I'm fortunate that my two daughters have provided me with plenty of proud "dad" moments.
One I will never forget is Kayla's first day as an elementary school teacher. (I call her "teacher girl"). I don't know who was more excited about her first day, Kayla or me. I can think of few jobs that are as important and fulfilling as teaching. I imagine how good it must feel to be a teacher, and have your former students come back and tell you how much you meant to them.
I view good teachers as a valuable commodity.
I feel the same way about coaching and good coaches.
Some of my coworkers can name just about every teacher they've had from kindergarten to college graduation. I can name a few teachers, but I remember all my coaches. I really appreciate the " good" coaches I had.
I've heard Chad Morris say on numerous occasions that outside of his parents, coaches had the most impact on him growing up.
Joe Fred Young, Mickey Johnson and Bob McClure. Three coaches I got to know well when I was working in Fort Smith in the mid 80's. Three successful coaches with three different coaching philosophies. It was there that I became a big fan of high school coaches.
Coaching, like teaching has changed a lot over the years.
Football coaching has become a year-round job. Off-season conditioning, spring workouts, 7-on-7, team camp and the season.
Last season, Jamie Mitchell led North Little Rock to a 7A state title. If you added up all the hours he and his staff poured into making that title possible, I think you would see that were paid pennies per hour for their work.
What's the payoff ? It goes beyond wins for most of the coaches.
In many communities around the state, football is more than just a game.
It's hard to gauge the impact someone like longtime Cabot head coach, Mike Malham, has had on the school and community, . What would Warren be like without Bo Hembree ? McClellan without Maurice Moody ? What would Pulaski Academy look like if Kevin Kelley wasn't it's head coach ? When I think about Rison, the first person that comes to mind is their football coach Clay Totty.
We will kickoff the high school season next Monday. Big thanks and good luck to all the " good " coaches who are making a difference.