Monday, March 03, 2008


Saturday night I was privileged to be a part of something pretty cool. My college coach at University of Toledo, Bob Nichols, was honored at halftime of the Rockets' game with Western Michigan. A large group of his former players got to be on the court with him as a banner with his name was unveiled from the rafters of Savage Hall.

This is something that was way overdue. Coach Nichols has more wins by far (376) than any other coach in Mid American Conference history. He was also known throughout the conference as being a man of integrity and running a very clean program.

At the conclusion of the game, they held a ceremony where several people spoke and praised coach. Coach Nichols then addressed the crowd and said to the many players that were in attendance, "I was proud of you when you were playing and practicing, I'm more proud of you today. Thanks for your support."

He went on to tell the crowd that he had some great players but that they have become even better people and that is why he is so proud.

I think every one of his players can say that Coach Nichols helped to shape them into the men they are today. I know he taught me many things such as perseverance, overcoming adversity and leadership with integrity.

I would venture a guess that during the heat of battle, when we were preparing for a big game or when we were doing off-season conditioning, Coach Nichols probably wasn't thinking too much about what we would be doing with our lives 25 years from now. But, because he led our team the way he did, because he sowed into our lives, he has made a difference in the lives of many men.

Each of us have moments in our day when it seems like drudgery - like what we're doing doesn't really matter. I encourage you to think of Coach Nichols during these times and know that what you do and how you do it can make a difference in the life of someone you come in contact with.


Rick said...

Very cool, Jim. I always liked Coach Nichols. Judd Heathcoate always reminded me of him when I was at State. Not sure why. Pehaps it was the semi-balled head? Did Coach Nichols used to pound himself on either side of his forehead with both fists when he was frustrated when you guys weren't playing well? Cracked me up!

Jim Lange said...

Rick, no I never saw him pull a "Heathcoat" (I also thought that was hillarious when he would do that!) but we certainly knew when things were not going well!

Have a great day!