FROM THE BLEACHERS: Herald-Banner Column

Jack Welch has served as a high school and college football coach for 39 years. He holds a Doctorate in Education. He can be reached at

What is a coach’s legacy? I had a person tell me how to secure my coaching legacy after the fact.  Legacy is not something a person can create after the fact. A person’s legacy are facts of past life. They last forever. How do you want to be remembered? Regardless of all the wins and losses, championships and great teams, I hope I am remembered for serving our coaches and players.  

My memories of great coaches I played under (Bill Calvin, Francis Wendt, Bill Freeman, Gayle Miller, Sam Sample and Spud Aldridge) consist of how helpful and caring these men were. The same holds true for the coaches I served under as an assistant coach (Bill Yung, Don Davis, Joe Raymond Peace and David Bailiff). The coaches I played under and served under have the same great qualities of caring for their players.  

We will be remembered by our time on earth. I have lost my father, father-in-law, and mother-in-law in recent years. In addition, the captain of our state championship high school football team lost his life this spring. All these people were influential. When people share memories, it makes you realize how blessed we were to have them in our lives. It is a shame we cannot write lengthy legacies on their tombstones. Tombstones show name, birth date, dash and death date. The dash is important. I want to share a poem about the dash:

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on her tombstone, from the beginning to the end.  

He noted first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time she spent alive on earth. And now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard. Are there things you would like to change? For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what is true and real and always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we have never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile, remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash? — Linda Ellis  

Legacy is what we leave behind. In between birth date and death date is the dash. The dash is our legacy.  

Thought for the week, “All that I have accomplished is not because of me. It is because of God and my offensive line.”  

— Walter Payton

Dr. Jack Welch is a college football coach. He has a doctor degree in education and has been an administrator and football coach for 39 years. He can be reached at

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