Kyle Vinales signed to play basketball for Central Connecticut State, a Division I school and member of the Northeast Conference. If it wasn’t for North Farmington coach Tom Negoshian, Vinales said he wouldn’t have a future as a college basketball player. Vinales graduated from North Farmington in 2010 and is currently attending a prep school.
Mark Moundros is expected to graduate from Michigan this spring afer having played football the last four years for the Wolverines. Moundros said he plans on being a teacher and a coach. He said the reason for this is Negoshian. Negoshian doesn’t know a whole lot about coaching football but when Moundros was at North Farmington he played basketball for three years for Negoshian and that’s where Negoshian made his imprint.
These are just two stories of the lives touched by Negoshian. There are many more.
Last Friday Negoshian coached his final home game at North Farmington and many of his former players, family, old and friends and new, were there to send him off. Negoshian might coach somewhere else but it won’t be at a high shcool. Those days are gone, and what good days they were.
Negoshian graduated from Pontiac Central in 1965 and in ’68 he started coaching at Washington Junior High in Pontiac. From there Negoshian went to Oakland Community College to North Farmington as a freshmen then junior varsity coach and then he went to St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake as an associate head coach.
In ’82 he became a head coach for the first time at North Farmington. Except for a brief stint (’94-’98) as an assistant coach at Walled Lake Central, Negoshian has been the head coach at North Farmington and he’s loved every minute of it.
Negoshian never coached a state championship team. You can count on one hand how many of his players went on to play at the Division I level. For the most part Negoshian coached average or below average players the right way to play basketball.
Rick Jones, a ’67 North Farmington graduate, has been a principal at North Farmington for the past 24 years. Jones calls Negoshian ‘old school’. In other words Negoshian didn’t kowtow to a players’ selfishness just because he was good. Negoshian didn’t have time for players who were more concerned with personal accolades than they were about the team’s goals. Alex Legion wouldn’t have lasted a day in Negoshian’s program.
Jones also said Negoshian was a mentor for younger coaches. That’s why Waleed Samaha was there on Friday. Samaha is the coach at Ann Arbor Huron, a team that does stand a good chance at winning a state title, if not this year in the future. Last season Huron lost in the Class A final and it’s ranked No. 2 in The Detroit News final poll.
For the last three years Samaha has been trying to teach his teams Negoshian’s defense. Samaha said after three years he thinks his team has got it. Negoshian, ever the one to try to make the game better, attended a few of Samaha’s practices to teach his style. Samaha also took his team to a few North Farmington games so that they could see for themselves how it’s done.
Samaha said he was there Friday, like the rest, to show his respect and gratitude.
It’s likely Negoshian will show up somewhere, some place, teaching the game to those willing to listen. We’ll see. He’s keeping his options open. But you can bet it won’t be as a high school head coach. On Monday Negoshian will coach his team against West Bloomfield in a Class A district first round game at Farmington. Maybe North Farmington’s season will be over and maybe it won’t. Whatever happens what is certain is North Farmington will play hard and make West Bloomfield earn whatever it gets.
Thanks, Tom. What you’ve done over the many years is greatly appreciated by more people than you can count.