Saturday, November 22, 2003
I wanted to write a letter on behalf of coach Mark Drake. I'm a football coach for the New England Patriots in the middle of a very busy season. I came across an article "Drake forced out" by your paper that demanded my time and attention.
I've known coach Drake for the past eight years and known of him for several more years than that. He has always been one of the most respected coaches in football at any level. When I had a chance to "X and O" with him and his staff (when I was a defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State), I jumped in a car and headed to Steamboat. What a class act he is! I learned a lot more than he did from those meetings. Drake is miles ahead of most coaches I've ever met, and I've been around the NFL and college football nearly my entire life.
To read about a real "coaching icon" being "forced out" from his job of 35 years is disgusting and an absolute joke. Who are the young men and women of high schools supposed to look up to when the real teachers are being run out of town? Drake loves the kids he works with, the discipline of teaching, and the art of teamwork. These are trying times for today's young adults, and the need for leadership has never been this great.
Drake is a person of high character, dedicated to being the consummate professional and a true man's man. I'm so tired of this "new is better" attitude that is so prevalent in today's society. When you have a stable, successful and wise coach to teach the youths of today, we should treasure that luxury and afford Drake the opportunity to decide when he should or will retire from coaching.