You can take the coach out of the game, but you can’t take the game out of the coach. My inspiration for A Coach’s Daughter is from my mom, Georgia Carol Lackey Walker, a.k.a. Coach Walker. She’s also affectionately known by family and friends as simply, “G.” In a few hours we will see the first NCAA CFP National Championship game so I thought it was only appropriate to share her thoughts on this college football season and sports, in general.
THE COACH: After watching all the bowl games this season, it looks like football in America is balanced – no real dominance from any one conference. I believe they should go to eight teams after seeing TCU get left out of the mix. However, they may have to start the season a week earlier with no off-weeks to expand to more playoff games. Fans would love it, schools could generate more money and recruiting points would be a plus. In addition, a lot of money would be pumped back into the local economy – even in communities along the routes to bowl games.
As for the final two teams, the Ducks just kept on keeping on this year. Marcus Mariota is a great solid player and a true role model for kids. I witnessed some classy coaches this year – Oregon’s Mark Helfrich, being one of them. Urban Meyer and Nick Saban are still the men in the world of college football. Coaches Hugh Freeze, Dan Mullen, Gus Malzahn and Steve Spurrier are also significant in the SEC and beyond. There were other coaches in other conferences that were also impressive and I look forward to following them and their teams next year.
I love watching all the teams and I pull for all of them, regardless of conference. I love to see the players do their job. I don’t like ‘rub it in your face, get down and dirty play.’ I do like to see them get fired up in their own space and show their passion for the game. I love the player’s personal stories and learning how they got to where they are. I like when coach’s spouses are featured about their role in the journey because every coach knows that a good family support system is essential for success. Sports mean so much more than a game, playoff, championship… Sports train you for everything you might encounter in life and how you handle yourself on the field spills over into that.
Now, on to tonight… we’re about to see the first ever college football playoff national championship. Finally. What happens after tonight’s big game? I’ll continue to follow high school and college basketball – round ball is my life-long passion. I look forward to seeing the Cinderella teams during March Madness and hearing about their triumphs and how they got to the ‘big dance.’
I’ve played and participated in basketball for 20 years and have coached for over 40 years – being active, going into retirement and coming back out of retirement to coach, twice. Obviously, I love the game and promote good sportsmanship.
So having said all that, my message is this: Get your kids involved in something and support them. It doesn’t have to be sports – any type of activity with consistency, discipline and commitment.
THE DAUGHTER: There you go – that’s why they call her “The Coach” and because I’ve spent a lifetime trying to emulate her hardcore mentality and level of commitment, along with living out the sports lifestyle that encompasses her, I’m truly “A Coach’s Daughter.” Mom, thanks for teaching me the value of competition, the importance of perseverance, and a true love of the game!