It was recently announced that I will be inducted into the National High School Coaching Hall of Fame this summer in Bismarck North Dakota.  I truly believe that this would not have happened if God didn’t put me here at Sacred Heart many years ago.  I had no intention of ever returning to my high school to teach and coach.  It happened because the principal at the time, Father Jim Benton, contacted me and talked to me about the Head Boys Basketball job being available along with a full-time teaching job.  Even after I took it, my plan was to get some experience and then move on to bigger and better things.  The next year I was offered head football, head track and the athletic director job.  Thirty-eight years later…  There have been many good people along the way to work with including Fr. Roh and Dennis Prichard.  Several very good assistant coaches.  And of course, many dedicated and hard-working kids over the years, all working together to build the culture we have today.  I am very thankful.  I am blessed.

Coaching, like teaching, has become more difficult over the years.  There is a coaching shortage just like there is a teacher shortage.  I have seen many coaches over the years get out of the profession.  Some of it is a lack of support from parents or their own administrations.  Some of it is the long hours, missed holidays, and time away from family.  Some of it is the pay just isn’t that good when you consider all the headaches. Some of it is unreal expectations by parents.  Some of it is coaching today’s generation that has been taught that they deserve everything they desire and they should achieve it with the least amount of work.  Hard work isn’t revered anymore, but instead is something to avoid.  This makes coaching a challenge.  I find myself saying the same things I said ten years ago, twenty years ago, and thirty years ago.  If you really want to be good, you have to work.  You have to work hard.  And you have to work hard all the time.  Is that fun?  Not really. But it’s the truth.  The greater the commitment; the greater the reward. I still think kids that don’t go out for track are selling themselves short.  I still think that the summer weight room hours will get you to your goals.  I still think it’s a joke when a kid tells me they’re going to work out on their own rather than play a sport.  I still believe that the multi-sport athletes are the best players I will coach.  Just lately, I gave a kid that exact advice.  Not sure if it will change his mind.  Not sure if he or his parents agree.  And that’s advice coming from a HOF coach:)   Coaching is hard.  The good ones coach hard.  It means pushing and pulling to get the most out of each player.  I often tell my teams that if my best players have the best work ethics, we can have a great team.  And if the best players don’t, it will work against us in the end.  I still believe that.

I got a text from a former player during the middle of this basketball season. He played for me over thirty years ago.  I have only seen him once or twice since he graduated from Sacred Heart.  It gave me a lift. It made me feel appreciated.  I think it sums up what coaches are trying to do despite the society our kids are growing up in today.  It was a sign hanging in a school and he took a pic and sent to me.


  • When a coach takes it easy on you, they’re setting you up for a hard life ahead.
  • Don’t take the coach for granted that’s constantly holding you accountable.
  • They might seem annoying to you in the moment, until one day when you’re annoyed with the life you have.
  • Most coaches aren’t out to “get you,” They’re out to “get you” to where you want to be one day.
  • There’s a reason your coach is on you about being early, staying late, studying, doing extra, taking care of your body, and being a good person.
  • It’s because your coach loves you.  They see what you could be one day.  And if you can’t see that hard coaching is love, you’re blind.


Sacred Heart School – a family educating heart, mind, body and spirit for this life and the next.