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Archive for the ‘Life Coaching’ Category

Garden Marcus shares gardening tips and positivity on TikTok – Los Angeles Times

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This past April a friend sent me a link to a TikTok by @gardenmarcus. The video started out with Marcus posing in his garden, then cut to him churning his backyard compost and tending to his plants. I was initially confused as to why my friend sent this to me. I was waiting for a setup and punchline. I expected some sort of funny skit. But then I got the payoff. Marcus came across an unexpected growth of ginger and turned it into a lesson: Remember you have to have patience with yourself and be persistent in your actions in order to reach your goal. I followed his account after watching that TikTok and have been looking forward to hearing his encouraging affirmations since then.

Garden Marcus, a.k.a. Marcus Bridgewater, says he lives by the motto kindness, patience and positivity. He has grown his TikTok following to more than 400,000 by sharing uplifting videos and tips from his garden in Houston a welcome reprieve from the usual silly videos on the social media platform. In 2017, Marcus cofounded Choice Forward, an organization that offers life coaching, seminars and workshops, spreading his positivity beyond TikTok.

Garden Marcus in his garden in Houston.

(Dana Hammarstrom)

When and why did you start your TikTok account? I started TikTok at the end of December 2019 because my friend/media strategist strongly encouraged me to do so. He was certain that my commitment to kindness, patience and positivity would resonate with users and bring exposure to Choice Forward.

How did Choice Forward start?

After years of traveling, writing and learning from various spiritual leaders, I developed a set of ideas that helped me lead a positive and productive life. A key set of concepts within the philosophy I developed are Choice Dichotomies, which create a framework that guides choice-making. I shared them with others when I felt like they could help, but I mostly kept them to myself. In 2017, our now cofounder suggested I consolidate my work and find ways to share it with others. Thus, Choice Forward was created.

Whats something important youve learned during your gardening journey?

The most important thing I have learned from gardening is something I think about every day, both in and outside of my garden: We cannot make anything grow, but we can foster an environment where growth is a byproduct of living.

What kind of response have you received from the community TikTok, gardeners, mental health enthusiasts and people of color?

I have been humbled and floored by the responses I have received to my videos! People around the world send me messages every day letting me know that my videos make them smile, cry, garden, create healthy habits, stay positive in light of adversity and more. I feel so fortunate to be having this impact on people.

How does gardening help you and others? What are some ways you are maintaining stability during our current social climate?

Gardening is therapeutic for me. I love spending time caring for my plants and admiring their unique characteristics. Aside from gardening, I journal, meditate, call loved ones and share stories with friends. I have daily routines that help me maintain my health and stability; these routines help me stay focused during challenging times.

What do you think the future holds for you and Choice Forward?

I hope we get to continue empowering people, strengthening communities, and sharing kindness, patience and positivity.

Garden Marcus favorite plants: orchids, bromeliads and pothos.

(Micah Fluellen / Los Angeles Times)

Whats your favorite plant?

I have three favorite plants: pothos, orchids and bromeliads.

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Garden Marcus shares gardening tips and positivity on TikTok - Los Angeles Times

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June 26th, 2020 at 9:46 am

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SPORTS BRIEFS: David Nurse to hold camp at The Arena – Sioux City Journal

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A group is compling information about the history of Hubbard Park since 1940. The group is having a tough time getting decent information about teams and players that played at Hubbard Park from the 1950's through the mid-to-late 1960's.

If any readers have information that they could provide to the group, especially about teams and players from 1950 to the late 1960's, contact Delbert Christensen at 319-270-7382 or at

Twins sign first-round pick

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Twins signed first baseman Aaron Sabato on Tuesday to a deal that included a $2.75 million bonus for the first-round draft pick from North Carolina.

Sabato was taken with the 27th overall pick earlier this month. He signed for about $180,000 above the value for his draft slot assigned by Major League Baseball.

The 6-foot-1, 235-pound Sabato set a Tar Heels freshman record with 18 home runs in 2019. As a sophomore in the virus-shortened 2020 season, Sabato batted .292 with seven homers, 18 RBIs and 22 walks in 19 games.

Last week, the Twins signed Tennessee outfielder Alerick Soularie, their second-round pick, and Marco Raya, a high school right-hander from Laredo, Texas, they picked in the fourth round.

Cubs sign three draft picks

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SPORTS BRIEFS: David Nurse to hold camp at The Arena - Sioux City Journal

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June 26th, 2020 at 9:46 am

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Sutton spotlighted in ESPN narrative – Arkansas Online

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FAYETTEVILLE -- A documentary film on the life of Eddie Sutton, who first rose to national prominence as a college basketball coach at the University of Arkansas, has been four years in the making.

