Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Coach of the year in what?
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|Coach of the year in what?|
I spent 14 years as a football coach. Even though I had some good years and had turned some programs around in one year, I was never selected as a coach of the year anywhere.
But before you give up on me, I did get selected as Louisiana's Coach of the Year; not in football, but baseball. I was involved as a baseball coach for only two years. Both of those years the team went to state. One year at Farmerville and one year at West Monroe High School.
Now how I became a baseball coach is unique in itself. I had been offered the head football job at Pineville High School. When I went down to talk to the principal, there was another man sitting there with him. When I learned that this man was one of the board members, my interest in the job waned. I thought if the principal could not run the show without this board member's approval, I did not want anything to do with this job. When I saw the principal look to the board member for approval on most any matter, I stopped the meeting. The reason that the board member was there is that he was interested in the baseball program and he wanted to know what I was going to do for the baseball program. I left them both sitting in the office. Now remember, this meeting was concluded over the matter of baseball.
When Malvin Sistrunk, the principal of Farmerville High School, hired me to be the athletic director and head football coach, I told him that I would be the head baseball coach, too. Malvin looked at me quite funny and asked, "Are you serious?" I told him yes and he said ok. I knew how important baseball was at Farmerville. Football had not been very successful the past few years so most of the interest was in the baseball program. Now when one program becomes more important than the others, it is hard to build the other sports. So I became the head baseball coach, also. Now later in the school year, when I started spring training in football before I started the baseball season, all the nay sayers went to work.
"Payne is going to kill baseball."
"You know how these football coaches are. All they care about is football."
"Payne started too late. Our kids don't have a chance. These others schools have been practicing for months."
I agreed with the last statement.
Well, we started baseball after spring training. By the time baseball season had started a lot of the kids at the other schools were already tired, especially the seniors, who can get senioritis when the weather gets warm and all the girls are at the lake. Our players were still eager to play because we had just started. How did we do? We went 25 and 3 with the only loses coming to Neville, St. Frederick and the state championship game, 1-0. And guess what? Coach of the Year for Louisiana. No, not football. Baseball. And later at West Monroe High School when we coached the Rebels, Jim Aulds was selected as Coach of the Year for Louisiana. Two for two ain't bad. Maybe I was in the wrong sport all the time.
Oh, I forgot. I was a golf coach, too. I was the golf coach at West Monroe High School for two years. I thought that we went undefeated. I wondered why I had not been selected as Coach Of The Year in golf. I thought that we had won every match. How was I to know that the team who scored the most points was not the winner?
Robert Charles Payne is an inspirational writer who lives in West Monroe. He can be contacted by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.