Legendary coach speaks at school workshop
by Celia Shortt
Longtime player and college football coach Bill Curry opened the Coweta County School System’s 2014 administrative workshop Tuesday with a motivational speech about teamwork.
Coweta County School Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker invited Coach Curry to the event as a way to thank city officials, county officials and area organizations for their help during the severe winter weather earlier this year.
“If we’ve ever had a year where we thought education was not just about the educators [but about the community],” this was the year, Barker said.
“The real reason I wanted everyone here was to thank them … for what they do for the school system,” he added.
Curry has played football at all levels. He played college football for Georgia Tech and professional football for the Green Bay Packers, the Baltimore Colts, the Houston Oilers and the Los Angeles Rams. He was an assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers and head football coach for Georgia Tech, the University of Alabama, and the University of Kentucky.
He has also worked as an analyst for ESPN.
Most recently, he helped start the football program at Georgia State University and was the school’s first head football coach. He held that position until he retired in 2012.
Vince Bass, director of human resources for Coweta’s school system, introduced Curry and talked about his first interaction with him. Bass remembered his dad talking about leadership with Coach Curry.
“I remember my dad told me how much he liked hearing what people like Coach Curry had to say, because he is at Georgia Tech and wins with less talent than the Alabama and LSU programs,” Bass said. “He gets more out of his players.”
Bass also worked with Coach Curry during their mutual time at the University of Alabama.
Curry began his time by expressing his condolences to the family of the late Zachary Harrison, the Newnan High School student whose funeral was held Tuesday. Harrison died following a May 22 car accident.
“Carol (his wife) and I bring our heartfelt condolences,” Curry said. “We are so sorry.”
For the remainder of his speech, Curry encouraged everyone to not let fear stop them from using the potential God has given them. He shared stories of the coaches and mentors from his life who had loved him and helped push him to fulfill the potential he had.
Curry said he never liked public speaking, but people who loved him made him do it. He said his football coach loved him too much to let go of the potential he saw in Curry.
“We change lives when we go above and beyond. You have a chance every day to make a difference in the lives of the children you impact. Great teachers will do anything to get through to minds which think differently,” he added.
Curry concluded by saying, “There are two pains in life – the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. The first is temporary. The other lasts forever. You alone decide which to endure.”
Also at the workshop, Dr. Barker:
• Presented a Navigator Award to Dr. Aaron Corley, principal of Ruth Hill Elementary School.
• Recognized Julie Raschen, principal of Brooks Elementary School, as principal of the year.
• Recognized Betty Robinson as Assistant Principal of the Year. Robinson is assistant principal at Canongate Elementary School.
• Awarded Don Nixon, the director of the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts, the Dr. Robert Lee Leadership Award.