Wednesday, August 12, 2020

#2 Head Coach

The Head Coach.  Emory Hale.  No one loved more than the Big E.  He loved his Players dearly.  He loved their families and knew all the Mothers and Fathers, even siblings by first name.  Most all, he loved to win.  Losing, even the thought of losing made him physically ill.  His leadership style was uniquely his—it could not be replicated.  Big E led with a palpable passion and relentless energy that was contagious to all who crossed his path.  He pushed us and pushed us and pushed us more until we got close to his drive for perfection, yet we never fully satisfied him.  It would take a novel to fully explore the complexity of the Big E.  Make no mistake, this was his Team and the 1980 Championship was His Win—all others were playing supporting roles.  He delivered Wins and that’s what Oak Ridge demanded him to do.  No boy was turned away by Big E.  If you wanted to be a Wildcat and you were willing to endure the rigorous practices and being constantly pushed to exhaustion physically and mentally, you had a jersey.  I personally owe much to Big E and I'm grateful for the love he gave me. Thank you, Big E.  You deserve a standing ovation for the love you so generously bestowed on every single boy who desired to be a Wildcat.

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