MHS Athletic Hall of Fame 2023: Mitchell Trubisky

11 years after graduating, Trubisky looks back on his time at Mentor

John Zaccardelli


Mitchell Trubisky poses for photos as an all-star in 2012.

Juliana Gunvalsen, Editor

Advisor’s Note: After two years of not being able to hold a Mentor High School Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony, two classes of athletes will be inducted on Saturday, March 25 at 6 p.m. in the Mentor High Fine Arts Center with a reception to follow at the St. John Vianney Social Center. Cardinal Nation has reached out to the inductees for a series on these Mentor Cardinals and what they have to say about their induction and their careers. Our second profile during this Super Bowl week is NFL player Mitchell Trubisky.

In 2012, Mitchell Trubisky was named Ohio’s Mr. Football by the Associated Press and AP Sportswriters Association for his play that season, a first for Mentor High School. The plaque bearing his name is outside the gym hallway. The comeback win against St. Ignatius was chosen by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission as the “2012 Best Moment in Cleveland Sports.” Following his impressive four years as quarterback for our football team, Trubisky has gone on to have a successful football career outside of high school. He spent his college years playing at the University of North Carolina before being the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. During his time in the NFL he has played for three teams. He was first drafted to the Chicago Bears (3 seasons), signed then for one season with the Buffalo Bills, and just played last season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cardinal Nation got to ask him some questions, and this is what we learned:

Cardinal Nation: How did your years at Mentor help you after you left Mentor High School?

Trubisky: I think in the classroom and on the field I was well prepared by my coaches and teachers.  The classes at Mentor, I think, really prepared me for the classes at UNC, just like with the amount of homework and studying and all that I had to do on my own to get good grades at North Carolina. Then when it came to football and basketball, I think the coaches I had like Coach Trivisonno and Coach Janiak really prepared me mentally for football, for what I was going to need in the future, so I think the teachers, and definitely the coaches, I had prepared me for college and anything after it and gave me the tools to be successful at the next level and at the highest level since college so I would say I had a lot of good mentors along the way. 

Tribusky was named The News-Herald’s player of the year in 2012.

Cardinal Nation: What was your favorite experience as part of your Mentor Athletics career? 

Trubisky: I would definitely say going to the final four in football my senior year after we beat St. Ignatius and St Edwards back to back. That playoff run my senior year with all my best friends, and it being my last year at Mentor, just meant a lot to me. We came up just short of the state title, but after beating St Eds and St Ignatius, those are two of the most fun games I have ever played in, very memorable, and then making it to the final four was awesome. Definitely that football season, and also playing basketball and just playing with all the guys that I grew up with really meant a lot to me and created lifelong memories. 

2012 Mentor FB team celebrates win.

Cardinal Nation: What about the 2012 football team makes them worthy of induction? 

Trubisky: It was just a special team. I mean I think 2012 was my senior year so we just wanted to go out with a bang and all those guys on the team were people I grew up with and I think it was me, Brandon Short and Reese Armstrong were the captains and those were guys I’ve been playing with since I was little. Couple of the guys I was throwing the ball to were Kriszansic and Fritz, who are also going into the hall of fame in March, two of my best friends, so it was a special year. We really felt like it was just kind of magic when we were on the field together, we were just having fun, enjoying the moment, and we were kind of just enjoying the season. Looking back on it, we had a great team… I think we were most proud of how close we are and how much fun we had together just playing the game and it turned out to have really good results. I just remember having a lot of fun that year and also the home games were just incredible. I don’t think we lost a game at home the last two or three years I was playing there, so the home games were always special. You know, protecting our home turf… 

Connor and Brandon are who I am closest with, and then everyone else on the team I’ll check in with them now and then and check in on them on social media. We’re getting old now so it’s kind of crazy, but those are some of my best friends. 

In terms of getting old, Trubisky is now married to his wife, Hillary, and they welcomed their son, Hudson, last year.
In terms of getting old, Trubisky is now married to his wife, Hillary, and they welcomed their son, Hudson, last year.

Cardinal Nation: What was your reaction to learning about induction, and what does it mean to you? 

