MANISTIQUE - Todd Kangas will be pulling double duty as a head coach at Manistique High School this season.
The veteran football coach has added the school's boys varsity basketball job to his plate.
"It's kind of a natural thing for me. I've done every level in the basketball program and here is the opportunity to do the highest level," he said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "It's something I've wanted to give a try."
Kangas has been the MHS jayvee coach the past six years after spending one year as freshman coach and working on the grade 7-8 level for 13 years.
He has been head football coach since 1990, when football resumed after a one-year absence due to millage problems.
Kangas succeeds Ed Marietti as basketball coach. Marietti, who resigned after 13 years, remains a varsity football assistant.
"I've learned a lot from watching Ed," Kangas said. "You learn from seeing different styles from different people. Ed was a great tutor for me."
Kangas said the timing was perfect to take on both head coaching positions.
"If I didn't do it, I probably would never get the chance again. I would wonder if I missed out on something or did I make the right decision (by not applying)," he said of taking a couple of days to make the decision upon Marietti's departure.
"Here is your chance, your opportunity. Go ahead and do it. It's something I really wanted to give a shot. I don't think it will be a long, long-term deal."
Kangas, who played basketball for U.P. Sports Hall of Fame coach Irv Dieterle at Westwood High School, said he had thought about coaching basketball for years. "If I ever get the chance to be a varsity basketball coach, I wanted to give it a shot. This is the perfect time," he said.
He realizes many of the athletes will be playing for him in both sports and knows how important it will be to keep the sports separate.
"It will be important to maintain a good rapport working with the guys and being there for them in both sports," he said.
He has already begun open gym practices for basketball and has former Emeralds engaging in scrimmages.
The football team, which begins practice Aug. 6, participated in a three-day camp with Munising and Newberry, with about 70 players working at each of the three fields.
Kangas said the biggest thing about holding both head coaching positions will be the time factor with practice sessions.