Monday, January 14, 2019

Last and First Games...

If you look over the posts from the last six months they all center around the 2018 football season at Thomas More University. It was a unique season for several reasons, especially because I was pretty sure it was going to be my last one. Besides the blog posts I have several hundred pages of notes from the last four seasons about coaching, not just at Thomas More and not just football. I've had this idea for awhile to write a book about coaching, using a diary like structure of a season as the frame story that would allow me to insert smaller stories. I figured I'd spend this winter and next summer working on it, and hopefully have something done by next fall. That's what I had planned...

I did know that this year was going to be my last at Thomas More. I really enjoyed my time there, but I had one of those birthdays that ends with a '0' and I had a few other adventures I wanted to pursue.

My coaching book was not going to be about all the names you read in the paper and see on TV. It isn't going to be about those coaches and their million dollar salaries. I want it to be about all the coaches I have worked with all these years, high school and small college coaches and the real world we have lived in.

O.K., that was my intention for the 2018/19 football and school year. I was going to stay at TMU until the spring semester ended, working on the book when I had time away from tutoring and teaching English, then work on it almost full-time through the summer and into the fall.

Then I got another call from Dave Armstrong. He was the old friend who got me to come to Thomas More in the first place, and now was president at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Florida. Would I be interested in coming and help starting a football program from scratch? Be an assistant coach and the academic advisor? Would I be interested in being on the faculty pay scale and possibly teaching a creative writing class? Would I be interested in ending my teaching and coaching career in South Florida, on a beautiful campus eight miles from the beaches of my youth?

And so that is how I have ended up living in a dorm for the first time since I was 19 years old (living free on campus for a semester was another perk to get me down here). It's actually a building that once was a Holiday Inn, built to house the Miami Dolphins when they trained on St. Thomas's campus back in the 60's.

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