The SportsLeader Character Coaches Association would like to congratulate Coach Kent Wright of Lebanon Indiana High School for this year's Coach of Uncommon Strength Award. Here below is a letter from the Principal of Lebanon High School Kevin O'Rourke.
On behalf of the students, staff, parents, and our community as a whole, we are proud that Coach Wright has been recognized by SportsLeader as the Coach of Uncommon Strength. This is a great honor, and one that I can attest is well deserved. Coach Wright is a tremendous educator. I use the word educator, because his teaching extends well beyond the football field. Coach Wright’s positive influence on our students and community is evident in his coaching, teaching, and through the multitude of opportunities he creates for the youth within our community.
As a classroom teacher, he is an exceptional educator and mentor to all his students. Coach Wright consistently receives praise from parents of students that have struggled in PE in the past, because Coach Wright builds all his students up from what they can do as opposed to tearing them down for what they can’t do. He is recognized for building a culture in his PE class where students support one another through positive encouragement. His classroom becomes a team effort where students are taught and encouraged to inspire one another in a positive manner to do their personal best. As a testament to Coach Wright’s ability to influence students to become better leaders and role models, we started a new course this year taught by Coach Wright called Teen Leadership. This is an elective course that has a very wide range of students. Coach Wright’s influence in this course helps mold his students to become better leaders, which has a ripple effect throughout our schools activities and overall culture.
As a coach, Coach Wright does a tremendous job of team building. He has a strategic plan for building his team, and his concentrated efforts are greatly appreciated within our school community. Coach Wright takes his team on a several day boot camp over the summer to help build their commitment to one another. The message is simply putting the needs of the organization ahead of oneself. In addition, members of the team are broken into year-long platoons where points are awarded for such things as community service and academic achievement. Character, Integrity, and Moral Judgment are all highly valued traits that are woven into the fiber of Coach Wright’s teams. While wins and losses are important, it is reassuring to know that we have a varsity football coach that values the opportunity to mold the character of his players with their future in mind without compromising character flaws for wins.
As a person, Coach Wright walks the talk. He represents the same values and traits that he expects from his students and athletes. He is always willing to help others along the way. As an example, Coach Wright has taken team and community members to Louisiana to help rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Then, most recently, he spent several weeks last summer in Haiti with numerous football players and community members helping clean-up and rebuild a country ravaged by a hurricane and earthquakes. These opportunities provided by Coach Wright were life changing events for our student-athletes. Most importantly though, these opportunities where not provided simply to build character in our student-athletes, they were provided because Coach Wright recognized a need and opportunity to help others.
Coach Wright is an outstanding teacher, coach, and community member. He is a man of Christian principles that provides countless opportunities for our students to become better people. I greatly respect the fact that he is as committed to students that are not athletes, as he is to the students in his football program. As principal of Lebanon High School, I can attest that Coach Kent Wright is truly an ideal representative of the Coach of Uncommon Strength. Our student-athletes and school community as a whole are benefactors of the commitment Coach has made to building a program based on character and integrity. We are appreciative of all of Coaches hard work, and proud that he has been recognized by SportsLeader of this very deserving and prestigious honor.
In Tiger Pride!
Kevin M. O’Rourke
Lebanon High School