My father, Jerry Hueser, was the head basketball coach at Kearney State College (now known as the University of Nebraska-Kearney) from 1970-1996. He won over 500 games and numerous awards and championships. Too many to list. What amazed me most about his team's was their ability score a lot of points. More times than not the Lopers were surpassing the century mark. My memory isn't the greatest, but I recall one of the teams torched the nets for 138. Wow! All of his teams were really fun to watch and I learned a lot through the years. I enjoyed being the "coach's kid" growing up. To this day some of my best friendships are with his former players when I was just Joel, the ball boy. I always looked forward to the day when I could be a Loper. Those days happened from 1984-1988.
In the basketball world my dad was a winner. He had a knack for winning and he did it by bringing the best out of his players. He's certainly done that for me. He's brought the best out of me. Ironically, I've learned more from him since his retirement than before. Don't get me wrong, he taught me tons growing up, but his example since 1996 has had the greatest impact on me. By example, I've witnessed how one truly leads like Christ. The examples are plentiful, but let me share just one story on his behalf. His long time assistant, Doyle Fyfe, was ill for several months prior to passing and my dad would visit Coach daily. I got to go with him once. It was not easy for me to see one of his buddies failing like he was. As a kid growing up you tend to look at men like them as larger than life. I am not sure to what degree Doyle even recognized us, but my dad was there for him. Just like he was there for my dad all those years. Who knows what they would talk about on those visits? I'm sure a story or two about Doc Farrell would come up.
On this Father's Day I am thankful for a dad who has taught by example how to love, serve and care. I love you, Dad. Thanks for being a great coach on the court and off!