In 2006 during after school workouts we went down into the squat position. We were holding a 45lb plate. As you blew the whistle you stared directly into my eyes and I knew this was my opportunity to earn your respect. I was determined to show you that I was someone you could count on. I wasn’t going to quit and I didn’t.
At the time, I had no clue why that moment was important to me. You were my strength coach. That was your title. That’s what people knew you for. But there was something different about you that I couldn’t articulate at the time. Something more. Yes, you developed us into the biggest, strongest, and fastest football team in the state. You were inducted into the South Carolina sports Hall of Fame. You’ve bred countless predecessors that implement your formula into their program. You’ve received all of the accolades, accomplishments, and recognition anybody could ever imagine in their field. But it was something different about you. You weren’t showy. You were not competing with anybody. You weren’t looking for the next big thing. No, you just wanted the best for us. When you smiled, it looked genuine. When you walked, it embodied confidence. When you talked, everyone paid attention. When I saw you ten years later at the strength symposium it was as if nothing had changed. You hadn’t even aged. There you were, in the front row, taking notes. Your effortless presence and positive spirit evoked the same effects in me as it did ten years ago. Still passionately in love with your family and helping young men develop.
In 2006 I thought that it was your respect I wanted. Older, aware, and in control of my life, I realize that it was your contentment I wanted. As a matter of fact, it’s what everybody wants. Thank you for being a living example. Thank you for implanting the seed. Hell, I don’t know if I would’ve ever found it without you..