On The Fence
Bobby Leach "The Rooster" | 12/4/2013, 3:23 p.m.
If there is one thing I have learned covering sports over the years for this newspaper and others in my tenure it is that change is the only certainty. There are teams that are perennial powerhouses in their sports then show a decline only to peak again in the future. Players, coaches and sometimes even fans change with the years but looking back on it all, I have met more than I can count who were absolute class acts.
I have always felt that looking at wins and losses is a shallow way to sum up the effectiveness of a coach but that doesn't mean there are appropriate changes meant to jump start a program in a different direction. Change isn't always welcomed but in the same breath isn't always a bad thing and can be a chance for all sides to view the sport from a different angle. Growth comes from change and personally I believe change is the spice of life that keeps us all sharp.
Last week it was announced that Lockport coach Don McKillip was relieved of his position as head coach of the Lockport Porters varsity football team after serving in that capacity for the past three seasons. Coach McKillip posted an 11-18 overall win/loss record during his time as coach and made the playoffs in 2012 but was unable to repeat this season finishing with a 3-6 record.
Do I think coaching is to blame when a team loses? Sure but not anymore than a players personal preparation or the random bad break or call that can swing an outcome.
When the news of McKillip's departure found my ears, I have to admit I wasn't surprised but I was also disappointed for him. Regardless of where you fall on the topic, McKillip is a class act and a coach I would be proud to have my own children play for. I am sure Lockport athletic director Brian Goff, another top notch athletic leader, didn't have an easy decision there especially considering the character both have shown in my dealings with athletics at Lockport High School.
Whichever direction Lockport decides to go, I am certain it will be in the best interest of the students but that doesn't mean I won't think fondly of the games I got to see with McKillip at the helm and I witnessed some incredible Lockport moments.
The Porters are rich with tradition and command the best coaching candidates moving forward. Changes like these are always approached with caution but offer an exciting anticipation of who is next. The 2014 season will be here before we know it and we all know the returning players are in a weight room somewhere just itching to strap up the pads again. Different coach but same goal, win!