Coaching at a college is a dream for some people. The competition of collegiate sports, the training of young athletes, the thrill of a win, as well as the sorrow of a hard-fought loss are addicting. These emotions are all part of the competitive nature of a person who loves to coach and participate in sports.
There are many facets to a college career as a coach. In addition to coaching a team, there are the added responsibilities of expanding young minds and developing new skills of older students in diverse subjects. As if it is not enough to teach and coach, the task of assisting in developing good study habits is a separate challenge all together.
Students and teachers often face off over differing attitudes and passions about subjects in the classroom, and John Brown University is no different from other colleges in this aspect. With a healthy spectrum of religious studies and international students, JBU is a thriving campus of individuality and ideas. In my three years as a JBU student there is one professor who stands out to in my mind as a fiercely focused and competitive man: John Miglarese.
Coming back from Christmas, breaking news that Miglarese chose to leave JBU to be closer to his family was given to the men’s soccer team. Miglarese led the JBU men’s soccer team to the regional championship in 2012, only to lose in a goalie shootout.
A successful soccer coach and mentor to the Golden Eagles, Miglarese was also a wellness professor at JBU. He taught incoming freshmen and the occasional sophomore.
Miglarese’s competitive attitude in class resembled his coaching style on the field. He was stern; tough faced and did not allow personal items to be out in his class such as phones, iPods, drinks, food or sunglasses. If students attempted to catch up on sleep or not pay attention in his class, Miglarese would call that student out as if he just missed an opportunity to shoot on an empty goal.
Along with his tough style of coaching and teaching, he was an equally tough spiritual leader. There was a time, when as a student in his class, I was confused about God’s plan for me. Miglarese was the first to give advice on where to find the answer. He said, “Get your Bible and go somewhere quiet, and ask God to show you his plan for the world.”
I did not have the best relationship with Miglarese as one of his students and I cannot say that I always agreed with his actions as a coach or even a teacher. I can share that as tough as he was with me, future JBU students will be missing an opportunity to know a professor and a coach who brings attitude, confidence, personal accountability and emotion into a classroom as John Miglarese did.