One of the greatest things about being on the “Back 9” of life is to look back at the front nine and enjoy reflecting on life’s “good shots” and “God Moments!”
With the Clemson/Georgia game right around the corner, I find myself smiling over the family rivalry that is being generated with Collins being a Junior at UGA and the boys being at Clemson. The last time I was at a Clemson/Georgia game I was a cheerleader who got a black eye from a beer bottle thrown from the stands. Fond memory! Haha! Fun to relive that time with our kids.
I also reflect on the fact that Jeff Scott, one of the coaches at Clemson, was one of our boy’s first babysitters, along with his brother, John. The boys loved Jeff and John. They would play any sport or game with them and it was like having two walking toys when they arrived. Bill and I were so blessed to have boys like that invest in our young children. Collins loved them too, especially when John would draw with her or Jeff would throw her in the air. Today, John, who played football at and graduated from Harvard, is a doctor. He completed many medical mission trips to third world countries while in medical school.
It has been fun to watch Jeff follow in his dad’s footsteps by being a high school coach. He quickly won a state championship in Columbia, and then quickly got promoted to college coaching at Clemson. No surprise at the success of these two fine young men. I was fortunate to get to “shadow” their parents in how they raised their boys. Daryl, their mom, many times made herself available to me for parenting questions. I admired how they parented and how her young sons interacted with our children. I wanted to know what they did and how they did it.
I will never forget when their dad, Brad, was fired as the Head Coach at South Carolina and then took a job at Clemson. I was amazed at the anger people had over his decision to take a job that was the best opportunity to provide for his family and for his career. I went to Clemson and was a cheerleader, but I was a huge Brad Scott fan when he coached at USC. To this day I really cannot understand why people would be so selfish as to not want him to do what was in the best interest of his family! I admired him for walking through the media storm with grace and dignity and overlook all the hateful things that were said by the fans. (Brad never chose to leave. He was fired!). I believe Brad understands fully that, “a good example has twice the value of good advice!” I have watched God continue to bless his values, morals and ethics in coaching and raising his boys.
Both boys are any parent’s dream! They have both married lovely women who are just a mother’s dream in a son’s pick for a partner. Just last year when Thomas received an academic honor at an athletic banquet at Clemson, Jeff sent me a picture of Thomas’ name on the big screen and a nice text during the banquet. It was so meaningful to me that he celebrated Thomas’ award by texting us that night! That is just a great heart and some good raising!! I so want our children to mimic that as adults.
With Dabo Swinney’s outspoken faith, it is no shock that he would have Jeff and Brad on his staff, both of whom I consider to be huge assets. Both of them care about the whole student/athlete, not just their performance on the field. I have heard countless stories from players and parents from high schools, colleges, USC and Clemson praising Jeff and Brad for their love of players and for genuinely caring!! What a legacy they both have in Coaching. The first time I met Skip and Jennifer Holtz, their testimony of Brad Scott in their lives as young people was so heart-warming. We have been blessed to have such role models to follow and invest in our kids.
As the game approaches, I will feel honored to watch both teams. I have the privilege of knowing kids and their parents who will line up on both sides of the ball. Of course, I will pull for Clemson, my alma mater, but I always have mixed emotions when I know up close the hearts and lives of these kids, even if they are not on my team. Also, it is unique to me that Dabo Swinney and Mark Richt are both outspoken Christians who live their faith and are unashamed of the gospel!! I have loved seeing players at Clemson and at UGA all reading the same books by Jon Gordon, “Training Camp” and “Energy Bus”. Both are fabulous books that teach great principles for athletics and life and, of course, are Christian-based. No surprise that both of these OUTSTANDING COACHES AND MEN are leading their young players with this kind of influence.
I love the quote, “The most important single influence in the life of a person is another person……….who is worthy of emulation.”–Paul Shafer. Both of these coaches profess and follow Jesus Christ. They are not perfect men, and don’t profess to be, but they follow the Person worth emulating and that is Jesus! Thank you God for Strong Outspoken Christians who are influencing the next generation and living a life of significance!
I Corinthians 11:1 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”