Minco Basketball Coach Leshia Brummell was selected as an All-State Coach for the Oklahoma Fellowship of Christian Athletes earlier this month.
It’s important to work hard to win, and the Lady Bulldogs did plenty of that during their season, which ended March 5 in the second round of the Area Tournament.
However, it’s often said that winning isn’t the most important thing. Life goes on after high school sports. Most successful coaches care about the development of the young people they work with, and that just might be the most important thing.
Being selected as an FCA All-State Coach shows that Coach Brummell really cares about her players.
“First of all, I want to say that I am totally taken aback by receiving this honor,” Brummell said last week. “My regional FCA rep, Kathy Wilson from Marlow, nominated me, and I really had no idea what to expect. When she told me I was selected, I thought it was pretty cool, but I didn’t have a clue as to the magnitude of recognition that has brought. Thank you, Kathy, and Oklahoma FCA for this honor.
“When I came to Minco in 1997, the youth pastor at my church, Minco FBC, asked me to start an FCA huddle. Not really knowing anything at all about what that entailed, by God’s grace and leadership, I’ve been at it ever since. The community churches generously donate money every year, so that we can feed our students pizza at our monthly FCA meetings. At the high school meetings, we usually have around 20-25 students, while in the middle school we have 60-70 students attend most meetings.”
The meetings feature more than just free pizza.
“We have speakers come to talk to the students during their lunchtime to encourage and challenge them in their walks with Christ,” Coach Brummell said. “I’m grateful our school administration allows us to do this; that’s a blessing in itself.”
Coach Brummell says her purpose and philosophy of teaching and coaching has been, and continues to be, trying to make a positive influence for Christ to her student-athletes. She knows she isn’t perfect, but she has a coach of her own to help her lead young women into adulthood.
“Now, I fail miserably at this often,” Brummell admitted. “However, I lean on Christ, my Savior, to guide and direct me. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to coach many young ladies in the sport in which I am most passionate, basketball. Many of those young ladies are young women who are married and have children of their own, and I now have the privilege of getting to coach their kids. I have to say that, though I was their coach, I believe I learned as much, if not more from them.
“The older I get, the more I realize that it’s the interaction with my girls outside the lines of the court that mean the most to me; the relationships built as I coach this sport that I’m so passionate about is much more valuable than the X’s & O’s that have been taught. The talks we have, the team bonding events, getting involved in their personal lives- those are the things we remember beyond the championships, the heart-breaking losses, the long hours of practice, the yelling they’ve endured, the sprints they’ve run. They know what I’m talking about, but it’s more than that… They know I love them!”
Coach Brummell continues to model her coaching style after the man who coached her when she was a kid, and she has been blessed with some very special fans.
“My high school coach, now retired, Rick Parrish, is probably one of the most influential coaches that I look up to,” Brummell said. “The way I am with my teams is largely based upon the way I saw him interact with his teams. I’m so thankful he was my coach! There are many coaches and friends that I look to for advice; my husband and my two boys have always been there for me and have been my biggest fans! God has blessed me immensely in my journey as a coach.”
The FCA All-State Banquet was an online event, and can be viewed at okfca.org.