Though Westering left coaching in 2003 and "slipped the surly bonds of Earth" last Friday, his legacy is one of honoring the losses and well as the wins, making time to savor what matters in life, and singing. Yes, singing:
During warmups for the NCAA Division III national championship in December 1999, right there on the field in Virginia, his players sang "The Twelve Days of Christmas," then proceeded to win 42-13.
Can you imagine warming up on the other side, then losing 42-13 to that?Coach Westering instilled in his players the relative importance in life of losing. Losing means you had the privilege of playing, a privilege that "could not occur without opponents."
It might be easy to dismiss all of this as the Pollyanna attitude of an average coach, if not for the fact that Westering holds a record for most coaching wins and ranks ninth in wins among all college football coaches.
Win or lose; succeed or fail. One defines the other and how we handle both defines us.