Is This Thing Working?



Not Just A Coach

When we grow up there are certain people that help shape the person you are later in life. Those that help you reach your potential and believe in you when others don't.
In high school, I...or should I say "WE" had this person. I can't just speak for me, because I know today so many other NFCVI Red Raiders are feeling the same way as I am after hearing the news that one of the greatest coaches this region ever had, Mr. Doug Aitchison, has passed away.
He was more than a high school football coach to me (to all of us) he was a mentor. I not only respected him, but looked up to him. How he was able to garner our respect simply by giving us "his" respect. Not fear like other teachers who tossed around desks and threw kids up against was his look, his tone. From the biggest badasses in our school to the little guy like me, nobody wanted to disappoint Mr. Aitch. And God forbid you did, you would have to face the wrath of the rest of the school. He was kind, he was honest, he was motivating, he was inspiring, and most of all he was always there for us.
He was the reason I went on to University. It was because I wanted to be Mr. Aitch. I wanted to teach Phys-Ed (didn't quite work out that way), I wanted to coach, I wanted to help kids reach their potential....because that's what he did for me. I was lost in Grade 12 but playing for him, talking to him, listening to his made me want to work harder (not just on the field or in the weight room, but in life) and I'll be forever indebted to him. When it came to fitness...he was my muse. I would always say "I hope i can look like Mr. Aitch when I'm his age".....I think we all did !!
After I got out of University and he found out I was playing hockey again, he would call me up on a Wednesday and say "Hey David. Would you like to come and play goal for us tonight" and no matter what I was doing I dropped it and headed to Stamford Arena to play a little pick-up with one of my life-long heroes. If I am not mistaken he played well into his 70's and was always in incredible shape...not just for his age.
In the later years, he would stop by DANIMA and Connie would buzz me in my office and say "your old coach is here". And I'd walk out to that giant smile and that strong handshake and he'd be so happy to see me and to chat. He was there to get sponsorship for the hockey tournament that he helped organize. And every year I would sponsor. How could I was for "coach". Plus I loved catching up with, it was more than worth it!
He was an amazing man, a gentleman. Words can't express how he helped shape my life, from fitness to coaching he provided me with a lifetime of great advice and mentorship.
Rest easy coach.
Legend. Mentor. Gentleman.
Thank you from the bottom of our collective hearts
As Steve Earle likes to say
"We'll see ya when we get there Maestro"