Tuesday, August 11, 2015

So Much for "Dumb Jock" Coaches

I have been a superintendent for a long time, and without fail there are people who still think that athletic coaches are just "dumb jocks". That they played their sport in high school or college and then decided to use their name and reputation to coach students "the way they were coached" or played themselves. Wrong! Last week our varsity football coach, Joe Corley, demonstrated why this is not true.

Football is an interesting sport. While at times other high school athletic teams may be more successful, it is rare that other sports get more fans than the local high school football team. Some of that is the nostalgia that the crisp fall air at the stadium gives community members. For other people they are drawn to football for many different reasons.

When we hire varsity coaches we are not necessarily looking for the person who is going to bring the most wins. More importantly, we are looking for people who care about the program and will develop the athlete from the youngest of ages right through college. Coaches who want to be a positive role model and mentor are who we seek out. As a superintendent I need to be able to look ANY parent in the eyes and tell them that I would let my own children play for that coach.

Coach Corley and his football program have certainly had ups and downs. They have played in the Carrier Dome at the end of a season and have not made it to the post season. Throughout that time, coach Corley and his staff have worked to keep players safe, be solid role models, and help students reach their potential both on and off the field. He has had great success in developing players and working with college coaches to get players opportunities after high school.

More importantly, he has been a champion for student safety, especially in the area of head injuries. It is rare that I would spend an entire blog post on one coach, but an essay he recently authored about making the game of football safer struck a chord with me, and I wanted to share it. Please take a moment to read his take on making the game of football safer by clicking here. West Genesee is fortunate to have a thoughtful, compassionate, and forward thinking coach, and I am even more excited about the season than I was before. #WildcatPride.

Enjoy the week!