After serving as the Slippery Rock University head football coach for the last 28 years George Mihalik has announced his retirement Wednesday afternoon.
Mihalik will leave as the winningest head football coach in the university’s history with 197 wins and a .638 career winning percentage. Since becoming SRU’s head coach in 1988 Mihalik has led The Rock to 22 winning seasons, eight Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division Championships and six NCAA Playoff appearances.
In all but one of the past 44 years George Mihalik was in some way directly involved with Slippery Rock football. With Mihalik as the starting quarterback from 1971-73, the team won back-to-back conference championships in 1972 and 1973. After graduation Mihalik became a graduate assistant on the team and then an assistant coach before being named head coach in 1988.
Mihalik is one of a few football coaches in the country to have a doctorate degree and to serve as a full-time professor. Mihalik earned an Ed. D. from West Virginia University in 1986 and began teaching and advising students in SRU’s department of safety management up through this fall.
Mihalik never put football first, making sure his players always understood the student part of being a student-athlete. In 2014 Slippery Rock football had the highest academic success rate of all the school in the PSAC. Mihalik was also always focused on creating a family atmosphere in the team and recruiting locally. He always said there was enough talent in Western Pennsylvania to win championships, and he believed it.
In true legendary fashion, Mihalik will go out on top. Leading The Rock to its second 12 win season ever, winning the PSAC Championship for the second consecutive year and making it to the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time since 1998.
After giving to the university for 44 years, the university can finally start giving back to George Mihalik.