Several years ago, my buddy Randall, left his position as Option 3 Specialist and Associate Head Boys Basketball Coach at Slidell High School(where we coached together). He was offered a regular education teaching position and Head Boys Basketball Coach at Franklinton High School. At the time, I was torn by his decision because professionally i knew that it was an opportunity to go back to his home town and alma mater to teach and coach which is always cool. Yet from a purely selfish standpoint, working with Randall for those 2 years at Slidell High were 2 of the best years of my coaching career and I hated to see him go. Of course, there were other factors both pro and con that had to be considered: our school system was about to get a substantial pay raise which he would miss out on but on the other hand he would be saving money not having to commute 90 miles each day; his teaching gig went from being expected to make solid educated citizens out of students which were way more likely to end up in the police reports(which many did) to a regular classroom with young people who could take advantage of his talents and passion for teaching; he was now given the opportunity to get back to running his own program and didnt have to fight with me to be the 1st one to get his hands around a players throat after being taken out of the game or being told to sit down by the morons with the whistles and the striped shirts. All were important issues that I know he struggled with as he pondered his decision. Selfishly I wanted him to stay but everytime I thought about trying to talk him out of it I got a picture in my mind of probably the most attractive inducement to make a man go from one job to another and that picture is at the top of this post. Randall sent it to me the other day on my cell. He is a coach by profession and he has a chance to coach both of his sons this season in football at Franklinton High School. That is an experience that many fathers will never get and would have been wrong for him to pass up. Relationships and memories have been and will continue to be built over the course of the next few months and years that will prove to be priceless and irreplaceable. As a coach and father as well, the picture is inspiring to me to say the least. On the left is Karleton, on the right is Eric and in the middle is Randall; father, coach and my friend.
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