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Keith Maudlin Winning Scholarship Essay Awarded by Team Leach - Mike Leach Scholarship Foundation

 

When I was twelve years old, I was sitting in my living room floor staring at the television. All of the lights were out, and I was the only person in the room. I was wearing a number sixteen Texas Tech jersey in honor of my favorite player, Kliff Kingsbury. On the screen, Kingsbury was completing pass after pass to Wes Welker in one of the biggest games in Texas Tech’s history. It was the Texas game. As that game came to a close and Texas Tech fans cheered with ecstasy, I immediately understood what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to go to Texas Tech to learn from Mike Leach, and hopefully, I would become half as good of a coach as he is. As any other student, my idea of future careers would change numerous times, but the idea of coaching never left my mind. When I came to Texas Tech in the fall of 2008, I was in the Goin’ Band from Raiderland. I went to most of the games that season, and it didn’t take long for my mind to be made up. I would find my way to the Texas Tech sideline. I wasn’t sure how to do it, but I knew I would get there.


During his time at Texas Tech, Mike Leach displayed all of the characteristics I look for in a coach. His main focus for his athletes was clear. They were going to graduate, and he never hesitated to do what was necessary to get these athletes to go to class and do what they received their scholarships to do. In my mind, this should be the focus of all coaches. The reasoning behind that is easy to see. These kids are put on scholarship to get an education. That is the whole point of a scholarship, so that should be the most important aspect of their time here. Mike Leach knew that and made sure it happened. I admire that about him. His second focus was winning football games, which he definitely accomplished. It’s not often you see coaches that can pull off both of those things at the Division I level. However, what impressed me the most about Coach Leach was his ability to take players that are not the most talented, and make them compete at the most talented level. For Leach’s entire career, Tech was projected at a lower place in the Big 12 standings than where they finished. He was a master at exceeding expectations, and that has always been my goal. I came to Texas Tech to learn from Mike Leach, and although I did not learn from him directly, I did learn from the way he conducted himself and his program. He remains one of the best coaches in the country, and I still have hopes of learning from him one day.


It took longer than I expected to find my way to the Texas Tech sideline, but in my third year at the university I did just that. I was hired as a student assistant equipment manager only three months after Mike Leach’s firing. However, I gladly took the job because of the experience I would gain. I spent this past season as an equipment manager for the football team under Tommy Tuberville. Admittedly, it was difficult for me to watch the offense change, but I did learn coaching tactics from Sonny Cumbie, Neal Brown, and Ty Linder. I will remain an equipment manager in the fall because I do love Texas Tech football and being around a division one program. If I had my way, I would be coaching at this level in the near future, but I understand that because I did not play at this level, the chances are slim. If I cannot coach college football, I will be certified to coach and teach at the high school level in Texas. Football has always been my passion. I played almost all sports at Bushland High school for four years, but I always favored football. I love the strategy of the game. There is always so much you can do with your offense or defense. Because I am offensive minded, I was always amazed by the efficiency of Mike Leach’s designed offense. In theory, it looked so simple, but no one could deny how effective it was in scoring points. I want to learn more about offenses and all of the makings of them. I want to be an effective coach.


When I came to Texas Tech, I did not come unprepared. My parents did not have the money to send me to college, so when I made the decision to come to Texas Tech at twelve years old, they laughed and said that I must be paying for it myself. From that moment on, I had a mission to keep my grades high enough to pay for my college. I graduated sixth in my class and received two scholarships to come to Texas Tech. I immediately applied and was accepted into the Honors College at Texas Tech. This would ensure that I kept pushing myself academically, which I have done to this point. I have survived three years of rising tuition with less than $10,000 in loans. Which is more than many can say at this point. However, I am not satisfied with where I am at, either academically or financially. I feel a student can always learn more and a higher level can always be achieved. I am confident I will be able to relay that message to the athletes I coach in the future. I understand that as a coach, academics should always be the number one focus, regardless of what level you are coaching. I also believe a coach should always be learning himself. There is no limit to what a coach can learn about the game. A higher level can always be achieved. As a future educator, this will be the message that I push.


As a senior at Texas Tech, I still wear that number sixteen jersey, because it represents a remarkable moment in my life. It was the moment I realized the power of good coaching. It can create a whole fan base. It can bring people places they never would have gone before. Good coaching impacts much more than what is seen of the field. That is what Mike Leach and Texas Tech football taught me back then. Today, I am attempting to make my own impact at whatever level I am blessed to coach. One day, I do believe I will be coaching at a high level, and maybe I can have the same effect on another twelve year old. I would only hope I could give them the same drive I possess; one that will constantly push them to a higher level. Because after all, is that not what coaching is all about?

 

Keith Maudlin


The Team Leach - Mike Leach Scholarship Foundation is an effort by a group of Texas Tech football fans to honor former Texas Tech Head Football Coach Mike Leach.

Leach left Texas Tech University December 30, 2009 after 10 years as head coach. During his tenure, he not only brought success on the football field for Texas Tech, he also established the highest football graduation rate for public universities in the country.

This group of fans, students and alumni are not rich by any means. They do not have the ability to write $50,000 checks on a whim. They do not have the wherewithal to watch football games in skyboxes and go to games to be seen or socialize while looking down at the crowd below.

The people setting up this scholarship get up every day and go to work and try to make ends meet in a down economy. They are the people sitting below who buy the tickets, and have been doing so for decades. But still, they give what they can to make The Team Leach - Mike Leach Scholarship a success.

We ask you to help us in this effort. Your contribution, no matter the size, will be greatly appreciated.

You can give online securely by clicking on this link. All Major credit cards, checking accounts, and Paypal are accepted.

Or you can send your contribution to:

Team Leach - Mike Leach Scholarship Foundation
#111
3440 Bell Ste. 320
Amarillo, TX 79109

As a pledge from Team Leach, your identity will not be shared. You will not get the constant drip, drip, drip of phone calls, marketing mailers or slick emails asking for more contributions. Please give when you can, as much as you can. That’s all we ask.

Thank you for visiting our site. We hope you will decide to honor Coach Leach and his work at Texas Tech by helping us establish a fund that will help students for decades to come.


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