Monday, May 13, 2013

The Passing of The Pioneer of The Iowa Girl

Today I'm going to keep my blogs basically with the same content.  Many of the readers of this blog will remember who E. Wayne Cooley was.  You'll remember the pageantry of the Girls State Basketball Tournament back in the Vets Auditorium days.  There was nothing like it.

I think one of the things we've lost in our society is a true appreciation of the past.  You can't live in the past, but I think it's good to know where you came from, whether it be your family heritage, your faith, or even those that helped to shape the job that we do.  In all of those areas, I think we go through stages where we miss, and even long for, the past.  It's not healthy to live in that mode, but it's fun to remember sometimes.

So with respect to a man that helped to shape a portion of the job that I do every day, I pay respect to a man who helped to shape the past of girls athletics in Iowa.

Here's what I posted in my Activity blog.

This post may be a bit of a history lesson for the younger readers.  The young ladies who read this should especially pay attention.  On Tuesday, May 14th, E. Wayne Cooley will be laid to rest after a memorial service honoring his life.  Mr. Cooley was the man who helped to make girls athletics in the state what they are.  Many of you still in high school may have never heard of him, but he was responsible for giving your grandmother's opportunities to play sports long before it was mandated by Title IX in 1972.

Mr. Cooley is responsible for promoting the "Iowa Girl" because he believe that they should be given the same opportunities as the boys.  What he did with the girls state basketball tournament back in the 60's, 70's, and 80's was unbelievable, making it one of the best attractions in the nation.  I can tell you honestly that while playing in the girls state basketball tournament now is a great treat at Wells Fargo Arena, what happened in the old Veteran's Auditorium just to the west of the Well was second to none and will never again be duplicated.  For those that have a genuine interest in Iowa girls basketball I would encourage you to do some research and discover the pageantry that it used to be.  You'll be amazed.

I've included in this blog a short news story from KCCI, a video aired in 1988 about Iowa Girls Basketball,  and a link to a short blog post by a writer in Cedar Rapids.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Graduation Time

It's going to be a busy few weeks with many high school and college graduations.  I time of celebrations, reflections, and thoughts about the future.  One of the things I love about Twitter is the fact that every day can be a day of learning from some very thoughtful leaders in education, athletics, and business.  

This past week one of my favorite leaders, Jon Gordon (no relation), wrote a blog titled 11 Lessons for Graduates.  It was based on one of his books, The Seed.  I thought it was very interesting, thought provoking, and helped me to reflect on some of my own personal journey.  

There are several "lessons" that are preparing graduates for what may happen to them, but for those of us who have already lived several years of this life, post graduate, it spoke a lot of truth and helped me think about some of the lessons that I've learned.  Maybe it will do the same for you.  

If you're on Twitter, check out @jongordon11.  If you want to check out his website, check out  

Here are the 11 Lessons for Graduates by Jon Gordon. 

I walked into Barnes & Noble on 46th and 5th in NYC last week and was surprised to see thatThe Seed was on a special table with other books for new college graduates. When I spoke to the manager he said that they thought it would be a great book for college graduates searching for their purpose and passion. While I wrote the book for people of all ages, the conversation inspired me to think about how the lessons from The Seed could benefit recent graduates. So here goes…
1. You are here for a reason and the most important thing you can do in life is to find, live and share your purpose. It’s the one thing in life that truly matters and if you don’t pursue it, everything else is meaningless.
2. Follow your passion. It so often leads you to your purpose. Do what energizes you.
3. You may not know what your passion is right now. That’s ok. The important thing is to make it your life mission to find it, live it and share it. To help find your passion, seek out jobs and experiences that allow you to use your strengths and gifts.
4. Beware of Hobbies. Just because you love spending time on Facebook doesn’t mean you would enjoy working for the company. And just because you love to cook doesn’t mean you would enjoy owning a restaurant. For example, I owned restaurants but I realized I didn’t love the food business. I loved the service and marketing aspect of the business.
5. Quit for the right reasons. Don’t quit because work is hard or you’re experiencing challenges. Quit because in your heart you know there is something else for you to do. Quit because you are not benefitting yourself or the organization you work for. Quit because you are absolutely certain you are no longer supposed to be there.
6. Learn from every job and experience. Every job, good or bad, prepares you for the work you were ultimately born to do.
7. Whatever job(s) you take after graduation simply decide to serve. When you serve in small ways you’ll get more opportunities to serve in bigger ways.
8. Your dream job is likely not the one you dreamed about. So often we end up in amazing careers that have nothing to do with our college degree or childhood dreams.
9. The quest for your purpose is not a straight line. It is filled with mystery, signs, obstacles, victories, dead ends, delays and detours. Your job is to stay optimistic and faithful on your quest.
10. Don’t rush the future. There is a process that seeds must go through in order to become all they are destined to become, and you must go through this same process to become the person you are meant to be and do the work you are meant to do. You may want things to happen NOW but more than likely if you got what you wanted NOW you wouldn’t be ready for it. The purpose process prepares you, strengthens you, shapes you and grows you to be successful,not in your time, but in the right time.
11. Be the Seed. Seeds surrender themselves to the ground so they can be used for a greater purpose. Wherever you work, decide to plant yourself where you are and allow yourself to be used for a greater purpose. When you plant yourself and make a difference you grow into the person you were born to be and produce a harvest that will benefit others and change the world.

Good stuff.  Made me think.  

Update from last week's blog:  If you didn't see a Twitter of Facebook post from our family last week, AJ accepted a position as the Graduate Assistant with the Midland University basketball team, and will continue his education there pursuing his master's degree in education and coaching with the men's basketball team for the next two years.  It's a great opportunity and we're all very excited for, and with, him.