DON’T BE SORRY BE RIGHT!
If you ever had Coach Jim Coston as a teacher, you heard those words. If you ever felt like you had made a mistake and said I’m sorry Coach, this was always his reply. He never meant it sarcastic. It was a reply that made you think about your actions. Before you did something you would ask yourself, “Will I be sorry for this later or am I doing the right thing?”
Jim Coston touched a lot of lives. Mine was one of many. My senior year in high school was when I learned to appreciate my teachers and their wisdom. He taught my Sociology class that year. He taught me more by his actions than he did from the book. Since I was married at such an early age I was very scared of married life. He was quick to let me know that marriage took work but it was worth it. He was so proud of his beautiful wife that he always kept a picture of her on his desk and not a day went by that we did not hear a story about his daughters. His entry in my senior annual was about how important children are in our lives. His students were very important to him also.
He treated us as though we were family. How many male teachers would have thought of leaving crackers in their desk for a pregnant teenager? Coach Coston did for me. There was one student that felt like his goal in life was to make me cry. Coach Coston always found a job for me outside of the class when this guy was in one of his moods. That saved me from so much humiliation and hurt.
When my mom would visit the school Coach was sure to let her know how I was doing. He was just as concerned about my future as he was about my school grades. He wanted us to be successful but most of all Coach wanted us to be happy. I left Alabama after I graduated and thought I might not ever see him again. I was so glad when I saw him after I moved back. Of course he was concerned about how my children and I were doing. I hardly ever saw him after that we did not take time to talk.
After hearing of his death I wondered did he ever tell me that he was ready for heaven and I realized he told me everyday by the life that he lived. A testimony to how well he was loved was when his house burned in Sumiton. Students stopped to see if they could help him clean up the burned lumber. I never heard any of the guys he coached complain about him. And I can not name one student that did not like him. I can only hope that he knew how much he meant to us. I am proud to say that Coach Coston was more than my teacher. Coach Coston was my friend and he will be deeply missed.
This story was written by Wanda Bussey