NEW LENOX – Doug Ternik was a talented multisport athlete when he competed at Providence Catholic in the late 1980s and those experiences of representing the school as a student athlete made his decision to come back to coach after college very easy.
And after being a Celtics assistant coach for several years, he succeeded Matt Senffner as athletic director and is now in his 14th year in that role and 26th there overall. Ternik pointed to a lot of great influences at Providence that helped to make him a good candidate to be an AD.
“I’m a proud alumni of Providence Catholic, as several of us are here,” said Ternik, a 1989 graduate. “I had great mentors in Matt Senffner, Jaime Garcia, Dick Mandella, Butch Markelz, Tim Ruettiger, Mike Polz, George Czart and Mark Coglianese. Those were the guys who grew us up at the high school and kept me involved in coaching. They just created such a great experience at a parochial school that I decided that’s what I wanted to do when I was in college. And then Matt called me up and I started a health program here.
“I worked in the theology, science, health and P.E. departments, and coached and spent a lot of hours here at the school and just really enjoyed it. When Matt was about ready to retire, I looked at his position and the thing that drew me to it was I just enjoy athletics and what it does for young women and men. The things that they learn by winning and losing and that educational part of growing up. Getting the job under Father (Richard) McGrath and Don Sebestyen gave me the opportunities to continue the success that Tom Dedin, Matt and Frank Palmasani put into place. I’m very humbled to be in this position at Providence.”
As a graduate, Ternik likes the family atmosphere of the school and its academic record. And that has created a very close bond for those who teach and coach at the school.
“Our families are very committed and that’s the part of being an Augustinian school,” Ternik said. “You get great support from the parents since they come here knowing that it’s competitive academically and that the students are going to be challenged, not only in their subject areas for their academics, but also in their faith. And along with that, they like to have a challenging activities program, and whether it’s a sport or an after-school activity, it’s competitive and teaches them to work hard, to put a lot of effort in and time management.
“It is a tradition here and the bar is set high, so we continue to do the things that have made us successful and that’s to have a vital relationship between our student athletes and us as teachers, coaches and administration. We want to create that one-on-one type of atmosphere of comfort and safety and provide them with an opportunity to expand and to reach their goals and challenge themselves individually, both inside and outside of the classroom. We’re promoting the fact that we have good young men and women that enter college prepared.”
When you think about Celtics’ athletics, football, girls volleyball, wrestling and baseball quickly come to mind of some of the area’s best programs thanks to the consistent level of great success that each has experienced since the 1970s.
Mark Coglianese begins his 14th year as head football coach and has been a coach in the program for 32 years, while John Platt has coached the boys golfers for more than 10 years. Other returning fall coaches include Jim Barker (girls golf), Dawn Gura (boys cross country and girls swimming), Kathleen Kennedy (girls tennis) and Jean Phelps (girls volleyball). New coaches this fall are Frazer Galt (boys soccer) and Richard McCarthy (girls cross country).