Archived Story

Volunteer of the Week: Josh Cavanaugh, of Niles

Published 9:11am Thursday, May 8, 2014

Josh Cavanaugh, 40, owns Cavanaugh Construction in Niles. He volunteers his time as a coach of several local youth leagues, including Optimist Soccer and Niles-Brandywine Girls Softball Association (NBGSA). He also sponsors the teams.


Q: How did you get into coaching?

I started helping out with Optimist back when my oldest daughter was in kindergarten, so it’s been about 10 years. I initially just started by helping out with whatever was needed and then took the role of coaching.

This will be my last year. I told my kids I’d be retiring because it only goes to eighth grade and my youngest daughter is in eighth grade. We practice two nights a week for about an hour and a half. That’s three hours a week, which isn’t that much.

When I was coaching two teams it was double that. Right now I am doing two softball teams as well — one for each of my girls — down at the NBGSA. So I’ve actually got practice every night of the week. This is my third or fourth year doing that. I also coached volleyball at the YMCA for years.

I actually didn’t think I would be coaching softball. I thought I’d be sitting in the bleachers, but it didn’t work out that way.


Q: What do you enjoy about coaching?

When I go to practice or a game it doesn’t seem like work at all. I like to see the kids progress and watch them develop, no matter what sport it is.

When I was coaching volleyball I had kids that couldn’t serve the ball over the net. Now they are playing in national tournaments. So seeing that progression is the biggest thing.

Also, it is about building relationships too. When I see one of those kids in the supermarket or somewhere with another parent, it’s nice to have that relationship. I appreciate it.


Q: Why is it important to volunteer?

When I was younger I got so much from giving people. We weren’t very well off at all, so I received a lot of help. I know that I am who I am because of that. I like to give that back out. I have a good time with the kids. Watching the kids excel, have good attitudes — that’s what it’s all about.


Do you know a volunteer worthy of recognition? Nominate him or her as Volunteer of the Week by calling Craig Haupert, Niles community editor, at (269) 687-7720, or e-mailing him at

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