I really enjoyed reading the PrepsKC profile of Van Horn head coach, Jeff Tolbert… especially this part:

Tolbert said he has taken a lot from his former head coaches both on and off the field but one man’s influence stands out.  “The top of that list is Harold Wambsgans,” Tolbert said. “I learned about how to be not just a good coach but to be a man. I admire him as much as anyone I’ve ever been around and I’ve been around some good coaches.”

As a young coach, I remember hearing coach Wambs (then at Shawnee Mission West) speak at a clinic and thinking to myself, “I want to be like him”.  A couple of years later, one of my best LB’s at the University of Central Missouri had played for Wambsgans at West.   Reading Coach Tolbert’s profile reminded me just how connected we all are in this profession.

spaceship of the imaginationYears ago, in 1980, Astronomer Carl Sagan had a show on PBS called Cosmos.  It was a great show, and I enjoyed it so much that I taped the entire series on 14 VHS tapes (VHS tapes – not a DVR) and kept them until about a year ago!

In one episode, Sagan explains how humanity is all connected…. we are all made of “starstuff”… elements that were created when stars in the universe go supernova and explode.

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

And he was not speaking metaphorically… this is how the “heavy” elements in our universe are created.

I think it is very much the same in coaching… in us, we all have a little bit of the “stars” that preceded us…. Coach Tolbert has some of Coach Wambs “starstuff” in him, as do I… Fred Merrell, Terry Noland, Mike Foster, Roy Witke, Bill Feldkamp …. and many more have contributed their “starstuff” to me and countless other coaches.

Whose coaching “starstuff” has helped make you the coach and person you are today?

What “starstuff” are you passing on… what stuff of yours will be around 50 years from now?

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

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Thanks to PrepsKC, the home of the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association for running this post on their site today.  I hope you can take some time to visit PrepsKC, and “Like” this post!

Jeff Floyd –

5 thoughts on “Starstuff

  1. Here’s some more connection for you Coach Floyd — I played for Coach Wambs at Lees Summit North, while Coach Tolbert was on staff as well (at the time, on the freshmen level). All of us varsity players knew Coach Tolbert had the starstuff and would be a head coach in the future. Glad to see he is doing well.

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