Mike’s colleagues refer to him as “a gentleman’s gentleman”.
Mike has two daughters, Lynn and Lori, and three grandsons, Zachary, Nicholas, and Christian. He and his wife Connie have recently retired to Texas.