Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Favorite Coach

There was a quiet retirement gathering for Kevin and basketball coach Bob Steiner last night at school. Nice to see some of the former swimmers and parents. And get a DVD copy of the 2002 state championship year--when the Spartan team toppled the Parkway South Patriots by 4 points (215 to 211) and kept them from their 4-peat. It was a total team effort. The newspaper basically said South had it in the bag after Friday's prelims; but Coach Fober knew his team was only 9 points behind. And as he has said, so often, in his infinite wisdom:

The race isn't swum, until it is swum.
A South kid false starts in the 50 free consolation final and our guy, who was in lane 2 (15th) wins the consolation final (9th) for major points. A Spartan sophomore swims the race of his life in the 500 and moves up from 14th to 9th, while two South kids in the same consolation final place lower. The South 200 free relay anchor forgets to put his goggles over his eyes when he dives in, and the team ends up in the consolation heat, while the Spartan 200 free relay owns the finals and captures their second 2oo free relay state title in two years. The Spartans did the little things right when it counted and they bested a team no one had beaten in 3 years--with only one relay champion and no individual state champions. It was a total team effort, with everyone working up to their personal potential; what high school sports should be about.

That's Coach Fober for being a role model and mentor for the young Spartans under your guidance. As one parent wrote in her thank you note:

I don't think that it is just chance that our boys chose the career paths they did. They learned from you how important a coach can be in the life of a teenage boy. I am so glad that you were such a strong role model for them, never placing winning over the right choice.
And when you work hard and make the right choices over time, success will eventually follow.

(For a more light-hearted look at Coach Fober's coaching style, see him in action at his last Metro Catholic Conference Championships here.)

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