Remembering Jim Cotter

The entire BC High School community is in mourning today after news that football coach  Jim Cotter passed away at his home yesterday morning from complications of Lou Gehrig’s disease. 
Lou Gehrig’s is a fatal disease causing the degeneration of motor neurons, a loss of control over voluntary movement and weakening of the muscles, explaining why Cotter was in a wheelchair at the June 5th fundraiser at Boston College High School.  Despite his deteriorating condition, Cotter was in attendance to support a former player who had been paralyzed in a car accident.  This is only one example of Cotter’s selfless and complete dedication to his players as well as the entire BC High community.  Cotter devoted 50 years to BC High School as not only a coach, but a role model and mentor for the hundreds of players who admired him.

Jim Cotter exemplifies the value that sports and coaches can add to a young player’s life.  Coaches are role models, advocates, counselors, career advisors, personal trainers, teachers, friends and even parental figures.  Whatever your coach was for you, he or she most likely had a lifetime impact. 

Having played Varsity tennis through high school and college, I have experienced a range of relationships with coaches.  My private tennis coach, since I was 14, is still one of my best friends and “older brother figures” who has given me advice on everything from relationships to business.  My collegiate coach cares about his players beyond the court, assisting with academic advising, job connections and overall..just being a friend to all of his players.  He goes above and beyond his “coaching” duties, attending dance competitions that players are in, taking the team to dinner and inviting the team into his home for a BBQ.

Coaching is about much more than the sport itself; it is about coaching for life.  Jim Cotter coached by this philosophy.  While he will be greatly missed, those close to him can be comforted knowing that he will forever live on through the thousands of people touched by his influence and generosity.

Written by Monica Mercer
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