September 19, 17
     
 
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Continuing work in the community: giving back to those who have given us so much to us.

I have been asked to comment on my community work and how long I’ve done it and how long I will continue.

I’ve been involved in community work for over 30 years, including life long work with the Boys and Girls Clubs and other charities providing service to their communities.

Those of us who have had the privilege of being a part of the NFL know just lucky we are to have chosen careers that pay well and enable us to work with some of the most outstanding young men in society. As a result, I always had my players involved in what I called “Community Tuesday,” when players would visit schools, churches, play grounds, nursing homes, hospitals, and anywhere wlse there were fans in special settings who would get a lift by the presence of our players.

Community Tuesday was how each of us, in our own ways in these settings could express our thanks and appreciation to the fans for supporting us and contributing to our ability to do well in the NFL.

As noted below, I was the individual person to receive an award from The World Sports Humanitariaion Hall of Fame. When they presented me with the Community Coach of the Year award, it was the first time they had given an award to a person. I was very moved and very honored dto be called “a model for other coaches.”

My life in the community and at home is defined by the 5 Fs: Faith, Family, Friends, Football, and Fishing. It was my privilege to coach throughout the 1990s in the National Football League, as Head Coach of the Minnesota Vikings, and to hold several records reflecting my desire to win (the 9th best coaching record in NFL history with best coaching record in the 1990s).

Whether on the job, with the team, in the community, or at home, my underlying theme for success in any field, in any endeavor, has been perseverance, offering no excuses, and maintaining a drive to win. I share a motto with many successful leaders: "Plan your work and work your plan."

In my autobiography, No Room For Crybabies, I tell the story of the different communities I grew up in, communities where perseverance enabled me to succeed. I had to overcome bigotry to succeeded in life and to climb to the top of my profession. I grew up in the projects of Harrisburg, PA. and was orphaned when my dad and then my mother died when I was 11 and 13. As a star halfback with the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, I also participated in athlete anti-segregation/anti-prejudice student campaigns. As Head Coach I turned around the programs of two major college programs, Northwestern and Stanford, and turned around the NFL team of The Minnesota Vikings.

Many still come up to me to share the excitement they felt during our 15-1 record run in the1998 season. The Vikings and the New England Patriots are the only teams to suffer only one loss in a season, bested only by the 1972 Dolphins who lost no games.

I have devoted part of every summer to camps for kids from the inner city. During every season, Tuesdays was community day in which the players and I worked in the community, at schools, and at boys and girls clubs, churches, and other settings, helping to give back to the community what the community has given to us. I encourage everyone to “Live on the High Road, with Expectations and Commitment at home, on the field, and in the community, doing so with desire, dedication, and determination. It is my sincere hope that all consider adopting the C.O.A.C.H. pledge for themselves:

Continuing work in the community: giving back to those who have given us so much to us.

I have been asked to comment on my community work and how long I’ve done it and how long I will continue.

I’ve been involved in community work for over 30 years, including life long work with the Boys and Girls Clubs and other charities providing service to their communities.

Those of us who have had the privilege of being a part of the NFL know just lucky we are to have chosen careers that pay well and enable us to work with some of the most outstanding young men in society. As a result, I always had my players involved in what I called “Community Tuesday,” when players would visit schools, churches, play grounds, nursing homes, hospitals, and anywhere wlse there were fans in special settings who would get a lift by the presence of our players.

Community Tuesday was how each of us, in our own ways in these settings could express our thanks and appreciation to the fans for supporting us and contributing to our ability to do well in the NFL.

As noted below, I was the individual person to receive an award from The World Sports Humanitariaion Hall of Fame. When they presented me with the Community Coach of the Year award, it was the first time they had given an award to a person. I was very moved and very honored dto be called “a model for other coaches.”

My life in the community and at home is defined by the 5 Fs: Faith, Family, Friends, Football, and Fishing. It was my privilege to coach throughout the 1990s in the National Football League, as Head Coach of the Minnesota Vikings, and to hold several records reflecting my desire to win (the 9th best coaching record in NFL history with best coaching record in the 1990s).

Whether on the job, with the team, in the community, or at home, my underlying theme for success in any field, in any endeavor, has been perseverance, offering no excuses, and maintaining a drive to win. I share a motto with many successful leaders: "Plan your work and work your plan."

In my autobiography, No Room For Crybabies, I tell the story of the different communities I grew up in, communities where perseverance enabled me to succeed. I had to overcome bigotry to succeeded in life and to climb to the top of my profession. I grew up in the projects of Harrisburg, PA. and was orphaned when my dad and then my mother died when I was 11 and 13. As a star halfback with the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, I also participated in athlete anti-segregation/anti-prejudice student campaigns. As Head Coach I turned around the programs of two major college programs, Northwestern and Stanford, and turned around the NFL team of The Minnesota Vikings.

Many still come up to me to share the excitement they felt during our 15-1 record run in the1998 season. The Vikings and the New England Patriots are the only teams to suffer only one loss in a season, bested only by the 1972 Dolphins who lost no games.

I have devoted part of every summer to camps for kids from the inner city. During every season, Tuesdays was community day in which the players and I worked in the community, at schools, and at boys and girls clubs, churches, and other settings, helping to give back to the community what the community has given to us. I encourage everyone to “Live on the High Road, with Expectations and Commitment at home, on the field, and in the community, doing so with desire, dedication, and determination. It is my sincere hope that all consider adopting the C.O.A.C.H. pledge for themselves:

        Call for Human Rights
         Oath for Civic Responsibility
         Advocate for Youth
         Challenge for Unity
         Honor God

Awards have included: • 2001: Community Coach of the Year, by The World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame,          the first individual to receive it: “a model for other coaches.”
• 1998: Coach of the Year, Maxwell Club
• 1998: Coach of the Year, Sports Illustrated
• 1998: Professional Coach of the Year in the Upper Midwest, Midwest Sports Channel
• 1993: Pop Warner''''s Golden Football Award for distinguished record of service to youth,
         community, country and humanity
• 1992: NFL Coach of the Year honors from the Washington Touchdown Club
• 1992: NFC Coach of the Year honors from United Press International
• 1992: NFC Coach of the Year honors from College & Pro Football Newsweekly.

Living on the High Road:  Expectation and Commitment at home, on the field, and in the community,
done so with desire, dedication, and determination.