DMS coach says stay in shape, idle back agenda

Tina Harbuck
Destin Coach Mark Hinterthan watches as the team works through drills at Destin Middle School. [TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG]

With three years under his belt at the helm of the Destin Marlin football program, Coach Mark Hinterthan is weathering the storm of the COVID-19.

He’s weathering it with a little time fishing, bike riding, watching a little “The Walking Dead,” Zoom conferencing and a little trip to Pounder’s every now and then.

However, the coach/social studies teacher does miss the students, staff and being in the classroom.

“I miss my classes with their character, wit, readiness to learn, and unique way to motivate me each day,” Hinterthan said.

As for football, he was in the process of finalizing his spring football calendar when the threat of the virus closed in and shut everything down, but he can’t wait to get the football program rolling again.

As head football coach of the Marlins, Hinterthan led the team to a 7-0 regular season finish in 2018 with a loss to Baker in the playoffs. This past season, the Marlins finished up 5-3 with a loss to Pryor in the semifinals.

The Log did a Q&A with Coach Hinterthan to get a little insight as to how he’s been dealing with online teaching as well as social distancing.

So how has the social distancing affected you personally?

Social distancing has affected me by slowing me down and creating the understanding of how much we all need/want the day to day interaction of others. On one side, because I have time to myself, I'm paying attention to some of the little things that may have been over looked on a daily basis, while on the other side, I'm missing the groups and daily activities of everyday life as it was.

What do you miss most about being at Destin Middle every day?

What I am missing the most about not being at DMS everyday is obviously the kids. I miss my classes with their character, wit, readiness to learn, and unique way to motivate me each day. I also miss the other teachers as well as the other students who pass through the halls each day. These special people are what makes DMS a unique educational experience. Also, I was in the process of finalizing our spring football organizational calendar when we took leave so I can't wait to get our football program rolling again when the time comes.

How has the transition to an online classroom gone?

The transition to online classes has been somewhat smooth for most of us involved, even though we are constantly monitoring, adapting, and learning new programs and systems along the way. I think (the Okaloosa County School Board) did a great job getting us ready for the transition and helping the students get online and have what they needed. Don't get me wrong ... I would much rather be in my classroom with my students everyday, but the transition to online course work is allowing us to establish our credit hours for course completion.

Out of all the postponements and cancellations between pro and college, what sport do you miss the most and why?

With all the postponements and cancellations in college and professional sports I'm missing a lot of opportunity to enjoy the action. I was going to try to enjoy a few games with my sons over spring break as I had tickets to an Orlando City soccer game and hockey tickets to a Tampa Bay Lightning game. Both were canceled. Now I'm hearing that the XFL has terminated it's league as well. At this point, I'm just spending more time on the phone catching up with friends who are college and H.S coaches to share info, as their spring is also altered. I really enjoy all levels of spring football, and hate to miss it - but, our safety does come first.

What does a world without sports look like to you?

What would our world look like with out sports? - UUUGGGHHHH ... No ESPN? No SEC network etc... ? I think that ESPN is doing a great job airing some of the older sporting events that are now being re-run. Unless you are a huge baseball or hockey fan, you may not be feeling to much of a crunch. If we took all sports off the table in our society, I think there would be a big decline in youth and young adult behavior/discipline. All the life skills that are learned from competing in athletics would be lost. I believe that behind every successful man or woman is a man or woman who has participated in competitive athletics or has coached them for their success.

Have you watched or binged anything good?

What I've watched or binged while under quarantine hasn't been consistent. I haven't really found anything to stick with. I'm mastering my remote control skills as I'm flipping from sports, to local news, to any movie that looks interesting. I'm usually pretty good finding a Red Box for a movie, but that's been slow as well. In my house, I think the TV automatically turns on to the "Good Girls," "Empire," and "The Walking Dead." Most of my time lately is being online with the Edgenuity courses, trying to keep up with the students progress and figuring out about Zoom conferencing.

Anything else you’ve been doing to stay busy?

Other things that I've been doing to stay busy is getting on the water. Going out fishing or just sitting out on the water is a pretty good social distancing method. In the water, you have to be 50-feet away from others. The water seams to take some of the stress/edge off of being in the house so much. I've been bike riding, working in the yard, and my fiancee' even got me to walk the track with her.

With all the “at home” time right now, which is your favorite meal of the day - breakfast, lunch or dinner ... and what would be on your plate?

Favorite meal of the day is from Pounders in Niceville. Oh my gosh, I was introduced to it just before spring break and can't get enough of it. They have Hawaiian-style steak, chicken, and pork with rice ... yes, I get all three ... I think I've gained 600 pounds.

What's your go-to snack?

My go to snack has been Adkins bars. I think I keep playing those mental games so I can go back to Pounders. Other than a health bar it's been a quick Grandma's cookie, Doritos, or I even made some rice krispie treats.

What kind of advice have you offered your athletes or students for dealing with the pandemic?

My advice for athletes and students during this time of the virus is to idle back your agenda. Keep doing the things you need to do to stay in shape with your school or athletic goals, but do them in a safe and cautious manner. That means academically keep up with your on line classes and athletically work out where and when it's absolutely safe ... like a garage or back yard. The short time you will miss due to this virus does not compare to the damage done if you are to get infected or infect others. Play it safe and be very cautious.