Coach Cremins was a significant influence on me in those years and even since. He was mentor and friend, and example of an active faith in God and deep loyalty to his friends and family. I got a note in the mail from Coach the week before he retired from the College of Charleston, where he spent the final seven years of his thirty-two year coaching career. I know firsthand how much influence a coach can have in the lives of the young women and men they lead, and in the communities that follow them and cheer them on.
Imagine all of the decisions on the field a coach makes in a single game, or in a season, or especially in a career like Coach Way's. Really, every play presents risks. "Do we go for it, or play it safe?" In one interview yesterday with the local paper, Coach Way suggested he did not know what was next. I admire a person to admit as much. Then I come across this line in my morning devotion,
"Hope prevents us from clinging to what we have and frees us to move away from the safe place and enter unknown and fearful territory." - Henri Nouwen
That is a word for all of us, isn't it? Every day we are asked to let go of the safe places we would cling to, and enter unknown territories ahead. This is the stuff of faith, of maturing, and of life. May we have such faith to let go and move forward. And may we celebrate those around us who have been examples of such faith for so long. Thanks Coach Way.
Grace and peace, Scott