But the wait to watch it won't be much longer.

The 93-minute film simply titled EDDIE will make its debut at 8 p.m. Monday on ESPN, the network announced Thursday.

"Our team is super excited about it and just very grateful and honored that ESPN saw value in the movie and decided to put it on their network," Christopher Hunt, the film's director and a co-producer, said on Thursday. "It's really a dream come true."

The first steps of making the film, Hunt said, were in the summer of 2016. The film's producers include Hunt and business partner David Tester -- whose company is 1577 Production -- along with Wendy Garrett in association with Takashi Entertainment, which helped sell the project to ESPN.

"It's an incredible look at my Dad's life, his success and his struggles," Oklahoma State assistant coach Scott Sutton, who is Eddie Sutton's son, said in a Twitter post about the film. "Chris Hunt and his team put their hearts into producing and releasing this show. Hope you guys enjoy it."

Eddie Sutton, who died May 23 at age 84, was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on April 3. He had an 806-236 record in 37 seasons as an NCAA Division I head coach at Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma State and the University of San Francisco.

In 11 seasons at Arkansas from 1974-75 through 1984-85, Sutton had a 260-75 record and nine NCAA Tournament appearances, highlighted by the 1978 Final Four. He also coached five first-round NBA Draft picks with the Razorbacks, including Sidney Moncrief, the No. 5 overall selection in 1979.

Moncrief along with fellow "Triplets" Ron Brewer and Marvin Delph -- the nickname for the three 6-4 stars of the 1978 Razorbacks -- were interviewed for EDDIE in February of 2018 on the Walton Arena court.

"The reality is, Coach Sutton's years at Arkansas were his most successful years," Moncrief said Thursday. "He coached so many players who had substantial NBA careers, and he had the most impact on our state than he did anywhere he coached.

"If you're really honest about it, when you think about Eddie Sutton, you should think Arkansas first because of all the things he accomplished at Arkansas."

The film not only chronicles Sutton's many coaching highlights but also his struggles with alcoholism.

"Coach Sutton is not the first person to deal with alcoholism, and he won't be the last," said Darrell Walker, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock coach who was an All-America guard for Sutton with the Razorbacks. "It's happened to members in my family. No person is immune to it.

"Alcoholism is a disease. Does that make Coach Sutton a bad person? Absolutely not. That just means Coach had a problem.

"Coach was honest about his situation as he got older in life and he knew he had made some mistakes. But I think when you see this film on his life, it's going to really make you respect him even more as a person as well as a basketball coach."

ESPN has licensed EDDIE through August, so expect to see the film shown several times on the company's various networks. After the ESPN broadcasts, the film is expected to be available for rental.

"We are still working out those details and hope to have a very exciting announcement in the coming days," Garrett said in an email, "making the film available to a world-wide audience on a long-term basis. "

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June 26th, 2020 at 9:46 am

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John Clayton, Hall of Fame high school basketball coach, remembered as ‘very humble’ but ‘very competitive’ – Commercial Appeal

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Legendary Memphis and Shelby County high school basketball coach John Clayton, right, died Wednesday evening. He was 86. Clayton is pictured with his son, Clay, at a reunion with many of his former players in 2008.(Photo: File photo/The Commercial Appeal)

Faced with the task of summing up his father, Clay Clayton took a deep breath.

I will do my very best, he said Thursday morning.

John Clayton, a native of Collierville and a Hall of Fame high school basketball coach in Memphis and Shelby County, died Wednesday night. He was 86.

Clayton, who was a two-year letterman in football and basketball at Northwest Mississippi Community College and a graduate of Memphis State University, began his coaching career at Bartlett in 1957. Clayton took over at Frayser in 1958 and led the team to six straight division titles, a regional championship in 1965 and the Memphis City Championship in 1967. As coach at Raleigh-Egypt from 1971-76, Claytons teams won three Best of the Preps awards.

Upon retiring from coaching, Claytons 378 wins were the eighth-most in Memphis-Shelby County history. His .711 winning percentage was 11th.

But Clay said his father headmaster at Rossville Christian Academy (1976-85), assistant principal at Germantown (1985-89) and principal at Houston (1989-97) leaves a legacy well beyond sports.

Oh, my goodness, if you go back to (1957-58) when he went to Bartlett and tried to do the math all the way up to '97 whats that? Forty years of impact to kids, from junior high kids up to high school kids, Clay said. Id be scared to try to even do the math of the number of young men and women he was able to influence.

