The death of freshman football coach Randy Wilson has made me acutely aware of the relationship between players, coaches and parents. Coach Wilson’s death leaves an enormous gap in the football program that will be difficult to fill, and more so he leaves an emptiness in the hearts of many that can only heal with time.
The outpouring of support for his wife, Jodi, was expressed by many people associated with the Muskego football program. The turnout of players, fellow coaches and the parents of our players was a testimony to the many lives that Coach Wilson touched. It reinforced for me the “two-way street” in coaching at Muskego.
First, there is a loyalty and appreciation by the players and parents for the coaches in our program. It was sad to see the grief and tears in the faces and eyes of the young men who played for Coach Wilson, but it spoke volumes for the bonds of friendship and respect that the players felt for Coach. There was a deep sadness from the parents as well, because they realized that their sons had lost a sincere, caring adult. They appreciated the work that Coach Wilson had done with their sons.
Second, it made me more aware of the responsibilities that I have as a coach. I must realize the effect, both good and bad, that I may have on the young men who are placed in my charge. This effect cannot be minimized, or lessened. I must remember to treat any player as I would want my son to be treated, and be a role model for the players by my words and conduct.
It is easy to forget the effect that we, as coaches, have on our players. I hope that I will always remember this lesson. It has allowed me to focus on the privilege that it is to coach at Muskego High School.
Terence L. Capes
Muskego High School
freshman football coach
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