Double Duty: Tinley Park High School's O'Shea enjoys coaching both baseball & football

Double Duty: Tinley Park High School's O'Shea enjoys coaching both baseball & football
Posted on 06/27/2018
Double Duty: Tinley Park High School's O'Shea enjoys coaching both baseball & football

By: Jonathan Barlas, Tinley Junction
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While dual-sport athletes seem to be very common at the high school level, the existence of dual-sport coaches are certainly not. 

With the exception of track/cross country or swimming/water polo it is not every day that a coach attempts to tackle the beast of heading up two high-profile varsity programs. 

For Tinley Park baseball and football coach Josh O’Shea, it was an opportunity he could not pass up. 

O’Shea was named Tinley Park’s football coach in December, finding himself both in the dugout and on the sidelines this summer.  

O’Shea was a dual-sport athlete at Bremen where he excelled in both football and baseball. Ultimately attending Benedictine University, he worked in construction shortly after graduation only to discover that something was missing.

Unhappy with his initial career choice, he soon realized his calling for coaching was right in front of him all along. O’Shea shared both his passion and reasoning for adding football to his coaching résumé. 

“I loved playing two sports growing up and I wanted to always do something that dealt with sports,” O’Shea said. “I was a football coach first when I made a career change. It was something I wanted to take on as a challenge and when it became open, I didn’t want there to be any regret that I had the opportunity  to coach football and didn’t go for it.” 

Regardless of the many obligations and struggles coaching two major high school sports presents, O’Shea is having fun in the process as his support system acts as a crutch for his success.

“It’s been fun,” O’Shea said. “I’ve been so zoned in on baseball lately since we got to sectionals, but I’ve gotten a lot of help from my assistant coaches during offseason [football] conditioning. The hardest part is the administrative side of it, the setting up of 7-on-7, dealing with baseball coaches during football sessions, ordering T-shirts, jerseys, answering emails, making a checklist, that stuff all started to collide in the spring. I get a lot of help; I’m not doing it on my own by any means.”

Although kickoff for the high school football season looms closer with every summer session, baseball is still fresh in O’Shea’s mind. 

Marking a 25-12 record in O’Shea’s fourth year at the helm, the Titans collected both a regional championship and conference title for the first time in more than 20 years. 

Tinley Park made its first sectional playoff appearance since 1998, losing to Joliet Catholic in the Class 3A Ottawa Sectional Semifinal, May 31.

Undoubtedly requiring a significant amount of time and dedication, coaching both Tinley Park’s baseball and football varsity programs are no easy feat. Along with his coaching duties, O’Shea’s wife, Katie and two young children Ari and Mylo definitely keeps his hands full in all aspects of his life.

The Tinley Junction kept up with O’Shea’s packed schedule on a particularly busy June 20 as the double-duty workload tired out a reporter and photographer as well.

A day in the life of Josh O’Shea

Editorial intern Jonathan Barlas chronicles the long day of Tinley Park High School baseball and football coach John O’Shea on June 20, 2018: 

6:30 a.m. – O’Shea wakes up and pours milk for his kids’ (Ari and Milo) and cereal before he even gets dressed.

8:15 a.m. – He drives the kids to his mother-in-law’s house as his wife, Katie, gets ready to leave for work.

9 a.m. – O’Shea makes it to the field and grabs game balls, extra shirts and tees from his office.

9:30 – 10:50 a.m. – The Titans get underway with batting practice as O’Shea conducts pregame practice and prepares for their summer league game against Andrew.

11 a.m. – Game-time... sort of. The T-Bolts stroll in late due to a rare condition named, “broken-bus-aphobia”

11:26 a.m. – The first pitch is finally thrown at Tinley Park High School. It is cloudy and humid, but no rain!

11:59 a.m. – TPHS scratches its first run of the day on an RBI base hit, 1-0 Titans 

12:13 p.m. – The Titans thwart a T-Bolt comeback with a staggering double play. 1-0 TPHS

12:38 p.m. – Andrew loads the bases and scores a run for a 1-1 tie. 