Hopefully his winning percentage there was as good as it was on the basketball floor.

Clay said two of his fathers favorite things later in life became golf and the annual reunion lunch with many of his former players. The latter began in 2008, when more than 25 of Claytons former players surprised him.

Jeff Hopkins, who went on to be the baseball coach at Memphis and later Collierville, called me and said, Hey, lets see if we can surprise Coach, Clay said. He was so surprised. He got to see a lot of these guys he hadnt seen in a long time, and it was something he looked forward to every year.

I cant tell you how much he meant to his players, said Hopkins. Since Ive been talking to people, theres a number of them whove said its like losing a family member. Thats how close he was to all of us.

Golf was more of an acquired taste.

He was very humble, but he was very competitive, Clay said. I dont care if we were playing basketball on Friday night or shooting squirrels in the woods. He picked up golf later in his life, probably when he was about 58. I played in high school and he used to fuss at me and say thats the silliest thing in the world to beat that white ball around when theres so much work to be done. But he picked it up and became infatuated with it. He shot his age at 69 and had two hole-in-ones at Memphis National.

Clayton was a standout player at Collierville, where he helped lead the team to the Shelby County Championship in 1951. He is a member of the Northwest Mississippi Community College Hall of Fame, the Rossville Academy Hall of Fame and the Memphis Amateur Sports Hall of Fame.

In addition to Clay, Clayton is survived by his wife, Laverne.

Visitation is set for 1 p.m. Monday at Fisherville Baptist Church in Collierville. The funeral will begin at 3.

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John Clayton, Hall of Fame high school basketball coach, remembered as 'very humble' but 'very competitive' - Commercial Appeal

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June 26th, 2020 at 9:46 am

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Thriveworks Counseling Opens New Office in Fairfield, CTOffers In-Person and Online Mental Health Services – PR Web

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FAIRFIELD, Conn. (PRWEB) June 25, 2020

Thriveworks Counseling is built on an important mission: to help people live happy, successful lives. The Thriveworks team is excited to offer mental health services at a new location in Fairfield, CT.

This counseling practice stands out from others in that it is committed to offering premium benefits that improve the client experience, including same and next-day appointments, online counseling opportunities, and innovative technologies like the Success Navigator which offers text support.

Certain obstacles might prevent an individual from scheduling or receiving counseling, such as a lack of availability or convenience. Thriveworks offers a solution to both of these problems by offering evening and weekend sessions in addition to daytime appointments throughout the week.

"People struggle to find providers who have availability during times that most working people are available, like evenings and weekends. Thriveworks addresses this problem and not only offers premium session times, but sets clients up with exceptional clinicians," says Chief Compliance Officer at Thriveworks Heidi Faust.

Thriveworks Counseling sets people up with skilled, caring, and experienced counselors who are able to help their clients address specific challenges. Depression therapy, anxiety therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, and life coaching are but a few of the many services offered at Thriveworks Counseling.

About Thriveworks:

Thriveworks Counseling is dedicated to providing people with premium mental health care and also exceptional customer service. When an individual calls to set up a counseling session, they speak to a scheduling specialist who walks them through the quick and easy process.

Thriveworks Counseling pairs individuals with skilled, caring mental health professionals who have a wide range of skills, training, and experience. To schedule a session or find more information about Thriveworks in Fairfield, call (203) 433-3563 or visit

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Thriveworks Counseling Opens New Office in Fairfield, CTOffers In-Person and Online Mental Health Services - PR Web

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June 26th, 2020 at 9:46 am

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How Far Does the Apple Fall From the Tree? – The Atlantic

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How far does the apple fall from the tree? In my case, it not only ripped off the branch; it rolled all the way down the fuckin hill. Imagine Charles Schulzs Pig-Pen moving in with Mr. Clean, and youre getting warm. The Odd Couple on acid I mean, you cant really blame the guy for feeling terminally frustrated throughout my adolescent years. Ive had feral pets that were easier to tame than me in my prepubescence. To put it mildly, Dad and I just didnt see eye to eye. Nevertheless, DNA is a funny thing, and I dont need a 23andMe kit to prove that my genetic code is candied with some of his more paradoxical qualities. And no matter how hard I tried to rebel, his hand always seemed to focus the lens through which I see the world (blurred as it may be). Beyond all our differences, if there is one gene that I am most thankful for, it is the one that fueled my love of music. A love that long ago inspired me to give my father his first taste of my literary prowess: a runaway note I left on his dining-room table in 1985.

