I have heard, and I believe, that the most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. And my father certainly did, establishing a pattern for my own life that leads the list of things for which I’m most grateful during this Thanksgiving week.
Yes, Dad was the director of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association for as long as I have been the director of the MHSAA, and I’m sure there’s a pattern there as well. But it was Dad’s devotion to Mom that provided the deeper impression and more lasting impact.
I’m also grateful for the way my father supported my athletic career. He was always present, but never overbearing. While his career as a multiple hall-of-fame athlete and coach might have earned him the right to critique my performances as an athlete, he never did. He would answer the questions I had, but never offer unsolicited opinions.
I’m very grateful for Dad’s solid, silent support; and I only wish that more parents today would take the approach my father did. I believe their kids would enjoy sports more ... as much as I did ... so much that it became my career.