blueollie

My Dad: (most posted on Facebook)

At last night’s basketball game, Lynn gave me the honor of walking with her to the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame display, which is in the “triangle area” in the Civic center, just outside of Carver Arena (where the Bradley Men’s team plays basketball. It was touching. Her dad’s story (a tiny glimpse of it anyway) can be found here. I never had the pleasure of meeting him as he died in 2002, but I sure like his daughter!

That got me to thinking about my father; it was on February 7’th that I posted a photo spread about him on Facebook. His birthday is on 6 February (same as Ronald Reagan, who he did NOT like). He died on February 8, 2004. I talked to him on the phone 2 days earlier; he lived in Texas…and I had seen him the previous winter break.

But I didn’t post my tribute to him on my blog. So I’ll do that now; specifically for Lynn…but for anyone else too.

dadandmeyoung

This was from 1961, I think. We were living in Japan at the time.

Now I remember dad as a lot of things, and he took pride in being an Air Force Sergeant and a retiree. He fought in Vietnam twice.
But this post will focus on my favorite coach, ever. It was from him that I got my love of football. From my earliest days, I was taken to games, practices and the like. As a fan, he loved the Dallas Cowboys, Vince Lombardi’s Packers and the Texas Longhorns. I have fond memories of taking him to some Longhorn games when I was a graduate student there.

But he was a coach. He coached at various levels from Pee-wee to junior varsity high school. Because he was non-degreed and the head coach had to be faculty (officially), he was never the official head coach at the high school level, though he was at the junior high level (“bantam”). Mostly he coached defense. Though at least two of his teams won league titles and his last one was by far the most dominant, he was proudest of the job he did with the 1967 Chofu team, because it was such a small team. It won the league title with 1 loss but his formations and tactics enabled his team to win. In fact, one of the players on that team sent me the team photo.

dadchofuteam

yokotafootball

Parents day, 1974 (vs. Zama, the Army high school). His team had just creamed their JV team and he honored me by running out on the field with me. We won 54-0, rolling up a 40-0 halftime lead. We wanted to show off for our parents!

dadcoaching

Here he is during a game, figuring out what adjustments needed to made on defense.

dad coaching up

And here he is, at his best, coaching up one of his star defensive linemen. He noticed this guy during wrestling matches and thought that he’d have the quickness and agility to be good at football. He was right. But because this guy had talent, Dad expected a lot out of him. Dad always expected more of those who had ability.

February 25, 2016 - Posted by | family, Friends | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Ollie, it means very much to me that you shared those moments with me. I’m so proud of his accomplishments – and I miss him very much. Thanks for sharing your dad. Now I know not only who you look like, but from whom you got your finest qualities! I sure like his son too!

    Comment by Lynn | February 25, 2016 | Reply


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