MHS Athletic Hall of Fame 2023: Coach Nes Janiak

Read our interview with the long-time quarterbacks coach for the Fighting Cardinals football team


Jeff Cassella

MHS Athletic Hall of Fame 2023 inductee Nes Janiak, quarterbacks coach

Quinn Fuerst, Cardinal Nation Contributor

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 third profile is for Coach Nes Janiak.

Long-time Mentor football & quarterbacks coach Nes Janiak is part of this year’s MHS Athletic Hall of Fame class. He is being recognized for his 45 years of coaching. He coached many different sports and many different levels. He was the 8th grade and Freshman football coach at Ridge Middle School from 1974-1981. At Ridge Middle School he also coached 8th Grade Boys Basketball and wrestling for a year. He also coached girls basketball for nine years. He coached for the Mentor High School football team from 1981-1995 and 1997-2020. From 1997-2020 he coached the defensive line, defensive backs, wide receivers, and quarterbacks. During his time coaching his team placed in Divisions 1 Region 1 finals 11 times, the Division 1 State Final Four six times, and the Division 1 State Championship four times. During 27 years coaching the quarterbacks,  Janiak had 9 seasons where the quarterback was named 1st Team Division 1 All-Ohio.  Six individual quarterbacks were named Division 1 1st Team All Ohio. four quarterbacks were named the Offensive Player of the Year in the State of Ohio in Division 1, and two quarterbacks were named Ohio’s Mr. Football. Cardinal Nation had the pleasure of asking Janiak a few questions.

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

Janiak: It was a great honor and it brought back many fond memories of my coaching career.

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

Janiak: Since every experience was unique, my years at Mentor helped me understand that you need to take time to  “enjoy each and every moment”.

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

Janiak: Watching the athletes on their journeys as they strive to maximize their potentials.

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

Janiak: Two things: 1) Did I prepare the players enough for their time after athletics;  2) I miss Friday nights—coaching the games. There is nothing like it.

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

Janiak: Every day that I coached, I learned something new about the game or about one of the players.

Cardinal Nation:  Advice for current students doing what you were doing? 

Janiak: Find out what you’re good at, enjoy doing and have passion for—then go for it.

Cardinal Nation:  If you were a participant in one of the inducted teams, what can you tell us about those teams that make them worthy of induction? 

Janiak: Both teams achieved much success.  But, that only happened because the entire team, players and coaches alike, shared a common goal and worked together unselfishly to reach it.