By then, I was a full-fledged, hardcore punk-rock teenager. I had taken the hereditary generosity of my fathers musical abilities and mutated them into the antithesis of his classically trained ear. I was the garage band to his conservatory, the screeching feedback to his perfect pitch, the Dead Kennedys to his Leonard Bernstein. We may have shared the same passion for music, but eventually I swapped his trademark baton and Eames chair for my splintered drumsticks and leather jackets. Steeped in the DIY culture of underground, independent music, I wanted nothing to do with the convention and formalities of becoming a classical musician. I wanted noise. I wanted chaos. I wanted the sweat and grime of a crowded gig on a Saturday night, covered in bruises from slam dancing along to my favorite band. I wanted to scream my voice hoarse, break every drumhead, and celebrate the disregard of proper technique. I wanted maximum rock and roll.

Read: The irreplaceable thrill of the rock show

At the time, I was in a band with a ragtag group of other misfits, suburban teens by the name of Mission Impossible. (Dont laugh, but we often opened our shows with the nerdy theme song from the classic 1960s TV series. Actually, go ahead and laughit was ridiculous.) Fueled by our love of American hardcore music (and near-toxic amounts of Mountain Dew), we were like gnats with amplifiers. Among us, we had enough teenage angst and energy to support every major metropolitan power grid from Vegas to Virginia Beach. Furious tempos driven by raging attention-deficit disorders, any song in our repertoire that lasted more than three minutes we considered a virtual Bohemian Rhapsody. A blur of ripped jeans and Vans sneakers, we were following the path that our heroes had laid before us. And growing up on the outskirts of one of Americas most thriving punk-rock scenes, Washington, D.C., our heroes just happened to be the local bands that we could see every weekend. Minor Threat, Faith, Void, Government Issue, Bad Brains, Rites of Spring, just to name a few. These were bands that existed entirely outside the conventional, corporate music industry. They did it all themselves. So we did too.

Having been to countless shows at various community centers, art galleries, Knights of Columbus halls, and other alternative venues that actually allowed these types of raucous gatherings, I marveled at what appeared to be the simple method of promoting a punk-rock show: Find a place to play, fork over a security deposit, find some bands and a PA system, plaster handmade, xeroxed flyers on every telephone pole within walking distance of a cool record store, and pray that enough people would show up so that you wouldnt be run out of town by an angry mob of debt collectors. Heck, I could do that! All Id have to do is mow some lawns, pick up an odd job here and there, hawk some gear, and I could become the next Bill Graham! My mind was set, and I soon decided to try my hand at promoting a show all by myself. As with most achievements in my life, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing; I just followed my gut and hoped for the best. What could possibly go wrong? (Altamont, anyone?)

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How Far Does the Apple Fall From the Tree? - The Atlantic

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June 26th, 2020 at 9:45 am

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Warren Abrahams interview: ‘There are highly-qualified black coaches in England I am one of them’ –

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They never even hinted at that. If they did, and gave me areas to improve on, I could have gone away and worked on those areas. That information was never given to me. I had to be courageous and make a decision.

Other coaches might have sat tight. I didnt think I could be a role model for players if I didnt feel I was getting respect from my peers. After eight seasons, a big chunk of my life, at Harlequins, I didnt even get a thank you at the end. From that point of view, it was pretty tough.

Abrahams was still officially affiliated to USA Rugby on May 25 when George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, sparking worldwide protests under the Black Lives Matter movement. He says the incident opened up unnecessary wounds and stirred him to question certain things.

In America, I would be more aware when walking to the shops on my own in the evening, Abrahams adds. I would be more aware when driving myself to training. There just had to be a greater awareness of what you did in public.

My partner is white British and we have a mixed-race daughter. She is always asked whether she is the mother when she comes through customs.

Earlier this month, Abrahams listened to a candid conversation between Ugo Monye, Maro Itoje, Beno Obano and Anthony Watson for a special edition of theRugby Union Weeklypodcast on the sports relationship with race. His reaction was one of gratitude.

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Warren Abrahams interview: 'There are highly-qualified black coaches in England I am one of them' -

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June 26th, 2020 at 9:45 am

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Seeing Past COVID: LifeRamp launches a revolutionary life coaching platform to help students get the most out of their college years and beyond. -…

Posted: June 6, 2020 at 11:47 am

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United States, Maryland, Annapolis 06-01-2020 ( Annapolis, Maryland COVID-19s impact on the global economy, while still evolving, is likely to leave marks measured in years and in trillions of dollars, and there will be profound impacts on higher education. Even before the onset of the pandemic, many students and parents were questioning the return on investment of a college degree. Skyrocketing tuition prices now top $70,000 a year at many institutions, mounting student debt averages more than $30,000 and employers are increasingly skeptical about the career readiness of new graduates.

