Saturday, December 04, 2004

Ex-Notre Dame Coach Nails Personal Accountability

This fall I accomplished a goal I’ve had for a couple of years… to see a Notre Dame game in South Bend. I put the whole thing together on a trip to Chicago and saw the Irish lose on the last play of the game to Boston College.

Truly and incredible college football game and experience – the pep rally the night before, the morning rain and constant storm clouds made for a lifetime of memories. The loss – it hurt.

I’m sure it hurt Coach Tyrone Willingham the most… as I was driving the wet Interstate back to Chicago I imagine the powers that be in Irish Football were making the only decision they could - Willingham was out and only a couple of wins including victory over SC could change that direction.

Harsh? Maybe, but winning at Notre Dame is not something that just happens – it’s a constant pursuit. If things are not progressing in that one direction then they are regressing, and that is where things stood the rainy afternoon of October 23rd in South Bend. After mass, the football gods got together and made the call - miracles or else.

Willingham is a class act. The other day in USA Today I read this quote and smiled. Tyrone Willingham had nailed the answer for why he was let go, and let go before his contract was over at Notre Dame.

Here it is:

“I understand that I did not meet the expectations or standards that I set for myself… and when you don't meet your own expectations, you make yourself vulnerable to the will of others."

That is accountability. No need to make excuses and I doubt he will do so in the future.

You know what’s great about taking 100% responsibility for your failure? This is it – you get to take 100% responsibility for your success. That is something we should all embrace.

Good luck Coach.


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