By Nick Bolinder
LOGAN — The road to success is a hard road to choose. You have the road to the right that will give you instant gratification, the road to the left is unbearable, and the road in the middle will make you work hard and have you feel like you deserve success. Former Utah State University assistant basketball coach Dale Brown explained this in his speech on campus Friday afternoon.
Brown spoke about how to find success and happiness in life. There are four hurdles that everyone will run into on the road to success, he said. The first is telling yourself “I don’t think I can do it.”
Coach Brown told the story of the day he met Shaquille O’Neal on a military base. Shaq was only 13 years old at the time but he was 6-foot-7 and wore a size 17 shoe. Brown recalled that Shaq could not dunk a basketball at the time. Brown told him that if he did squats and jumps every day he would be able to. He met Shaq’s father, who told him he would only allow Shaq to go to LSU to play basketball if his studies were the first priority. Coach Brown said that wouldn’t be a problem, that out of the 160 athletes he coached at LSU, 104 received their degrees.
The second hurdle you will have to jump over to achieve your dreams is failure, Brown said. He was an assistant basketball coach under Coach Ladell Andersen from 1966-1971. When Andersen retired in 1971, Brown expected to get the head coaching job at USU. He didn’t get the job and considered giving up his coaching dream to go to law school.
As his family was driving out of Cache Valley he pulled over to tell them, “We are not going to leave Logan bitter. We have had a setback, but we can’t be bitter.” He was offered a job as an assistant coach at Washington State University and coached there for a season before he became the head coach at LSU.
Coach Brown’s third hurdle is overcoming your handicap. He met a blind man once that had a dream of getting a degree from LSU. The only thing holding him back was the fact that he wouldn’t be able to navigate his way around campus. He learned how to use echolocation to get around. He graduated from LSU.
The last hurdle to success is knowing yourself. That means knowing who you are, where you are going, and what you get your strength from. When Coach Brown arrived on campus at LSU he told the team that they would beat Kentucky. At the time Kentucky was the powerhouse in college basketball. The first time they played at Kentucky the team was beat by over 30 points. He promised them that they would beat them worse than they beat them. Three years later they beat Kentucky worse than they lost to them that day.
There were many former Aggie basketball players in attendance due to the team reunion during Homecoming. Coach Ladell Andersen was helped up to the podium to share his story on how he came to hire Coach Brown.