LifeRamp, a new company founded by global higher education executive Michael Huckaby, today announced the launch of an on-demand platform that enables college students to navigate and accelerate through the increasingly competitive job market toward a successful and fulfilling career. The core of LifeRamps support for students is an impressive cadre of top, internationally certified life coaches. The clear benefits of working with a life coach have been cited by CEOs and business leaders such as Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Eric Schmidt (the Founder of Google), and a host of other top performers in industry, entertainment, athletics, and government. These leaders have all credited coaching as a key to their successful careers. LifeRamp firmly believes that life coaches can add value no matter who you are, or where you are in life: They unlock your potential, enable you to discover your best self, act as a motivator, accountability partner, and strategist. LifeRamp provides experienced and accredited coaches to help you get there. LifeRamps coaching programs range between 1 12 weeks and consist of different combinations of numbers of live sessions, types and amounts of educational and/or career-related assessments, and access to proprietary data sources and resources. LifeRamps coaches are backed by a next generation digital platform that supports students with cutting-edge market intelligence, job mobility data, and core skills building content provided by an impressive array of leading industry and personal growth advisors.At LifeRamp, we know the transition from childhood to a young adult is filled with challenges and vast opportunities. We believe that all young adults should have coaches early in life to help them reach their ultimate destinations. Our accredited coaches and supplemental career services work hand-in-hand with students to ensure that they reach their personal and professional potential. We help them navigate the obstacles often encountered while transitioning to college, progressing through college, and becoming successful young professionals with purpose, said Huckaby, Founder and CEO of LifeRamp.About LifeRampLifeRamp is a next-generation virtual platform that delivers on-demand life coaching and career planning resources for college students and professionals to navigate and accelerate their paths toward a fulfilling and successful future. For additional information, visit

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Seeing Past COVID: LifeRamp launches a revolutionary life coaching platform to help students get the most out of their college years and beyond. -...

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June 6th, 2020 at 11:47 am

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Forever my coach – Ryan McGee on how Johnny Majors changed his life – ESPN

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Johnny Majors, who won 185 games and a national championship as a college football coach, died Wednesday at the age of 85.

We should all have the blessing of a person in our lives we can call, simply, Coach. Maybe it's a parent. Maybe it's someone who oversaw your athletic career, youth, pro or otherwise, no matter how long or short. Or perhaps it's the legend who had his painted portrait hanging in your parents' living room, the one who led their alma mater to its greatest moments of glory. You might have never met Bear Bryant or Dean Smith, but they always felt like a member of the family.

For me, Coach was Johnny Majors. Coach died Wednesday morning at the age of 85.

I never played for him, but I did work for him. When we first met, I was 19 years old, a sophomore at the University of Tennessee. I had taken a job with the Volunteers football team as a member of the video crew, manning a camera to record every practice and every game, the vital moving images that would be dissected by the coaching staff and players in their meeting rooms.

To arrive at that job each day I walked across Johnny Majors Boulevard. To get to the practice field I walked through a museum that displayed the orange No. 45 jersey worn by Majors during his years as a Vols running back, two-time SEC Player of the Year and 1956 Heisman Trophy runner-up.

As I entered the door each day, I saw Johnny Majors' College Football Hall of Fame induction plaque. As I hit the stairs to go to the video office, I passed by the 1986 Sugar Bowl championship trophy won by a team Johnny Majors coached. And when I reached the top of those stairs I was greeted by a massive framed photo of Johnny Majors being carried on the shoulders of his players as he reached down to shake the hand of Bear Bryant, whom he'd just defeated.

Minutes later, I would ascend to the top floor of the orange and white tower that overlooked the practice fields, set up my camera and, just as the drills below had started, a hand would squeeze my shoulder.

"Mr. McGee, how are we doing today? How'd you do on that big history test this morning?"

It was Johnny Majors. The living legend. The man with his name literally over the door. Big Orange Jesus himself. And he wanted to know how I had done on my World Civ final.

That's why he's my Coach.

For three autumns and two springs, that's how it went. I kept one eye stuck to the viewfinder of the camera, pointed at the offense on the field, and one eye pointed toward Coach Majors as he talked. He talked a lot. He told me what it was like to be in the same room with Gen. Robert Neyland. He talked about his days as an assistant coach at Mississippi State and Arkansas, days spent learning from Frank Broyles and coaching up Jimmy Johnson and Ken Hatfield, balanced by nights of hitting the bars of Starkville, Mississippi, with the likes of Bill Dooley.

