Editor, This is to the citizens of Liberty County. I wish all the best for the student athletes at Bradwell Institute, as does my husband, Jim Walsh Jr. But he is a much better person than I am; I can no longer keep my tongue. So just the facts:
1. My husband consistently has requested a “feeder” system for both high schools. He has felt the young men in Liberty County deserve better. Each time the idea was presented, none of his recommendations came to pass.
2. Coach Clifford Johnson in 18 seasons amassed an excellent record of 131-60-3 with a winning percentage of .683 with one school versus my husband’s record of 115-88-0 with a winning percentage of .567 with two schools.
3. Coach Kirk Warner in 11 seasons has a record of 44-68-0 with a percentage of .393 in comparison to the last 11 seasons of my husband’s record of 60-57-0 with a winning percentage of .513.
(The source is ghsfha.org; however, BI’s record is inaccurate and a correction has been requested.)
If my husband’s numbers are respectable against Clifford Johnson’s record and my husband’s numbers are better than Kirk Warner, what is the motivation for his dismissal?
Kirk Warner is a fine person and a good coach and is at the top of my list of the best people I know. I am sure my husband feels the same way. I wish him and his family much success.
My husband and I always have supported the students and programs at Bradwell Institute and Liberty County High School. We have been blessed and believe in “paying it forward,” and anyone who knows us can attest to this fact. My husband believes it is his mission to help all students — sometimes, much to my chagrin, at a cost to our family, both in time and money, but none of which we will ever regret.
My husband dedicated so much time to his students and athletes that our family nicknamed him “Elvis” because we only had sightings of him every now and then. What intrinsic value did my children and I receive in return for these sacrifices? For the most part, we have been told by numerous young men how Jim has affected their lives, which outweighs the unjustified ugliness. The duplicity of so-called supporters is incredulous. They expound their support but spew venom and calculate behind his back.
In closing, I would like to reiterate that I wish nothing but success for Bradwell Institute. I am extremely proud of my husband’s behavior both on and off the field; he carries himself with the utmost dignity. I am in awe of him because I simply do not know how he does it so consistently. Jim always has been above commenting on derogatory and inflammatory remarks, so I am sure I will be in big trouble for this post, but after 20 years, I feel I have the right.
For Jim’s supporters, I ask that you please put your support behind whoever the new coach is (Maybe the board of education has someone in mind?). I know my husband will do all he can to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
Good luck to the young men and women of Liberty County. I wish you much success.
— Rebecca Oldfield-Walsh