Trey Griseck has joined his father Mark Griseck, former coach for the Titans, on Scott Williams' coaching staff at Apopka High.
APOPKA Maybe it was being around his dad at the dinner table, witnessing firsthand the stress that goes with being a high-school basketball coach — or maybe it was just a player who never wanted to acknowledge that his playing career might end — but Trey Griseck never saw himself becoming a basketball coach.
As a father-son, coach-player duo at Olympia High from 2009 to 2012, Mark and Trey Griseck combined for three playoff appearances and a run to the state-title game in 2009. Following that, Trey had a successful collegiate career at Saint Leo that ended this past spring.
Opportunities presented themselves to play professionally overseas, but none included the ability for him to bring his young daughter and fiance along with him. So, faced with a dilemma on what to do next, Trey found himself coming around to a profession he had previously written off.
“I never thought, when I played for him, that I would coach. I always was like, ‘All right, this is not for me,’” Trey said.
Upon reflection, it came down to not wanting to be away from the game he is so passionate about.
“I just knew I couldn’t love anything else — I want to try and change kids’ lives,” Trey said.
Since he left Olympia, Mark Griseck, who resides in Winter Garden, has joined the staff of longtime friend Scott Wiliams at Apopka High. When the two old friends caught wind of Trey’s newfound interest in joining the family business, they were elated — even if, at first, Mark tried to talk his son out of it.
“(I said) ‘Don’t be a teacher and a coach — we don’t make any money, and it’s a lot of hours,’” Mark said. “Once you’re playing career comes to an end and you realize it’s over, you want to do something involved in it.”
At Apopka, Trey has assumed several responsibilities as an assistant that include planning the team’s morning workouts, scouting opponents and working with the roster’s front court.
Williams, who has coached state championship teams and is eager to revitalize the program at Apopka, said he has been impressed with his new assistant’s ability to connect with players.
“He has a remarkable ability to connect with our young men, but yet draw a line — and that takes a lot of maturity,” Williams said. “He has an incredible servant’s heart.”
The Blue Darters are off to a 3-0 start this fall, including an impressive win in their opener against Boone. It was in that game that it hit the former star on the court that his new role was off of it — if only by a few inches.
“After the first game ... it kind of really hit me that I’m on the other side of it — I’m on the other side of playing,” Trey said.
Trey has learned plenty from his father and his college coaches over the years, but Mark thinks that his son starting his coaching career for Williams will also present an opportunity to learn from one of Central Florida’s top coaches.
“The one thing Scott does so well is the emphasis on developing young men — we’re not in this to develop basketball players,” Mark said. “That’s the biggest lesson he’s going to learn from Coach Williams.”
How long it might be before an opportunity comes along for Trey to become a head coach and build a program of his own is anyone’s guess. And when that opportunity comes along, Mark knows there will be another learning curve.
“The basketball part and the practice part is the easy stuff,” Mark said. “The stuff you got to learn is how to do a purchase order and how to fundraise — that’s the stuff, when you’re a head coach, you’re like, ‘Whoa, this is a little different.’”
Either way, the junior Griseck thinks he has found his calling in roaming the sidelines — just like the senior.
“I absolutely think I’m going to do it for a very long time,” Trey said.
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].