By the time I knew him, it had been nearly a decade and a half since he'd coached Pitt to the 1976 national championship, but he still spoke with almost religious reverence when he mentioned the Heisman-winning backbone of that team, Tony Dorsett, pronounced "Door-SIT."

Every one of those stories was constantly interrupted. Out of the corner of his eye he would spot something he didn't like down on the field and jerk the bullhorn perpetually glued to his right hand to his mouth. "CHECK! CHECK! CHECK! CARL PICKENS! SELL THAT ROUTE WITH YOUR EYES! IF THEY'RE LOOKING AT YOUR EYES THEN THEY AREN'T LOOKING AT YOUR FEET!"

Then it was back to the stories. About his father, small-college legend Shirley Majors, who'd coached Johnny at Huntland High and then coached at Sewanee for two decades. He told me about his younger brothers, fellow Tennessee All-American Bobby, Suwanee star Larry and Florida State's Joe, who played for the Houston Oilers.

He especially loved to tell stories about Bill Majors, hero of Tennessee's 1959 upset win over defending national champion LSU. Bill died six years later. He was a Tennessee assistant coach and was on his way to work with two coworkers when their car was hit by a train. Coach wiped tears away from his face every time he talked about Bill. Then he would catch himself.

"How's your dad doing? ... You still dating that girl from Nashville? ... How's my quarterback looking down there?"

That's the Coach Majors that I knew. But when I would go out with friends or talk to people around Knoxville, that wasn't the Johnny Majors I would hear about. They would talk about a big-headed head coach who made too much money and couldn't beat Alabama. They said he didn't run the ball enough, but they would also say he threw the ball too much. They said he drank too much, and that he was getting too old, that he was losing touch with young people. I tried to argue with them. I used my stories from practice as my ammo. But they could never be convinced otherwise.

"I don't worry about that stuff," he said to me one day during practice when I asked him about it. He was holding the hand of his toddler grandson. "I'm only worried about those guys on that field. And this little guy right here. And I'm getting worried about you. You're getting too skinny. Are we not feeding you enough?"

It was a critical time, not only for Tennessee football, but for the entirety of college football. Cable television was exploding. The cash was starting to roll in. Recruiting was becoming ultracompetitive. Head coaches were becoming CEOs. The Volunteers were winning a lot of football games, having just gone 11-1 with a co-SEC title in 1989 and the outright championship in 1990.

His staff was an all-star team of assistants that included John Chavis, David Cutcliffe and offensive coordinator/associate head coach Phillip Fulmer. In 1992, with Heisman favorite Heath Shuler at quarterback and great expectations, that staff turned on him. Majors suffered a heart attack during the preseason and missed the first three games. He returned in a limited capacity as the team hit 5-0 and was ranked fourth in the nation.

But the Vols lost the next three, including an embarrassing defeat at South Carolina. By season's end, he was out. I was working on the last edition of the Johnny Majors Show, the Sunday morning coach's show the morning after his final game. He came onto the set with purpose, holding a copy of that morning's newspaper that reported phone records revealed Fulmer's interactions with powerful Tennessee supporters while Majors was recovering from his heart surgery.

I'm not here to argue whether Tennessee needed to make a coaching change. But I will argue until I join Johnny Majors on the other side of life that his exit could not have been handled worse.

The divide ran so deep within the football building that everyone was identified by their coach loyalties. Were you a Fulmer guy or a Majors guy? That spring I was lonely on the practice field tower. Fulmer preferred to stay on the sideline. One day I was pulled aside by an administrator and warned to stop referring to Majors as "Coach" because he was gone and there was a new head coach now.

From then on, Majors carried a bitterness, a sadness, that never fully went away. He went back to Pitt, where he coached four more years, introduced the world to Curtis Martin, and then retired from coaching in 1996. My father was a football official in the Big East at the time. Once, in the middle of a game, Dad was standing along the sideline during a timeout, when Coach approached him: "Jerry, can you believe my alma mater would do that to me?"

In 1998, I went to Pitt and spent the day with Coach, then an associate athletic director, and he took me with him to Panthers tailgating functions before that night's upset win over Miami. He introduced me to every group by saying, "This is Ryan McGee. He worked for me at Tennessee. If you get enough drinks in him he will tell you the truth about Judas Brutus."

He was speaking of Fulmer.