12:50 p.m. – The Titans reclaim the lead 2-1 on a close play at home. 

12:55 p.m. – Tinley Park threatens with the bases loaded and crosses another runner on a fielder’s choice for a 3-1 lead. 

12:57 p.m. – The Titans score two more on a two-run double, making the score 5-1 in the fifth. 

12:57 p.m. – On a wacky pickoff move, Andrew created an out on the play. 

1:19 p.m. – The Titans last at-bat ended in a ducking yet bunted effort. The batter attempted to avoid a ball thrown at him, but connected with the bat instead of the backstop. The ball rolled back to the pitcher for an easy force out at home. The Titanst win, 5-1.

1:24 p.m. - While the Titans are working on the field, pitcher Julian Vargas climbs to the top of the dugout to retrieve a glove.

1:34 p.m. – O’Shea heads into his office to grab freshman football team’s 7-on-7 gear. 

1:52 p.m. – O’Shea huddles around the players at the freshman camp, introducing them to the hardships of high school football. 

1:54 p.m. – The freshman camp begins with 40-yard dashes. 

1:55 p.m. – The construction workers working on Tinley Park’s new athletic field house cheer on the freshmen dashes from afar. 

4:41 p.m. – After spending much of the rest of the afternoon scripting plays, O’Shea arrives at Andrew, ready for four 7-on-7 srimmages with Sandburg, Crete-Monee, Argo and the hosts. He changed from his baseball shirt, which features a palm tree on it, to a football shirt. 

Shortly before 5 - The sun appears... finally. And it cooled off a little.

5:19 p.m. – The Thunder-dome bustles with excitement as a new football season beckons as four teams mix it up while Andrew sits out the first round. Tinley Park faces Argo.

5:26 p.m. – A Titan assistant coach yells to the team: “Everyone get to the bench or coach O’Shea will kick our butts!”

5:30 p.m. – A Titan player makes a nice one-handed grab for pick-six. No rosters. And all the players had no numbers. Reporter’s nightmare.  

5:33 p.m. – The first series concludes. Tinley Park plays Crete in the second set of games. 

5:56 p.m. – Coach O’Shea stands clipboard-clad on the sidelines while Tinley Park works the powerful Warriors up and down the allotted 30 yards. 

6:01 p.m. – Tinley Park ends the second session on a crazy bobbled catch in the end-zone to score. 

6:06 p.m. – Halftime: TPHS goes on their break as the players watch from the side 

6:10 p.m. – O’Shea’s family show up and cheers on from the visitor’s stands behind him. 

6:17 p.m. – Assistant coaches stop by to give a reporter the ”real story” of O’Shea. They claim that he was “raised by wolves... or feral coyotes.” More stories would have been spun, but O’Shea makes his way over to the group to find out what is going on. 

6:20 p.m. – What looked like inebriated drone wobbles and hovers the sky and appears to have been filming the practices. 

6:29 p.m. – O’Shea’s son, Milo, joins the Titans on the sidelines. 

6:33 p.m. – The Titans warm up for their third session of the day. 

6:34 p.m. – Milo participates in team warmups. 

6:43 p.m. – TPHS takes the field for the third session. 

6:55 p.m. – O’Shea is back on the 50-yard line, scripting plays for a sequence against Sandburg.

7:00 p.m. – Tinley Park and Andrew’s game begins - the crosstown rivalry always musters an electric atmosphere, even in a 7-on-7 game. 

7:45 p.m. – The scrimmage wraps up. 

8:00 p.m. – O’Shea drives the player bus himself back to TPHS.

8:30 p.m. – O’Shea leaves TPHS after a long day of both baseball and football games and practices. 

9:00 p.m. – He finally makes it home, makes dinner and watches the North Carolina College World Series game to unwind. 

9:30 p.m. – He tucks in his kids for their bedtime. 

10 p.m. – O’Shea begins to watch and upload film from today’s seven on seven practices to the Hudl website. 

11:30 p.m. – Falls asleep scripting plays, which is only fitting for the dual-sport coach.