Another Second Chance Story

On New Year’s day I turned on the TV for a few minutes to see what was on. The station that appeared was already showing a football game with the University of Central Florida, so I stopped to watch. It was near the end of the game and the announcers were talking about the coach George O’Leary.
You may not remember his name, but it is burned into my mind. You see, I am a fan of the Notre Dame football program and in 2001 they hired George O’Leary from Georgia Tech. As he ascended into the public eye on a more national level the press started to write articles about him and his past. Well, upon research it was discovered that the had lied about playing football in college and he had lied about a master’s degree he had received from a fictitious university. Both of these inaccuracies had been on his resume for years and apparently helped him get a job early on in his career. Neither were of significance for the Notre Dame job, but his integrity was shot and within weeks he resigned before coaching his first game.
Now the rest of the story. George knocked around through a couple of professional coaching jobs as an assistant until he finally accepted the job with Central Florida. Within a few years he has turned around the program and produced a bowl winning team.
When I turned on the game it was about over it was clear that Central Florida was going to win. The announcers were talking about George’s checkered past. They roughly quoted Mr. O’Leary as saying something like this, “I can only put the past behind me and do my best with the chances that lies ahead.”
In my eyes, George O’Leary was given a second chance and he is making the most of it. And for that George O’Leary – I salute you!

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