On the cover of this magazine, you will see former UH baseball coach Les Murakami. Over the years, he’s made a tremendous difference in the lives of young men. He has a stadium named after him, afterall.
My dad was also a coach. I still hear from people 50 years later who tell me what an impact he had on their lives. And very little of his influence had anything to do with athletic endeavors. He was a coach, but first and foremost, he was a teacher. He taught us [yes, he was my coach, too] about discipline, hard work, teamwork and pride. But most of all, he taught us how to be men. Coaches and teachers have a more profound impact on their young charges than they may realize. As a coach, you are tired when you get home. And you may wonder if any of your lessons reached the youngsters. Believe me, they do.
Coach Murakami has the wonderful opportunity to recognize that fact. But to all of you who touch the lives of young people, as teachers, coaches and mentors, I ask you to think about it every day.
There is no more important task in our lives than teaching the lessons we have learned. It can be as simple as looking both ways before crossing the street, or as complex as the relationship between men and women. As you know, that can be complex!
To coach Murakami, my deepest congratulations and heartfelt, Hurrah! To my dad and all the other coaches, a loud, Hurrah!
I got to be a coach once. It was a long time ago. One of my young basketball players now helps my mother through knee rehabilitation. You just never know. Keep on coaching.