Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A coach's opportunity for fellowship with his players

Every year, games and practices keep a lot of college athletes around the country from spending Thanksgiving with their families.

But University of Georgia assistant Rodney Garner uses the holiday as a platform for team-building, inviting UGA players over to his house for Thanksgiving dinner.

“I do it so they can have a home-cooked meal and be in a home environment,” said Garner, Georgia’s defensive line coach.

Last year, about 60 players came over to Coach Garner's home for "turkey,ham, sweet potatoes, macaroni-and-cheese, black-eyed peas, greens, dressing, cakes and pies."

According to this article, "Garner started his Thanksgiving tradition when coaching at Auburn in the early 1990s, continued it at Tennessee and brought it with him to Georgia a decade ago."

Says Coach Garner:

“It’s fun fellowship. Even though the economy is like it is, we still have so much to be thankful for. [It’s] an opportunity to fellowship with the guys in a positive manner . You know, sometimes I’m not the most positive guy. So they get a chance to see me in a different light. I hope they see that I do have a human side and I do care and I love them.”