Professors and Doctors and Coaches and me.
When I’m called “coach”; do I still do an up-take? Do I still feel as If I’m a fraud? Who do I compare me with – thee? Or, when did I change from Mr. to coach.
I was a young college student in the first years of the 1960’s at U.N.M. (an experience that only lasted for 3 years as I left in 1964). I met with my college advisor to review my schedule my 2nd year. I addressed him as Doctor……. And then said,
“or should I say Professor?”
His response was, “Professor, everyone is a Doctor”!
Many later and after many other adventures, travels, and jobs I was faced with being called Mister Lockridge and then lo and behold, I became Coach!
If that weren’t enough, just becoming “Coach” I fooled a lot of others and was elected to the board of directors of the NM High School Coaches Association a number of years back.
HAH, I say! Not enough yet! Nope, because I’m now the president of the NMHSCA until July of 2016!
Now, back to the story.
I often in my early years as a teacher (or, Mister Lockridge) associated with the athletics at Maxwell Schools in many guises; bus driver, score keeper, volleyball and baseball official, Chairman of the 1A athletic district, and even helping out with coaching. Inadvertently, other people/coaches/fans would call me coach – I would carry a whistle and clipboard (Peg once said you could get into any gym/or field that way) – and think I was one; but I knew better. I was very fortunate though and did learn a lot about the profession by being with real coaches (Chav). This did serve me well in years to come.
My first year at Pojoaque in 1982-3 I asked to help with track and became (Ta Da!) volunteer assistant track coach (unpaid but hey, with a title).
I became assistant coach after that and then head boys track coach. (Again, TA DA!)
When the position of cross country coach opened I asked John Rivera our A.D. for it and he granted it to me. Most of the boys and girls were kids I also had in track so no real revelation on being their coach. And since this was a new venue for me to appear in coaches from other schools called me “coach” at CC meets. Wow, did I ever strut (you know I didn’t; I wouldn’t know how to – I knew I wasn’t really coach yet, or at least I didn’t feel as if I were). I wasn’t always sure I knew what I was doing and knew there was much to learn.
So now, after more than 40 years of association as some being some kind of a coach I don’t react with too much guilt when I hear “hey, coach Lock”; it’s me!
Now the real point. I’ve served on the board of the coach’s association for a number of years with many of the greats of our profession. I attend annually as many as 3 or 4 clinics and conventions to learn and serve. But WHEN, on when did I feel good about being called “Coach”? At the summer clinic of 2015 I was talking to Jim Hulsman (Yep, I’m a name dropper) a great coach and real legend in NM and nationally recognized. I’ve been on the board with him and have been able to sit with him and talk of sports in the South Valley where he first started coaching and where I went to school from the first grade on though I of course never knew him in those days of the 50’s and early 60’s. As we parted that particular day at the convention and clinic Coach Hulsman said to me, “see you later Coach”; and I just sort of glowed and reveled in that comment.