Sunday, September 9, 2007

From Ball Boy to Head Coach

Here is a picture of my brothers from the early/mid-eighties. My dad was the head football coach in the small Oklahoma town where I grew up and my brothers were always either water boys or ball boys until they themselves became players. They both played in high school. The one on the right went on to play football for a small university in Oklahoma and later came back to coach there. He was just recently promoted to the head coach of a college in South Texas. Head coach! Like he's a grown man who is capable of being in charge of an entire football team!
I had to see this for myself, so my family and I traveled to their game last night, which was played at a college not far from where we live. And you know what? He's a grown man who is completely capable of being in charge of an entire football team. He will probably be embarrassed when he reads this, but I have to say it anyway. I am so proud of him.
He is amazing.
I have read countless news articles in the last couple of months and they all make me tear up when I read the kind words people have said about him. Firm, but fair. Disciplined, but fun...a "player's coach." Finally, it's out there for the world to see: He is a good guy. A really really good guy. If you had told me 20 years ago that I would WANT the world to know how awesome he is, I would have said you were crazy. He was the brother who drove me the most nuts. I think it was his goal in life to make me scream (not that it was that hard to do back then!) It took a long time for him to grow on me. But now, he's like my best friend. I couldn't imagine life without him.
And last night, after a difficult loss, I saw him how everyone else must see him now. He was composed on the field with his players, he was completely professional as he visited with reporters and his athletic director. He hugged his wife (who, I think, took the loss harder than he did), and held his nieces. He was kind and strong. He was disappointed in the loss, but looking ahead at how to make things better next week. He was exactly what you would hope for from a man in his position. He is the head coach.


Patricia Stuever said...

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Lauren (better known as snooga by the boys) said...

Ahhhh I love this post!!! I am so proud of him. He makes me want to cry and laugh all at the same time! I hope my son grows up to be half the man that our brothers are! We are really lucky ya know sis!!!

betsy said...

Oh what a sweet story!!!! I can only imagine how proud you are. This about made me tear up.
I really loved the pic!! Its crazy how much baby JD looks like his daddy!!!!

windycindy said...

I respect men who coach any sports' teams. Both of my sons have played baseball for as long as I can remember. For their summer teams, the men never even saw a paycheck, yet they freely gave of their time and effort! Now, since both of my sons have played high school baseball, I see how if they respect their coaches, they will play even harder for them. I commend coaches. Cindi