Service celebrated life dedicated to complete education

Monday, December 6, 2004

Much has already been written about the late Ron Coleman, by those much closer than we, but Saturday morning's memorial service at the McCook High School gymnasium spotlighted the important positive influence this man was able to have in those around him.

None of the points made by the speakers Saturday were news to anyone who knew Mr. Coleman personally, but they should have made believers of anyone who has doubts about the importance of sports in the public school system.

"RC" was the embodiment of all that sports can contribute to the growth of personal character in American young people.

That message was driven home repeatedly at the service: "You can't ever say, 'I can't ...'" Pastor Clark Bates quoted Coach Coleman.

"He knew when to challenge you, when to make you laugh, and when to put his arm around you," former MHS graduate Matt Kaminski said.

He never used "I" or "me" when referring to his teams, "It was always 'we,'" former athletic director Larry Mollring said. "His loyalty to his teams and his students was never questioned."

"Discipline: Do what has to be done, when it has to be done, as well as it can be done, and do it that way all the time," Coach Jeff Gross added.

"He was a man of faith," friend and former neighbor Ken Wellman said. "He lived it and believed it."

"He told me, 'Joel, let's do what's best for the kids.'" Coach Joel Hueser said.

Perhaps the best summation came from Coleman's son, Justin, who recalled his father's life lessons in a final letter to him:

1. Be humble. 2. Competing hard builds character. 3. The importance of family and friends.

Character. Perseverance. Hard work. Teamwork. Loyalty. Discipline. Faith. Putting others first -- Ron Coleman's life was dedicated to delivering those lessons, whether in the classroom, on the football field or on the golf course. Without them, no education can be complete.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: