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Things I wish I had done differently: #1 - Handling Finances- Spend more now, Save for the future less


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Hope the BGPreps crowd enjoys this.  
 
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For the first time in my life, I do not have a football team this fall. Even before I played and coached, my Dad's teams were my teams. I remember well the 1969 Boyle County Rebels (4 years old), passing out equipment, the first game at Greensburg, the big win over Danville, the team Christmas Party at our house... and much, much, more.

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 After 30 years as a head football coach and a lifetime of HS football, it has been a huge adjustment... for everyone in our house. The morning after I resigned felt like I had landed on new planet... where in the world was I?  The offseason was tough, the preseason has been even tougher and more so than I had anticipated.

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In hopes of having a team in 2023, I am using some of this time to learn, reflect, and improve as a coach. Through QB workouts, consulting, video analysis, staff meetings, visiting other programs, practices, scouting, etc. it has been fun and beneficial, already, to see some different approaches to the game.  Over the next few weeks, I am going to take a hard look at some of the stuff that our programs did in the past 30 years. I will also look to new coaches and new ideas that will make me better. And, as already has happened, much of what we did at Paris, Mason County, and Mercer County ... it has been confirmed (at least to me) that we did some awful good things for our kids and program.  Things I wish I had done differently, things we did well, changes for the future... I will share those periodically in this blog. 

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The first light bulb that has come on for me, that I wish I had done differently.... I did not spend enough of our money on the teams I coached and I was too concerned about leaving a healthy bank account for the coach that would replace me. I was way too concerned about "spoiling" the kids by spending too much money on them whether it be gear, food, trips, etc. "Entitlement" is the evil monster that all of us well-meaning adults are battling in the 21st century.  It has really bothered me that I didn't do more with them. Now, to WIN, every dime was spent that would help us win. But, I wish I had spent more time on fun and fellowship. 

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For 30 years, overwhelmingly, the kids I coached did what we asked them to do. And, most of them gave a good effort in doing so.  They showed up for practice at 5:45 am. 

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Before the heat index rules, they practiced in full gear  when it was very hot. They accepted me and our staff pushing them to be their best. They were the recipients of constructive criticism, that at times was too harsh in delivery. They were exceptional young men that had the discipline, patience and the toughness to deal with me as their head coach. Now, everything we would do was in their best interest. But, were there times that I was too confrontational, over the top.... and how often did I overreact?  A bunch!

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What saved me?  My kids knew I loved them and they were good young men. But, some of those times were not much fun. Bottom line, I wish more money had been spent. When the guys would get new gear, their eyes would light up. They would be appreciative and say thank you. Sharing a meal was a great time, whether we talked about football or not. 

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Along these lines, I spent way too much time worried about the next coach and the program after I was gone. Is the future important and do we need to leave football program finances in great shape... absolutely!  But, I definitely think I shortchanged the guys I coached to make sure things would go well for the players after us.  I wish I had spent more on my guys. They poured their guts, tears, blood & sweat into Greyhound, Royal, & Titan football. An extra perk here and there would have been more than earned & justified. 

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My next team, if we have money, we will spend more of it. We'll still save for the future, but it won't be life or death to leave a big balance of funds. 

I'll tell you this... I've coached some awful good young men the past thirty years and each day that passes, I appreciate them more and more. They were really special. I am very much a blessed old coach and the guys I coached.... they were the BEST!

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#FindAWayToWin

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I love everything about this. The honesty, the self reflection, the commitment to never stop learning and growing. This was my favorite part, though...

2 hours ago, ChiefSmoke said:
My next team, if we have money, we will spend more of it. We'll still save for the future, but it won't be life or death to leave a big balance of funds. 

The conviction and self assurance that you will coach again. It's not a matter of if, but when. 

The fact that you've been in the game this long is a testament to the leader and educator of young minds that you are. And I share your conviction. It's not a matter of if we see you on a sideline again, but rather, when. I can't wait to see where the next chapter in the book of your life takes you. Wherever you land, I have no doubt it'll be on your feet and you will be a blessing to that school and community.

I'm not sure I believe in luck, so instead I'll wish you good fortune in your future endeavors.

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9 hours ago, DevilMayCare said:

I love everything about this. The honesty, the self reflection, the commitment to never stop learning and growing. This was my favorite part, though...

The conviction and self assurance that you will coach again. It's not a matter of if, but when. 

The fact that you've been in the game this long is a testament to the leader and educator of young minds that you are. And I share your conviction. It's not a matter of if we see you on a sideline again, but rather, when. I can't wait to see where the next chapter in the book of your life takes you. Wherever you land, I have no doubt it'll be on your feet and you will be a blessing to that school and community.

I'm not sure I believe in luck, so instead I'll wish you good fortune in your future endeavors.

I sure do appreciate the kind words. Thank you so much. 

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1 hour ago, ATLCat said:

Dave Ramsey really takes issue with Coach's thread title..... 😄

 

Great piece and a great perspective though!

If I can get a job for 2023, maybe I can get Dave Ramsey on the schedule. 😎

I have really changed my mind on this issue. A year ago, I would have agreed with Dave Ramsey. 

When you coach great young men for 30 years, and that comes to a screeching halt, it really gets your attention. My kids were super. They deserved more. I was good to them , but could have been better. 

Bottom line…. I’ve been too dang serious. Too worried about building the future.  That has a place, but I was off the rails. I realize that now. 
 

 

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