Notes from the Superintendent
Little River High School Girls’ coach Shane Cordell made history last Thursday night. Coach Cordell reached a milestone in his coaching career on February 13, 2014 when he recorded his 600th career win with a 40-27 victory over the Goessel Bluebirds. That is an amazing statistic, but it is even more astonishing that all of the wins were as coach of the Lady Redskins at Little River High School.
I have never coached a sport and I did not have the opportunity to play sports in high school but, as an educator for 28 years, a school administrator for 17 years, and the wife of a former coach, I have had my share of personal experiences with coaches and coaching. I know that coaching is not a profession that lends itself to longevity. A coach, even a coach with a winning tradition, has to deal with fickle fans, angry parents and revolving administrators so coaching in the same position for 34 years is a remarkable feat.
How does someone reach a milestone of this significance? Significant events in our lives, or the lives of others, are referred to as milestones in reference to stones or markers that are set up beside a road to mark the distance in miles to a particular place. We all mark our lives with certain milestones, most of which we pass in our busy lives without taking time to ask, “How did I get to this point?”
Coach Cordell is an excellent example of a man who has given of his time and talent and as a result, reached an amazing milestone. I doubt when Shane begin coaching at Little River High School he had a goal of winning 600 games. When I asked Shane about his coaching career he said that he began coaching because he enjoyed basketball, he enjoyed working with kids, and he had a family to support. He said that he has learned the most from mistakes, both personal mistakes and the mistakes of others. Coach Cordell acknowledged that he has experienced highs and lows over the years. He added that he has enjoyed working with the kids and helping them avoid some of the mistakes he made when he was younger.
When I came to Little River as the interim superintendent I didn’t know Coach Cordell personally. My impressions of Coach Cordell were based on a view from the visitor’s side of the football field and the basketball court, not always a good place to acquire a positive view of a coach. However, from that vantage point my impression of Coach Cordell was that he was a fierce competitor, a gracious winner and an even more gracious loser.
This year, as I have gotten to know Shane personally, I know my first impression was accurate. Little River High School is lucky to have had Coach Cordell as its girl’s coach for the last 34 years. He has served as a great role model for athletes and coaches at home and throughout the state.
Thank you Coach Cordell!