For more than a decade, Johnny Majors remained in Big Orange exile. He moved back to Knoxville but was rarely on campus. He said he didn't feel fully welcomed. That changed in 2009. For all that went wrong with Tennessee's one-year Lane Kiffin experiment, what went right was one of Kiffin's first acts in power -- to call Johnny Majors and give him a keycard so that he could come to the football building anytime he desired.

Coach relished the second chance so much. He became nearly a full-time resident of the video office, hunkering down in screening rooms watching old game film. I asked him what games he watched from when I was in school and he said, laughing, "Are you kidding? All I watch are my old games, when I was playing. Man, I was really good!"

He developed a habit of parking his car right in front of the football building, leaving it sitting on the curb right in the middle of traffic and going inside. When campus police told him he couldn't do that, he pointed at the road sign above them: Johnny Majors Boulevard. "The hell you say. This is my road. I can park wherever I want."

That didn't change. Even after "Judas Brutus" became athletic director. Watching them avoid each other in the football building was like watching a ballet. They shared rooms or shook hands only when events forced them to do so. Though they never mended fences, Majors worked hard over his final years to heal wounds with other staffers who were there for the coup of '92.

David Cutcliffe, now head coach at Duke, broke down in tears when he told me about Majors visiting with his team in Durham, North Carolina, a few years ago and the private conversation the two coaches had that evening. "How much of our lives have we all wasted on grudges?" Cutcliffe said to me. "We'll never get that time back and that's tragic."

I wish I could get some time back from the last couple of years. I would visit with Majors more than I did. Whenever the phone rang or we met in Knoxville, it was an instant memory.

We laughed about the time I sat in when Paul Hornung, winner of the 1956 Heisman, interviewed Coach in his office and, trying to be funny, asked: "Johnny Majors, who really should have won the Heisman in '56?" Majors replied, "Jimmy Brown, next question."

I visited with him after another heart surgery, a valve replacement in 2014. He told me just as they were administering his anesthesia, he asked what kind of valve he was getting. "They told me it was from a pig. I told them to go down to the ag campus and see if they couldn't find me one from a bull."

We talked once every few months for my entire adult life. But I should have done it more.

The last time we chatted was last fall. He was excited about the direction Tennessee football is headed. He really loved watching LSU's Joe Burrow. He thanked me for something he'd heard that I'd said about him during college football's 150th anniversary celebration. That conversation ended the way all of our conversations ended. "Ryan, I have always appreciated your loyalty. Loyalty is all we can hope for in this life. You remember that."

Johnny Majors was always coaching me up. Because Johnny Majors was always my Coach.

Continued here:
Forever my coach - Ryan McGee on how Johnny Majors changed his life - ESPN

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June 6th, 2020 at 11:47 am

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Theyre Lobos for life, working hard to save lives – Albuquerque Journal

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Former UNM soccer player Lana Melendres-Groves, here with her son Charlie, values coaching as a release from her duties as a doctor, fighting the coronavirus. COURTESY OF LANA MELENDRES-GROVES

Relief and resolve can come in different forms as so many have struggled to find normalcy during challenging times brought upon by the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Lana Melendres-Groves finds solace in soccer. That has been the case so many times in her life, including when she was a standout player for University of New Mexico. Now, soccer comes from a different angle during her career as the medical director of the pulmonary hypertension program at UNM Hospital.

She is among many on a hospital team working together against COVID-19, the daily tragedies that it brings, yet finding hope in the recoveries.


Soccer, yes, known as the beautiful game, remains present, thankfully.

Its so awesome that I get to coach, said Melendres-Groves, who helps her husband, Josh Groves, with the New Mexico Soccer Academy. For me the coaching aspect is what keeps me sane, because working in a hospital, working where you see death and dying, you see life and birth, but all of it together, and then when you go out with kids, theyre why you do it. You want to make the world better. Because these kids with their innocence and their passion and their laughter, thats what reminds me, yep, get up and do it again because these guys need you to.

Much of Melendres-Groves strength and values have been drawn from soccer, the lessons learned from games and years of training that was at its highest level at UNM.

Delilah Davila, a former UNM cheerleader, is an ICU nurse at UNM Hospital. (Courtesy of UNM Hospital)

For Olivia Ferrier and Delilah Davila, both intensive care unit nurses at UNMH, a background in UNM athletics also prepared them for their careers. Ferrier also played soccer at UNM, and Davila was a cheerleader for the Lobos.

