A couple of days ago I learned that my high school football coach, Jack Schugars, retired after 42 years of coaching. This is definitely an accomplishment and much more can be said about his coaching. His win/loss record was 262-78. He won 19 league titles. He had 20 playoff appearances, won 3 state titles, and is the Muskegon area’s most winningest football coach. Not to mention that he was my dad’s assistant football coach when my dad played football. Talk about staying power! Why would I dedicate an entire post to my football coach? Because he was more than a coach.
I remember on countless occassions Coach Schugars talking to us about character. This was a HUGE thing in our football program. I am not saying that everyone practiced this kind of character all of the time, but the message stuck and when people were around him they rose to the level he expected.
Another thing about coach Schugars is that his faith was evident to all. Players, parents, and members of the community knew what he stood for and he did not apologize for that. Stories have been told by players and articles have been written in the newspaper about this faith that he professed. I remember on one occasion during practice he called me over and said, “You know what? You are going to be a great pastor someday.” At the time it felt awkward since this statement came right in the middle of practice, but twelve years later I am still talking about it. My coach was an encouragement in all areas of life…not just football.
It sounds cliche, but with Coach Schugars football was more than a game. The principles he used in coaching can be transferred to leadership, family, and even spirituality. You just have to know him to understand how true that statement really is.
What about you? Has there ever been a coach, teacher, or mentor in your life that has greatly impacted you? Let us know in the comments.