As a pragmatic businessman I have never believed in coincidences. As a religious person who believes in God I have always believed each of us are placed on this earth for a purpose. An event occurred this past week that solidified my belief in both.
At the engagement party of a friend’s daughter, I happened to meet a former local sports writer for the Indianapolis Star newspaper. As we were conversing, I mentioned to him that I played basketball in high school and went to Wabash College on a basketball/academic scholarship and transferred after my second year. The coach who recruited me left after the first year and I was dissatisfied with his replacement after playing for him for one year. Consequently, I went back to the school that was my second choice and ask them if they would still honor the scholarship they had initially offered. The school, Tri-State University, agreed.
Unfortunately, due to the transfer, I had to change my major to pre-med as Tri-State did not offer degrees in education. In essence, I went from preparing to be a teacher and a coach — my life’s dream — to preparing for life as a doctor at the advice of my counselor. I received a B.S in Biology and went to Ball State University where I received a Masters Degree in Micro Biology. I applied for Indiana Medical School and was place third on the waiting list due to the fact my grades at Wabash my first semester were just average. I subsequently went to work for Central Soya Company headquartered in my home town of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I started in its experimental feed mill and eventually became a plant turn around specialist. I was able to accomplish this through creating a team atmosphere and treating employees fairly. Interestingly enough they were all union facilities! I held this position for about eight years, and the position required several transfers around the country. When I ended up back in Indianapolis, Indiana, I decided to reject the next request to move yet again, and to leave the company. I eventually become the Indiana General Manager for a regional janitorial company, a position I held for three and a half years before I left to start my own company.
Upon relaying my story to the writer, he mentioned that he knew the coach Wabash had hired, and understood why I decided to leave. He then mentioned that this coach’s background was kind of unclear. Being the inquisitive person I am, the next day I did a search for this coach on the internet to learn more about his background. To my surprise when I found his information I learned more about my destiny than I did his. Prior to being hired as the varsity basketball coach at Wabash he was a janitor for a college in Pennsylvania!
How ironic is it that a man who became my coach and influenced my decision to transfer from one college to another, and in the process forced …read more