Governor Tim Walz, the Minnesota State High School League, the Minnesota Interscholastic Activities Administrators Association, and the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association have announced “Thank A Coach/Advisor Week” from Jan. 27 through Feb. 2. This is a wonderful idea that recognizes many who work exceptionally hard behind the scenes and are rarely recognized by the larger community.

There are thousands of coaches/advisors across the state that work with students not only to excel at their chosen sport or activity, but also to build character, improve academic discipline, and so much more. Often, the lessons students learn from coaches/advisors are life-long lessons about hard work, relationships, dedication, integrity, respect, and more.

Coaches/advisors earn the trust of parents and community members through the example they set for kids. Our youth need positive role models that extend beyond the family structure and, in so many cases, it is coaches/advisors who step up and take that role.

Coaches/advisors are some of the most selfless among us. While some earn pay for their services, it is nominal and does not cover the time and treasure these individuals dedicate to others. Many more are volunteers who are there at every practice, game, and meet, and who do it simply out of a love for their activity/sport, a dedication to helping kids improve, and a desire to provide a good example.

Coaches/advisors make an integral, positive, and life-long impact on students. I, for one, am thrilled they will now receive some recognition annually for the sacrifices they make in service to youth.

If you have occasion to be in the presence of a coach/advisor next week, or have coaches/advisors you communicate with, take a moment to say thanks for the hard work they put in year-round to open new worlds for students. I couldn’t be more grateful for the positive influence and energy they bring to their jobs every day!

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