As an LSU Tiger fan transplanted from Louisiana to South Carolina, my heart went out to coach Steve Kragthorpe when I read about his diagnosis of Parkinson’s.
But when I read his comment that his family was grounded on great faith, I knew immediately that everything would be all right. The faith-based people I know don’t know defeat and are unconquerable.
A memorable legacy of former LSU basketball coach Dale Brown was his constant reminder to fans about individuals who rose above their circumstances to achieve great things.
We all know that President Franklin Roosevelt, although confined to a wheelchair and in declining health, waged and won a great World War. Every day, we see in airports and on main streets America’s finest returning home from Iraq or Afghanistan missing arms, legs or also confined to wheelchairs. The warriors I know or read about don’t look back but charge straight ahead with goals to accomplish and mountains to climb.
Coach Les Miles is a man of character and integrity. If coach Kragthorpe is an indication, Miles has assembled a stellar staff of like-minded individuals. In a profession that can be very unforgiving and twisted, individuals such as Miles and Kragthorpe know what is important in life and live as straight and unbending examples for others.
Godspeed, coach Kragthorpe, and all the best in managing your disease. As a former coach told me many years ago, “When life throws you a curve ball, go for the fence!”