ORWELL — Michael McGovern is back on the football field at Grand Valley High School this fall.
But, instead of leading the Mustangs down the field at quarterback, the 2018 graduate is tutoring the current crop on the roster as an assistant coach.
"When coach G (John Glavickas) retired, I called (first-year) coach (Clint) Nims and asked if he needed help coaching and he said he would love to have me help," McGovern said. "I'm appreciative of coach Nims for giving me the opportunity to be around the game."
Nims said McGovern is doing a great job with the QBs as a volunteer coach.
"We treat him as a paid coach," Nims said. "His knowledge for the game has been great for our QBs. He has a great relationship with each QB and it's easy to see their growth from the beginning of camp."
After guiding GV to Division V playoff appearances in 2016 and 2017, McGovern, a two-time Northeast Lakes All-District selection, set his sights on playing collegiately at Division III Baldwin Wallace.
While preparing for the 2018 fall semester, he had shoulder surgery on his non-throwing arm after tearing his labrum.
"I couldn't even do a pushup," McGovern said. "I wasn't going to play in the fall. I didn't want to hurt myself more or leave a bad impression with the team."
He redshirted the 2018 season, which he admitted was a tough adjustment.
"I had been part of organized football since I was 4," McGovern said. "It was a big path and that started a bad path with school. My mind wasn't right."
McGovern still took part in team activities and was ready for spring ball, but realized he had actually torn the labrum in his throwing shoulder, too.
He didn't want to have another surgery, however.
"I wasn't getting the reps I liked," he said. "They moved me to tight end and I played there for a week. It's a lot different. Quarterback is more cerebral and tight end is violent. I was still undersized (at 195 pounds). They want me at 240."
After the semester was finished, McGovern decided to take a semester off from BW.
He has since enrolled at Lakeland Community College for the fall.
"I was done with finals and my grades still were not great," he said. "If I want to be there, I want to be successful. In high school, it was class all day, then football. In college, it's class, football, class, class. I struggled to keep up with the amount of reading."
McGovern said the work load is increased both academically and on the football field collegiately.
After the fall semester, McGovern hopes to return to BW and rejoin the football squad.
"I had talked to (Yellow Jackets coach Jim Hilvert) a little bit," McGovern said. "He said he would have a place for me, assuming my grades were up to par."
In the meantime, McGovern is using his situation at BW and coaching at GV as a learning experience.
"It's a little embarrassing, but I feel like I have a second chance," he said. "(Coaching) keeps me around the game. You kind of forget when you're not involved. If not for this opportunity, I don't feel like I would be motivated to get back into football."
He's appreciative of the opportunity afforded at GV.
"Everyone in the school has just been really welcoming to me as I've come back, but I'm still being pushed to get back to football by them," McGovern said. "The rest of the staff is great."