After 11 years with the Track and Field program, Scott Block has announced his resignation.
Block’s last five years at SIUE were spent serving as Head Coach. Despite his love for the program and the sport, Block said that he thought it was time to step away and focus on himself and his family.
“The past year and a half I’ve had a couple major life events happen. Last February, I was diagnosed with cancer,” Block said. “That weighed heavily on my decision. And in August of last year, my son was born.”
With his contract being up at the end of this season, Block said he thought the timing was right and he should be at home with his newborn son and his wife.
“My contract was up. So it just kinda worked out nicely, where my wife was at, where I was at,” Block said. “But I will always be a supporter of SIUE.”
Block said he hasn't really looked for any other jobs at the moment. He said his plan for the time being is to be a father and a husband.
“My son is right at 8 months old. My plan for the time being is to be Sam’s dad,” Block said.
Michaela Smith, a senior thrower on the Track and Field team, said Block was the reason she came to SIUE. They had attended the same high school in the Chicago area and Smith said he has had a big impact on her throwing career.
“He was the main reason why I went to [SIUE], and why I fell in love with [the team],” Smith said. “I knew I could trust him and it was like a home away from home.”
While most Division 1 coaches have a history of being rough and tough, Smith said his coaching style is very different when compared to other programs. Smith said Block wasn't strict and said it definitely made a Division 1 program less intimidating.
“He was definitely someone you could go to whether you needed help with practice or just your life, if you needed someone to talk to,” Smith said.
Sophomore Conor McCarthy is a sprinter and competes in the long jump. McCarthy said even though he wasn’t around the coach a lot, due to Block being a throwers’ coach, he knew Block had a very laid back personality.
McCarthy said he understands why Block decided to resign, as he told the team of his recent health issues and the birth of his child. According to McCarthy, he broke the news of his resignation to the team in a meeting before spring break.
“He said, ‘My contract is up. I’m resigning. It was an honor to be your coach.’ He also said that he has a [child] and that his life is very different now,” McCarthy said. “He said that it was time for him to move on and focus on other things.”
Block said he will always be a supporter of SIUE and its programs.