In the past couple of weeks, I have had a series of milestones involving three of the best athletes I have ever coached. Two weeks ago, I attended the wedding of a young man who, until recently de-throned, had been the best miler I ever had. He also is one of the finest Christian young men I've ever known. He's now a youth and family minister at a local church, and helps me out as a volunteer assistant coach.
Last week, the captain of my 1997 team, with whom I had lost contact, found my number and we got back in touch. He's 29 now, married (his was actually the first wedding of a former student to which I was ever invited, but it was in Kansas), and sent me an email with photos of his two sons. He and his wife are adopting two boys they have been foster parents for. I'm so proud of him!
And this week, I attended the funeral of arguably the best athlete I ever coached, and also an incredible young man. He was killed in an auto accident last weekend. That was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do as a coach.
I guess over 15 years I have coached 500-1000 kids total. A very small minority of those have remained close to me after graduation. They are the ones that give me untold satisfaction with the career field I have chosen. Words cannot express how much it means to me to have been a part of the lives of these three.