An Open Letter to Coach Simon

Dino CorvinoBy Dino Corvino

Eds Note:  Dino wanted to share this with Coach Simon — and the rest of the world, apparently. 

Dear Coach Simon,

I have been reading stories about you stepping down, and honestly was shocked.  I never imagine something like that was possible.  So I thought I would sit down, and tell you thank you.

Your were my Ninth Grade Basketball Coach.  With Bob Hinck.  It was honestly the last time I took participating in team sports seriously.  As an Everest student who did not play football, I was left with the outcast sports of swimming and tennis.  But you made an impact on me as a young man, and as an adult.  So I thought thank you was in order.

I was an arrogant 9th grader, if you can believe that.  I was pretty much as tall then, as I am now.  So, for a ninth grader, I was doing good.  I had been to UW-EC basketball camp, played with the kids from East at the YMCA (I worshipped East basketball…Pellant, Vince Kuhn, Jay Featherstone, Andy Beuchel, Matt Fethke…those guys were gods) in the summer, and I felt pretty sure of myself.  You reeled that in one time, and took me aside and taught me a lesson.  We were playing in some gym that had a balcony, and we were winning big.  For whatever reason I managed to make a steal, and had an unopposed run at the basket.  When I jumped for my layup, I put the ball between my legs.  It was all about Spud Webb, as he was the man that year.  I made the layup, and ran back goofing to the bench and my friends.  You immediately pulled me from the game.  I was done for that day.

You told me I took an unneeded risk.  I was not an open court player, and should not do something like that.  I was also rubbing it in the other teams face.  Pretty much made a jack ass out of myself.  You told me that stuff, and then you did not talk to me for a few days.  The silent trip killed me, but it showed me effectively how you disapproved of my actions.

At summer camp I saw a city kid who had cut off some sweats, and was wearing them as shorts.  That had not gotten to Everest, and I did it one day.  I cut off a pair of sweats for practice.  You stopped me, and told me that you thought it looked cool.  A coach, and adult told me something was cool.  It was beyond me.

I can remember most of that team now…Dave Webber (who I think has passed away), Steve Osswald, Rob Szekeress (whos name no one could read, so we all called him Ska Vaz) Bill Fleischman, Chad Engstrom, Bill Grams, Steve Skalecke.  And some other guys.

I knew both of your children.  I knew your wife.  Mike was an amazingly cool dude.  And he drove a pick up truck.  Kris was one of the best athletes Everest had.  Jackie, my ex, used to talk about her in college.

I never played baseball.  Which was your main sport, but you made an impact on my life.  You taught me to be humble, to work hard, what really firm hair looks like.  You and Bob Hinck both took an active role in my life when it spun out of control in high school.

Thanks Mr. Simon.  I hope you are okay.


One response to “An Open Letter to Coach Simon

  1. What a great tribute to someone who obviously had an extremely profound effect on your life. Some many people get caught up in their own personal successes that they don’t always remember to thank the people early on who had a pronounced role in helping them achieve the successes they have today. Thank you for sharing your gratitude in such a moving way.

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