If you saw Jim Valvano’s statistics as a head coach you would not be overly impressed with his stat line. He is 346-210 overall as a head coach. Not too bad in reality but there have certainly been better. So why is he considered one of the best college coaches of all time? It was because of his ability to lead a team of college kids on and off the court like no other coach had ever done. Valvano may not have been as good as Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, or John Wooden but if you went back and asked high school basketball players who they wanted to play for I am sure you would hear Jimmy V’s name pop up.
Jim Valvano was born in 1946 in Queens, New York. Valvano married his high school sweetheart and they had three children together. He played college basketball at Rutgers University and graduated in 1967. After his graduation he began his coaching career at Rutgers as an assistant coach. He finally became a head coach when he took a job at Johns Hopkins University where he stayed for one season. He went back to being an assistant the next year at Connecticut for two years. Following that he went back to head coach...
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...wers would carry on his legacy after he passed away. Jimmy V said in a speech “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up” and his followers never have. The foundation that he has started has awarded more than 150 million dollars to cancer research and cancer patients. It takes a true leader like Valvano to have their followers carry on a legacy for so long after they are gone.
Valvano was much more than just some college basketball coach. He was an icon. He took a team of average players and turned them into some of the most unforgettable people in the college basketball world. More than that he took an average guy from New York and turned him into a global icon and someone people of all ages will look up to everyday. Valvano may not come up in the conversation of all-time greatest leaders but he definitely displayed high leadership skills in his short time here on earth.
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