Coach 'practically a father'

What do a former Academy of Richmond County homecoming queen candidate; a Claflin College Ms. Freshman; Ms. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.; Ms. Black and Gold for the state of South Carolina 1999; and Miss Claflin College 1998-’99 all have in common? They credit the seeds of their poise and grace in those arenas to longtime ARC basketball coach Don Brock.

His recent induction into the 2013 Augusta City Classic Hall of Fame speaks to so much more about the impact he has had on Augusta and the CSRA. A coach who has won more than 325 games coaching ARC’s boys, he took a risk and employed us, a pair of sisters new to the area from the North.

One requirement though: Business casual was the attire for the team – all the way down to the trainers. No matter the weather – hefting coolers, hauling towels, at home or away games, we did it in heels – no easy feat, considering we were tomboys! As athletic director of the school, Brock fostered an atmosphere that helped groom current principals, educators, lawyers and leaders alike. It was that one place they just couldn’t do without.

Years later and some 2,800 miles away, when we heard of his impending honors, we wanted to say, “Thanks, Coach Brock.” Our appreciation to our coach is not only for the job that helped us overcome our culture shock, but also for being a beacon in our youth, a helping hand and foundation – practically a father – for insisting we wear skirts and heels, but above all teaching us professionalism.

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