Thursday, December 30, 2010

Woodrow Lowe: Servant Leadership on and off the Football Field

I realize many of you reading this blog do not live in my area. You reside in places like New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Dublin (GA), Liberia, London, and Slovakia, so I want to introduce you to a remarkable human being.

I don’t usually write about a living servant leader. The jury is still out on them, and in today’s high tech, Internet, blog world, eyes are always watching and anything can go wrong. However, for this blog, I am going to make an exception because I believe in the goodness of this man.

Woodrow Lowe is the first-year head football coach at Central High School in his native hometown of Phenix City, Alabama. He took over a program that graduated 33 seniors from last year’s team and proceeded to guide the 2010 squad to a 9-2 record, a second place finish in the region, and a trip to the first round of the playoffs.

As important as Lowe’s work between the white lines, equally impressive has been his work off the field where he established the Athletic Training Table.

According to an August 26, 2010 Citizen article, “Players selected each week of the season, and postseason…will have earned their invitations to the Athletic Training Table and be rewarded with a dinner…The athletes will wear blazers provided by the school system and be given ties and a coin to carry with them at all times for being selected for the honor.”

“The letters ³GCP² will appear on the ties and on the coins. The letters stand for ³Good, Clean and Pure.² The words are meant as reminders to the players to do good on the field and in the classroom, to be clean in their play on the field and in school and to always be pure of heart in making decisions that affect themselves and others.² The coins the athletes will be given will have the Central High crest on one side and on the other side are four questions along with the aforementioned letters. The questions are: ³Is it fair? Is it true? Is it beneficial? and ³Does it build friendship?² Lowe wants the answer for each of those questions to be ³yes² or be avoided.”

“At the dinners each week, the athletes will receive something else, exposure. They will be exposed to community leaders, including those within the business community, government, military and within the school system.”

Says Nicey Eller, Principal, Lakewood Elementary School, whose son played for Coach Lowe this past season, “His steadfast commitment to high standards and the fundamental belief that our kids have dynamic potential as athletes and more importantly as men never faltered. No doubt some of the kids will be men before they fully appreciate his leadership, but we all reaped good this season and will continue to do so.”

Woodrow Lowe exhibits the qualities of a servant leader. He is a man of high moral character. Phenix City is fortunate to have him back home, not only leading but “modeling the way” for our young boys as they become men.

Lowe played college football for legendary University of Alabama coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant where he was a three-time All American. He spent ten seasons in the National Football League with the San Diego Chargers, and in 2009, Lowe was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

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