I have coached in Willamina, Oregon a town of 900 at the time and Vienna, Austria a city of two million. Nearly all of it has been positive. I’ve found there is no greater enjoyment than to be a significant part of the football atmosphere no matter what level or what country.
To me happiness is all about “quality” of life, at home and on the job. Football has given me that happiness, because for most of my career I have worked for and with quality people. The type of quality I am speaking of involves smiles in the work place. It’s support to your face and behind your back. It’s being understood and listened to, with an open mind, on a daily basis. It’s sharing good times together and caring for others in their times of stress and disappointment. It’s being accepted for who you are and what you stand for. It’s listening, talking and communicating with real people, face to face. It’s enjoying a positive atmosphere of give and take between colleagues with proper perspective and a sense of humor. It’s freedom from the tension and stress of a job taken way too seriously. It’s spending time with the “givers” of the world and avoiding the “takers”. It’s keeping my job and my life in its proper place. It’s avoiding people who would prejudge those of us involved in games. Finally, It’s having a life outside of football.
Coaching football affords me the life style opportunity I am talking about. When I was growing up my heroes were Pete Susick, Mel Ingram, Don Requa and Fred Speigelberg. All long time successful high school football coaches in the state of Oregon. My goal has always been to have the same kind of influence on young people they had.
I thank God nearly every day for the opportunity He has given me to work with such an outstanding group of people. I’m lucky. My colleagues are intelligent, honest and supportive. They are easy to work with. They are experienced, qualified and competent. The faculty and staff are talented, caring and hard working. My coaching staff is loyal, creative and gifted. These people are my friends, they are welcome in my home. The football players are enthusiastic, bright and motivated. The students are encouraging, challenging and responsive. I go to work every day of the week with a smile on my face. I feel accepted and appreciated. I am treated with respect and with dignity. I am where I want to be and where I do my best work. I have two very good reasons to be thankful I am in the coaching profession. First, I love what I do and second, I am very good at it.
I have always felt it my obligation to pass on to other football coaches my ideas. I don’t feel I have anything to hide. I enjoy sharing my creations. This is the reason I have taken the time to write a second book.
Many of my former players have urged me to build a web site and make available my writing. Furthermore they advise me to quick thinking like a school teacher and begin to think like a business man. Not easy but as one young man said, “You’ve give away your ideas for years coach, now it’s time to begin charging a fee.”
Ok, how much? I’ve given this a lot of thought and here is my feeling on the subject. I’m not a young buck who spent an off-season putting together a play book and thinks that qualifies him as a coach. This book is the result of many years in the coaching arena. It’s proven material and it works. My ideas, innovations and creativity are for sale but I’m not going to give them away. If the Cadillac price offends you I’m sorry but this book ain’t no Ford.
My detractors have said, “He’s got great players so of course he’s successful.” I would counter with this question, “Have I had the best players every year?” The answer would be no, but I would add that my players enjoy what they are doing and understand that quality effort equals excellent results on or off the football field. You will hear me mention Quality many times in the manuscript and trust me quantity is way over rated. The more is better routine might work for a little while but I’m pretty sure if you’re in this game for the long haul you better figure out the Law of Diminishing Returns.
My coaching life has been 95% positive and I have learned great lessons from every experience. The good times have far outweighed the bad and I feel I have been truly blessed. I have good friends all over the world. Thanks football, for the memories.