Last Saturday I was invited to Celina, Tennessee, a small community about 120 miles away from Nashville. The high school there was honoring a long time former coach by naming the new football stadium after him.
John Teeples coached football from 1955-1969 and in that time had only one losing season. He also won two major bowl games that would be considered state championships now. He did all of this while coaching without one single assistant and often having less than 20 players on his teams.
About 70 of his former players surprised him at the luncheon. Men who were as old as 70 came from all over the area and out of state to show their love and respect. They stood and talked about how Coach Teeples shaped their lives by being tough yet fair and at all times caring for them. He’d pick up the ones that lived in the country and bring them to school and would take them home at night. He was their Sunday School teacher and his wife was their adopted mother.
Here they were, grown, even old men, with tears in their eyes hugging and loving a man who was so overwhelmed that he simply sat in a chair teary eyed. Coach Teeples called it the greatest honor of his life. What it told me was that if you “Coach for Life” you can leave a legacy behind that can affect generations to come.
If you’re a coach now, what kind of legacy are you leaving behind? Only the players you’re coaching now will be able to answer that question.