SMU Head Football Coach Chad Morris, Associate Head Coach Jeff Traylor, and Harmony Head Coach Tim Russell have all known each other for over two decades.
"Coach Morris and Coach Traylor have been friends a long time, we've all known each other since the early 90s. That's one of the reasons why he wanted me to come in, and some other speakers have come in, to help the kids not only become better football players but better men," said Tim Russell, Harmony head football coach.
On Tuesday, Coach Russell visited Dallas to share some life lessons with the Mustang football program.
"I had written an outline of what I was going to say, but I never took it out of my pocket. I just spoke from my heart. My daughter Bailee passed this past summer and our community really came together. I kinda told that story, and I focused a lot on their family atmosphere and how real it was. I didn't want to be a speaker that came in and was just a motivational speaker. I spoke the truth," said Coach Russell.
That truth being, never take the everyday for granted.
"They have about five players that do have children of their own. Of course, there are a lot of the coaching staff and coaches [with children] and putting that in perspective causes the guys to really evaluate their own situation," said Coach Russell.
Coach Russell also reminded them that, even if they can't relate on a parenting level, each person they share the field with should be considered flesh and blood.
"My message to them was that their team is a family. They don't need to look at it as just a team or teammates, but they are family to each other. They need each other to lean on," said Coach Russell.
With not a even a year passing between present day and Bailee's death, Coach Russell isn't sure whether or not he will take up more opportunities to share his ongoing story. But he does know, he'll always do it for one reason.
"Coach Morris always talks about one life affected one life. I just want to make sure that when I have spoken about Bailee and family just in general that hopefully I've helped at least one person," Coach Russell.
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