How Coach Taylor Taught Me to be a Man

After reading this post from Rhett, I began to think about how I’ve learned to be a man in today’s world.

My favorite show on television is Friday Night Lights. Season 5 is running for DirectTV users right now and it will run on NBC for everyone else later this spring. It will be the last season of the show.

Now don’t take the title of this post too far. I learned how to be a man from my dad and through the mentors who built into me during middle and high school. However, the way I’ve seen Coach Eric Taylor be a dad, coach, husband, and citizen has inspired me for what it means to live as a man in culture today.

Inspired by Coach Taylor, being a man today means:

  1. Leaving a dream job for the good of my family. Early in Season 2, Taylor took his dream college job in another city while his wife and daughters (one newborn) stayed put. Within a few weeks on his new job he resigned to move back to be with his wife and daughters. He gave up his dream to be a better dad and husband.
  2. Rising to the challenge of adversity. That’s probably the theme of the entire show, but it is only because of Taylor. Whether it be switching high schools, grooming an awful quarterback into a state champion, or fending off boosters forcing their way, Taylor never once backed down from adversity.
  3. Making family a top priority. This goes along with #1, but all through the show Taylor shows his priorities to be with his wife and kids. Not so much that it seems unrealistic though either. Especially with his oldest daughter Julie, he’s always been a dad who allows honesty and support to always be in the relationship.
  4. Mentoring younger men. He’s a high school coach who benched his best players for fighting, kicked another great player off of the team for bad behavior. It was never just about football, and it was always about developing boys into men. His pursuit of mentoring over football is shown in its fullest in how he treats and cares for Vince in season 4 and Smash in season 3.
  5. Doing things the right way. The football team’s theme has always been, “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose.” For me this idea goes back to so much of what drives Taylor, through the good and bad. If you do things the right way, you cannot lose.

Alright Friday Night Lights fans, what say you?