Friday, December 21, 2012

Winthrop Head Coach Pat Kelsey Shows Impressive Passion For Change After Newtown Tragedy

Winthrop men's basketball is by no means a powerhouse in the nation, and on Wednesday, head coach Pat Kelsey led his team in a losing battle with no. 4 Ohio State.  Just five days after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. that shocked the country, Kelsey managed to steal the spotlight from the Buckeyes for a few minutes after the game.

Kelsey, recognizing the stage he was on after playing OSU, ended his post-game press conference with a passionate speech regarding what happened that one Friday morning.  His words were moving, and it was apparent how heavy this incident had been weighing on him.  The first year coach at Winthrop reflected on all the issues swirling around, and spoke his mind like a true leader.

"I'm going to be an agent of change with the 13 young men I get to coach every day and the two little girls that I get to raise," he said.  "But hopefully things start changing, because it's really, really disappointing.

"I'm proud to grow up American.  I'm proud to say I'm part of the greatest country ever.  And that's got to stay that way. And it'll stay that way if we change. But we've got to change."

I think its awesome that someone like Kelsey got up there and said what he did.  It speaks to how much this tragedy truly affected us as a country, and it echoes President Barack Obama's word: "we can't tolerate this anymore.  These tragedies must end."

There are some who will say it is not a basketball coach's place to speak about politics or social issues.  Why they would even bother, I'm not sure.  These coaches are American citizens just like everyone else, they have every right to speak their minds.  And its not like anyone was slandering the President or saying anything was done wrong, they were just reiterating the sentiment we had heard over the past week. 

I am a huge fan of Kelsey after this, and I will absolutely be rooting for Winthrop for the rest of the season.  I have already listened to this speech 3 times.  This is one of college basketball's most genuine and determined coaches, hopefully his kids can respond with a big win to put them on the map.

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