Legendary Dale Weiner on How He Became a Coach

Catholic High head football Coach Dale Weiner, winner of more than 300 games, on Coach Boots Garland:

“I’m here representing hundreds of athletes who were touched by Coach Garland. I never called him Boots because he was my coach. Some of the most important coaching occurs off the field, especially with young people.”

“Coach Garland was both a great man and a great coach.  He was my coach at Baton Rouge High in 1967. He had the rare ability to fuse coaching and humor. He told me, ‘Son, I’ve been watching you, and you are slower than a stump!’”

“He didn’t always do things the way his superiors wanted but he was always true to himself.”

“He gave us all nicknames. He heard me talking about the Gaboon viper, a deadly snake. So he nicknamed me Gaboon. Years later, he called my son Neil Little Gaboon.  He told Neil, ‘Son, your dad played with an amazing lack of ability!’”  After I had been coaching awhile, he saw me and said, ‘Gaboon, I was going to tell you a story so funny that your hair would fall out! But I see you already heard it!’”

“As a sophomore, he had me chart the plays. After that, I knew I’d never again see a game as a fan. He touched generations. One of my seniors this year told me, ‘He coached me at St. Jude!’”

“For Coach Garland, it was always about people. When I was in school, he saw I had blisters on my feet. So he took me to the Athletic House and bought me cleats.”

“His best story was eight years ago. His spirit was set free. He said, ‘I’ve coached world class athletes, but I was never so scared as last Sunday teaching a men’s Bible study!’ He’s the reason I became a coach. God placed me in his path for a purpose. I hope you too receive the saving grace of God!”

— Woody Jenkins, who also was coached by Boots Garland

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