Trubisky: It wasn’t a goal of mine, but it’s an honor and it’s a tremendous honor for me. The first time I ever learned about what a hall of fame was when I was walking the walls of Perry High School and I actually saw my dad’s plaque up there. Ever since then I thought it would be very cool to go into my high school’s hall of fame… I thought it was so cool to see my dads picture up there and i thought I wanted to have my picture up in my high school one day and that’s what I did. I’m very proud and honored to be going into the hall of fame. The people I’m going into the hall of fame with, Connor, Brandon, Coach Janiak, and Coach Triv, I think that makes it even more special because those guys have had such an impact on my life. It will be very memorable and a huge honor for me to be inducted with those guys. 

He [my dad] is excited. When I got inducted he made sure to remind me he was the first hall of famer in the family. It was his way of messing with me, but he’s very proud. Him and my mom are both very happy so they are excited for the ceremony in March. We’re going to come back for it in March, it’ll be good to be back in town. 

Cardinal Nation: When you look back on your time at Mentor, what do you think about most?

Trubisky: Definitely all the relationships I created, and then just pride and what it means to be from Mentor and play for that city. When I was growing up all I ever wanted to do was play for the Mentor cardinals and it’s just special playing for the city you grow up in. It means a lot to play football and basketball there, so that and then all of the relationships I created along the way. 

Cardinal Nation: Can the pride of playing for your hometown be mimicked elsewhere?

Trubisky: I think it can, I think it can. There have been some teams. I think my last year at Carolina I kind of felt that and then my time with the Chicago Bears I felt that and then when I was in Buffalo the one year I felt it there too, so it definitely happens sometime but its rare when you find it and I think when you have that pride and those great relationships on the team I think that’s when you have a really great culture.

Cardinal Nation: What is the biggest misconception about being in the NFL? 

Trubisky: I think the biggest misconception is because we only play on Sundays and that’s when people see us, a lot of the harder work is done during the off season and during the week, so there’s so much work that goes into it besides just playing on Sundays. It’s taking care of your body, practicing throughout the week, watching hours of film, training in the offseason, hours of preparation just to play, and a two to three hour game on Sunday. So there’s a lot that goes into it. 

Cardinal Nation: What do you think people need to know about your career that most would not?

Trubisky: I would say that it’s a tough journey and that I’ve embraced it and that I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished but I’m not satisfied and I believe there’s more out there for me to accomplish. 

Cardinal Nation: How has your ability to overcome adversity allowed you to be successful throughout your career from high school to now? 

Trubisky: I think I’ve always kind of embraced adversity and I just go back to who I am and why I play this game and that’s always gotten me through the hard times. I just love playing football so to be able to do it for a job is a blessing and just a bonus. There’s going to be ups and down but you just have to remember who you are and why you play this game. For me, I just love playing football so there’s always going to be ups and downs, but if I remember I’m playing a game at the end of the day and I do it for a job and because I love it, you can always get through the hard times and they just always make you stronger in the end. 

Cardinal Nation: Any advice for current students doing what you were doing? What do you wish you knew in high school?

Trubisky: My advice would be to have a long term goal of being in the NFL, but you have to set short term goals along the way. So for me, when I was in high school I was just worried about winning games and then like getting to college. When I was in college, I wasn’t thinking about the NFL. I was thinking about just winning games in college and becoming a starter, helping the team.  You have a long term goal in mind, but you have short, immediate goals along the way to help you reach the long term goal. Obviously people are going to tell you you can’t accomplish anything, it’s going to be really hard, and it’s unlikely, but if you believe in something, you just have to go after it and chase it with everything you got. There’s going to be ups and downs along that journey too, but if you believe you can accomplish something you set your mind to and you work super hard then it’s definitely possible and that’s what I try to do. 

Cardinal Nation: How do you think the goals for yourself change once you’re in the NFL?

Trubisky:The mindset for me  now that I’m in the NFL is to win a super bowl and then also to play as long as I can and be as healthy as I can. I want to win a super bowl. I want to play this game as long as I can. I want to be healthy while I do it. So there’s a lot of hard work that goes into that… winning the super bowl is definitely number one and then I want to play football as long as I can.