(WCCO) – As two-time state champions, Greg Trebil’s teams have been synonymous with winning.
This season is different. Before it started, Trebil found out he has lung cancer. Doctors removed one lung and are now treating the other one.
“It just plain pissed me off when I found out about it,” Trebil said. “I’ve got grandkids that are young and I need lots of time.”
His team, the Holy Angels, is competitive again and his players are the ones giving him a lift.
“The kids, without a doubt,” he said. “When times get a little difficult, it’s always good to have the kids around.”
Trebil also has his own family as a foundation. His four children, a daughter and three sons, all played hockey throughout college and one son played into the NHL. For Trebil, it’s family that comes to the top of his mind in these times.
“We had to come to grips with the fact that the hockey would help but it had to become, maybe even in some ways, a lesser part of my life just because I need to have time for my kids and my grandkids and the rest of them,” he said.
He continues to coach and feels blessed, understanding how fragile it is to be a coach, a husband and a father.
He offered some sage advice, based on his own experience.
“Don’t wait until you find this stuff out,” he said. “Go and spend the time now and I’d give anything now to go back, I don’t know how many years and just start over again and commit more time and more time and get to know the kids better and better. Sports are great. I enjoy the heck out of them but my kids and my family are everything.”
WCCO-TV’s Mike Max Reports