Your Tree…. Your Legacy

Two items came to my attention yesterday, both stories of people thanking their coaches… after all it is officially (according to my wife anyway) “Thank Your Coach Week

Robert Pearcy played at the University of Central Missouri when I coached there.  This summer he coached his son’s baseball team, and just yesterday received this thank you note from one of the players on his team.


“The best baseball year of my life.  I will never forget you.” … about as high of praise that you can get!

Next…. In the Kansas City Star yesterday, there was a story about K-State Football Coach, Bill Snyder.  The article details Snyder’s journey from flunking out at MU to enrolling at William Jewell College under the guidance of Head Football Coach, Norris Patterson.

Snyder said that without a strong academic support system at the time, without “all those things that they [athletes] have now,” he was “just lost.”  The article goes on to say,

When Snyder returned to his home in St. Joseph, he was heavy with guilt because of how his mother, a single parent who worked at a department store, had sacrificed for him.

That’s when then-William Jewell football coach Norris Patterson offered Snyder fresh hope in the form of financial aid if Snyder would “do right,” “take care of business” and perform in the classroom.

With that offer, which included a chance to play football again and work as a custodian at the athletic complex, Snyder was revived and wasn’t going to squander the opportunity.

It just kind of put me back on my feet as much as anything. Dr. Patterson had an impact on my life,” said Snyder, who said his sense of debt to Patterson made him strive to be as good as he could be in the classroom and everywhere else.

The diagram below is Coach Snyder’s coaching tree – this only shows the head coaches at major colleges.  It does not include assistant college coaches, or high school coaches that he has influenced.


If you take Snyder’s “tree” back even further to Coach Norris Patterson, that “tree” would become a “forest”.  Coach Patterson also coached Jim Nelson (who was my college coach for 3 years) Stan McGarvey (the coach for my senor collegiate season) and Fred Merrell (who was my high school coach).  If you looked at all the student-athletes that these coaches influenced during their careers… and all the people that those student-athletes went on to impact, I am quite sure the number would be in the thousands.

Think of the positive effect that all these men… traced back to one man…. Coach Norris Patterson… has had on our society.  Thank your coach this week.

What legacy will you leave… what legacy will you continue?   It is an awesome job… and an awesome responsibility.

You Can Do More…. your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd –

6 thoughts on “Your Tree…. Your Legacy

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