Dear Coach Mullins…

Andrew Slaton plans to attend Anderson University, where he will major in business management in the fall.

Dear Coach Mullins,

Picking just one teacher after 13 years of education at Scottsburg is not an easy process.  There have been many educators who have taught me important skills over the years.  However, you stand out in the crowd because of the lasting impact that you will have on my future.  

You took me into your football family without explanation.  You seemed to understand my personality immediately, we got to work without a lot of conversation, and we talked more as our relationship grew.  You let me focus my energy on something positive.  I will never be able to thank you enough for believing in me as an athlete and believing that I could contribute to the team in a game that I hadn’t played since I was a little kid. Thank you for turning me over to Coach Barry and letting him invest his time and energy into getting me ready for competition. Don’t tell Coach Barry, but he’s the best cheerleader in the program.  You made me earn my spot in the family, and that made it even more important to me.  Thanks for making me put in hard work.

As a teacher, I will always remember how much stress you put on two things.  The first is details.  You make sure every kid in the room knows how to stay safe and how to get the most out of every lift because you stress the details before you even let us touch a weight.  The second is putting in the work that no one sees.  I could see how my daily weights routine helped me on Friday nights.  You live that way by putting the spotlight on the players even though we all know how much work it takes for you to get the team ready for Friday nights. You never talk about how much work you put into us, but we know that you do.

My relationship with you is one of the most important things that I am taking with me from high school. You make your players want to be part of the team and the football family.  Anybody who has been around SHS football knows that it is built on respect, but what they may not know is how you expect us to not just respect you and each other but also to respect ourselves.  That is something that you build into us because you respect us too.

Thanks for all the bear hugs and the times when you grabbed my face mask so that we could have a moment of conversation. I didn’t always expect you to say something positive, but I never expected you to say something hurtful.  And you never disappointed me in that.  You used both the corrections and the praise to make me a better football player.  

I appreciate all the time that you take away from Danielle and the kids to invest in your other family (the football family).  I want you to know that the countless hours that you spend with us is making a difference in the world.  You are sending us into the world as better men.

Thank you for the contacts that you made for me with coaches as I began to consider playing football in college.  I knew that I wasn’t ready to step away from the field primarily because of the positive impact that you had on me when I played.  

I am not taking away one negative thought or feeling about my football experience at SHS, and the credit for that goes to a great teacher and to the man at the head of the program.  Thank you!


Andrew Slaton

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