Olivier Ferrier, a former UNM womens soccer player, is an ICU nurse at UNM Hospital. (Courtesy of UNM Hospital)

Home is important for all three, and home is UNMH, serving the people in the community.

And it has intensified in the past three months. As of Friday, there have been 387 deaths due to the coronavirus in New Mexico and 8,672 who have tested positive.

The captain

Melendres-Groves, a captain for the Lobos, played as a midfielder 1996-2000 and is still among the top 10 in six categories in the programs record book. The Valley High School alumnus was a 5-foot-1 dynamo in her playing days.


She saw the importance of teamwork back then and contributed off the pitch as well. She went to UNM on a Regents Scholarship, a full academic ride.

I chose to defer the athletic scholarship because of my Regents Scholarship, Melendres-Groves said in a recent phone interview. I requested that they use any of those funds for teammates of mine who needed it from an athletic standpoint.

At UNM, Melendres-Groves developed routines while juggling academics and athletics. Procrastination was not an option.

That has helped me through to today, said Melendres-Groves, who is also an associate professor in the department of internal medicine at UNM. I have four kids (Charlie, 12; Oliver, 10; Oscar, 7; Scarlett, 6). I work full time at UNM. I do consulting work. My husband runs a soccer academy in town that I do my best to try and coach most nights of the week and on the weekends. Playing soccer at UNM just prepares you for life, which is always coming at ya.

Melendres-Groves sensed anxiety and fear as the coronavirus made its way to the United States and crept into the central portion of the U.S. a little more than three months ago. As that happened, UNMH and state leaders worked together so they would be ready, Melendres-Groves said.

We prepared for really dire months to come, and what has happened is because of that preparation, she said. I think weve been ready and have been able to manage the patients in need, specifically being able to help with our colleagues that are in the Navajo Nation area and with that patient population and to provide support. Its been a tremendous effort across the board within all of health systems in the state.

Melendres-Groves is in a leadership role, yet she says, I also follow leaders who I know are taking us down the right path.

There has to be hope, Melendres-Groves said. Thats what allows us to get up each day, and to move forward is that the hope for tomorrow will be better than today and months from now. We have tremendous people around the world, but I cant say enough about our researchers from the national labs here in New Mexico, about our global policy workers and what they have done to move things along specifically for New Mexico. Often we get the afterthoughts in terms of our country as a whole.


In the ICU

Olivia Ferrier and Delilah Davila are both thankful they respectively live alone. They have seen other ICU nurses who have families and must find ways to self-isolate, including renting a mobile home.

Our world has completely changed, Ferrier said. However, it has become second nature to us. We are now a completely positive coronavirus unit, so we are no longer accepting the ICU patients we were accepting at this time last year.

Second nature to Ferrier and Davila includes 12-hour shifts at least three days a week. They wear an N95 mask for their entire shift.

They solely take care of COVID-19-positive patients daily.

In late May, Ferrier said she saw no signs of the care and work needed slowing down.

Davila describes the experience as overwhelming.

Its been incredibly sad for sure to see these sick patients who take weeks to get better if they do at all, said Davila, 26, an Albuquerque High graduate who finished cheering at UNM in 2015 and completed the nursing program in 2017. Its been really tough. But I feel grateful to be able to contribute in whatever small way that I can.


Ferrier, 26, a Volcano Vista alumna who played soccer for the Lobos from 2012-2016, is dealing with great emotions in her own way.

I dont think Ive acknowledged the mental toll that this has taken on me, especially with the combination of working on the night shift, Ferrier said The mental impact that COVID has had on me, I think it will start to come to light later because I havent really addressed it, which I dont know if that is good or bad. Ive just been in work mode for the last few months. On my off days, I just try to do the things I love when before we were quarantined. I try to exercise, which is even harder without a gym. I try to get outside. I dont underestimate the mental toll that it has taken on me and every nurse in the country. Its a big one. But I will address it later. Thats my plan.

Ferrier and Davila both have a sense of pride while working at UNMH because it is home. They grew up in Albuquerque. They had options to leave, but they chose to stay.

I feel a lot of pride working with the people of Albuquerque and New Mexico, Ferrier said. I felt like the opportunity of working at UNM, the patients we see and the technology we deal with, we deal with some of the sickest people in the country, I wanted to stay here. I thought it was the best choice for my career. Im proud to still be in Albuquerque and working at UNM.

Said Davila: My whole family is here. I feel like Im a family-oriented person. Leaving them would have been very hard for me. Im grateful that I got to cheer at UNM. My family kept me here.

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Theyre Lobos for life, working hard to save lives - Albuquerque Journal

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