Winston Churchill once said, “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.” For Tim Gross, a change of scenery has opened up a rewarding opportunity for him and his family in LaRue County.
Gross was born and raised in the “thumb” of Michigan in a small rural town of Marlette. He came across the LCMS PE/Health teaching job this past spring. “When I came to visit, I knew this was the place that my family and I were meant to be. Mr. Detre and Mr. Slaven were very welcoming and my wife and I knew that this was the place for us. We sold our house in Michigan in a week and the rest is history.”
The transition (500 miles away from Michigan) has gone surprisingly well for the Gross family of four. Gross says, “I have an amazing and beautiful wife (Elizabeth) that works at the middle school as an instructional assistant. I have an 8th grade daughter (Laila) who is involved in basketball, cross country volleyball and softball. My son (Brock) is a sixth grader that is involved in cross-country, wrestling and baseball.
“My family and I have transitioned very well to LaRue County,” says Gross. “Everyone is so nice and very welcoming here. The administration, staff, students and parents here are amazing. I look forward to going to work every day here.”
The administration of Jason Detre (Principal) and James Slaven (Asst. Principal) have been equally impressed with Gross. “I was initially impressed with Mr. Gross resume,” says Detre. “He had impeccable references, so we decided to interview him. He drove down from Michigan with his wife Elizabeth. During his interview, he was full of energy and had great ideas about the physical education program. What impressed me the most was his desire to be a part of the school system and community. I knew then he needed to be a part of the Hawk Family.”
Slaven concurs. “He has been a tremendous addition to our staff. The students have thoroughly enjoyed his class and we are more than pleased with having him and his family as part of the LCMS community. His wife works here as well and both of their children are students here at LCMS. We got much more than a PE teacher when he decided to join us in being a Hawk.”
Gross taught 16 years at Capac Community Schools before moving to LaRue County this summer.
Gross not only has made his presence felt at LCMS, but has also hooked up with the LCHS wrestling program. Coach Gross brings a lot to the LaRue County wrestling program. Head Coach Eric Burrell admits he is fortunate to have him on board. “First he brings a wealth of experience with 18 years coaching in the state of Michigan. He is a decorated wrestler himself, wrestling for NCAA Division II Olivet College with almost 100 wins to his name.”
Burrell continues by saying, “He brings perspective in all aspects of coaching. His personality is great; he has connected with many kids already and really likes to get on the mat with the people and scrap. Him coming in has been a blessing. He is a great recruiter as the Middle School PE teacher and has almost doubled our number of middle school athletes in the program. That different eye as well has really helped with technique too; he adds details and a different style that is only going to benefit the program.
Gross has thoroughly enjoyed getting involved with the Hawks wrestling program, and obviously speaks highly of Burrell and staff. “Coaching wrestling here at LC is awesome! Such a great program with super kids/parents and coaches. The first time I talked with Coach Burrell I knew it was going to be an easy transition. Coach and I have the same philosophy when it comes to wrestling and training athletes. Coach Burrell has built a great staff of coaches and they are all great people. It is cool that we all can work together and hang out with each other’s families outside of coaching. This has been a huge relief and has made the transition easier not only for me, but also my family.”
Gross was a three-sport athlete in high school, and a successful wrestler in college. “I played football, wrestling and baseball. I was an all-league and all-state athlete in wrestling and was a four-year starter on the varsity baseball team. I wrestled all four years at Olivet College. I was an Academic All-American and a Heartland Conference Champ. I ended my career with 96 wins.”
Gross has been able to bring a high level of intensity and excitement to LCMS and LCHS. “I am a very active person that enjoys coaching, and coaching my own kids. I love hanging out with my family at sporting events and just having fun together. I enjoy waterfowl hunting and deer hunting even more now when my kids hunt with me. I also like to start my day, before school, in the weight room. It gets my mind ready for the day.”
LCMS and LCHS are fortunate to have the Gross family in our community. It looks like a positive change in the right direction has benefited both schools. I am sure Mr. Churchill would agree.