I'm truly in awe of what high school football programs, led by great coaches, can do for the lives of at-risk kids. Look at Steve Lineweaver (Euless Trinity), who teaches his young men so many lessons about life, respect for others, setting a good example for others, etc. etc. Look at Craig Cripps (Houston Northbrook), who takes on a job (more of a ministry, IMO) at a place where just keeping kids in school and giving them hope of a better future is the essence of "winning". I am sure there are 100s of examples of programs where coaches want to win a championship, but wouldn't trade it for making the right impact on the lives of young people.
I have spend some time thinking of ways we can help them to be more effective and more productive in their mission of impacting young lives in a positive way. Donating to the various Booster Clubs basically translates into a better weight room, et al, so I don't see that as the answer.
I've been thinking of whether a nonprofit organization could provide administrative support to athletic programs in at-risk schools, so that coaches are freed up from their overwhelming administrative burdens so they can be more impactful in the lives of the kids. Such an organization would judge potential recipients not by wins and losses, but by the character of the program and the potential of the program to help at-risk kids. It would need to create some sort of measuring stick for effectiveness -- probably graduation rates in relation to the student population as a whole.
This is my idea, but what other ideas are out there? What kind of help do coaches need that they aren't currently getting from their ISDs?
Thanks for any productive input. I'm serious about this.