In the world of high school sports, what determines if a head football coach is successful and makes a difference in his player’s lives? Is it his ability to jump up and down and scream at his players to get them to knock the snot out of an opposing player? Is it the coach who breaks every rule in order to win and has no morals or a code of ethics? Is it the coach who smells like a brewery and brags about his exploits to gain acceptance from his players? Or, is it the coach who makes everyone afraid to walk up to him and ask him a question or question something?
If you were to judge former Lane Tech High School football coach Sam Bronswick by all of these characteristics, you would call him a failure. And, Coach wouldn’t care what you thought because he knew he treated players and coaches right and did things with dignity and a moral compass.
Coach Bronswick passed away Sunday at the age of 89 and so did a part of everyone he came in contact with through the years. Did Coach break rules and treat people like garbage? Nope and that was part of his genius as he treated everyone like a human being and made them feel as if they mattered, both on and off the field.
Are there any wild stories about Coach which would make a rabbi queasy? Nope, especially as Coach worried about what others thought about the actions of himself, his coaches, and his players.
So, what made this man so successful in his 15 years as Lane Tech’s head football coach, where he compiled a 114-40 record, won the 1985 CPS championship, coached over a hundred players who went onto to play in college, and was inducted into the Illinois High School Football Hall of Fame in 1993? Simply put, Coach did it the right way as he played by the rules, treated people with respect, preached of a good work ethic, and most of all, made everyone feel they were a part of the success of the Lane Tech Football Program.
Shalom Coach Bronwsick until we meet again.