Coaches Who Are Teachers, Mentors, and Role-Models

Mar 30, 2016

During the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, a lot of different coaches can be seen interacting with their teams, and there are almost as many different coaching styles as there are mascots.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe hosts a discussion on the impact of coaches from peewee leagues to college athletics. She talks with University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball coach Ben Jacobson, who leads his team with a calm steady hand and a positive outlook, as well as John O’Sullivan, founder of the Changing the Game project.

Listeners also call in with memories of their coaches, including Jacki Dougherty Knight of Cedar Rapids, who has a life-long relationship with her softball high school coach, Howard Dorman. Carolyn from Coralville also remembers an important coach in her life.

Carolyn was bullied in middle school, but her P.E. teacher and basketball coach helped her become a player, eventually helping her self-esteem.

“She didn’t say, ‘You’re too tall,’ she said, ‘Your height is a real advantage,’ and she didn’t say, ‘You’re really overweight,’ she said, ‘Honey, nobody’s going to post up on you in the lane,’” says Carolyn. “She taught me how to play, how to win, and most importantly, the big life lesson of how to lose, figure out why, and try again. Billie Jean Smith made my life. She saved my life.”