I am writing this letter as a public thank you to coach George Houston and coach Jim Hamey. I would have been the first one standing to applaud when coach Houston made the decision to start his team manager in the last home game of the season. As a former basketball manager for both of them (Hamey, freshman year; Houston, sophomore through senior years) I know how great it is to work for them. While the job is a thankless one, those two men and all of their assistants over the years are always quick with praise for the managers as they are to tell a defender to "move your feet."
Although I never got to start a game, I also didn't practice daily as Aaron Larson does. Coach Houston and coach Hamey showed their gratitude to me in other ways. Coach Hamey was one of the best neighbors and role models a kid could have growing up. Coach Houston always had a job for me each summer working his camp. It was in my senior year and the years at camp that I caught the first glimpse of my current career. He allowed me to get into the medical aspect of sports and as a result, I am now a certified athletic trainer.
I never would have gotten in the athletic training program at New Mexico State University had it not been for the things I learned from both coaches and the letter of recommendation from coach Houston. I now work at Groves High School in Savannah, Ga., and I hope that I can have half the impact on kids' lives here as coaches Hamey and Houston had on mine. If so, I can call my life a success.
These men need to be applauded for not only the players and teams they produce, but for the fine men and women who those players and managers become later in life. I wouldn't be where I am today had it not been for these men.
Chad S. Jones
JDHS Class of 1995