Coach#039;s influence means more than wins, losses

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 29, 2005

In most cases when a person leaves one job for the next, the effect is minor.

Not in the education field.

Those of you, who are years removed from our high school days, think back about that one teacher or coach who made a positive impact on your life.

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Now think about how your life would be now if that person had not been around or just up and left.

Kinda scary isn't it?

In this day and age where results are expected of us almost immediately by our supervisors within the job world, the effect most often takes a backseat to results.

Results, in terms of the athletic world, are measured by wins and losses.

You don't win and you get fired.

But what wins and losses don't measure is the effect a coach has on his or her players as human beings.

Coaches these days aren't just coaches anymore. They don't just spend a couple hours with their athletes to practice and just play a game.

Coaches wear many hats from serving as a psychologist to a parental figure that a player may be lacking at home.

Greenville senior offensive lineman Josh Hawkins said that Greenville High football coach Alvin Briggs was a father-figure to him.

"He brought me to where I am now," Hawkins said. "He is always there for me. If I need something or just someone to talk to, I know who to call."

It's the same situation for teachers, too.

So when the news that Briggs resigned on Monday, there was the obvious question. Why?

Briggs wouldn't say why, and neither would Greenville High Principal Dr. Kathy Murphy.

Maybe the two didn't see eye to eye.

We all have had co-workers that we just couldn't work with. It happens. No one is to blame. Some personalities just aren't meant to coexist.

So when things don't work out, it's time to go separate ways.

It's easier in other professions, but harder in the education field.

Needless to say, Briggs' resignation caught everyone by surprise.

The effect of Briggs' resignation more than likely will be felt through this season and into next year by the players on football team.

The effect will be felt by the three coaches that were still on Briggs' staff at the end of this past school year.

The effect will be felt by the kids who interacted with Briggs every day during physical education class.

When Briggs and I talked on Monday he made a statement that really stuck with me.

"I hope this city doesn't forget about the kids," he said.

I agree.

People within Greenville will have forgotten about Alvin Briggs within a month when the season starts, but the kids at Greenville High won't.

In fact Hawkins said that every game he plays this season will be dedicated to Briggs.

It's that influence that coaches and educators have on children that sometimes is overlooked when it comes down to results.

Kevin Taylor is sports editor of The Greenville Advocate. E-mail him at or call (334) 383-9203 ext. 122.