I was schooled in sportsmanship by my father and a series of great coaches that started with Tom Farley at Pomeroy Elementary School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts during the 50s, then Rudy Benedetti at Pittsfield High School in the 60s, and culminated with Hank Eichin at the Air Force Academy in the late 60s and early 70s.

Coach Eichin passed away on September 8th after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease and joins Coach Farley and Coach Benedetti in God’s Hall of Fame.

Coach Eichin gave me the best advice I ever received in athletics.  Like so many of my Academy classmates, I was a multi-sport athlete.  After my sophomore soccer season at USAFA, Coach Eichin called me into his office and said, “Geno, you can be a good soccer player and a good pole vaulter, but if you want to be great, you must consider choosing one or the other.”  I followed his advice, chose soccer, and one year later was an All-American.

Coach Hank Eichin

I maintained contact with Coach Eichin until his advancing disease made it impractical.  I last saw him at a wedding in North Carolina in 2009.

This one’s for you, Coach….

God’s Hall of Fame
by Walt Huntley
Your name may not appear down here
In this world’s Hall of Fame,
In fact you may be so unknown
That no one knows your name;
The Oscars and the praise of men
May never come your way,
But don’t forget God has rewards
That he’ll hand out someday.

This Hall of Fame is only good
As long as time shall be;
But keep in mind, God’s Hall of Fame
Is for eternity;
To have your name inscribed up there
Is greater more by far
Than all the fame and all the praise
Of ev’ry man-made star.

This crowd on earth they soon forget
When you’re not up at the top,
They’ll cheer like mad until you fall
And then their praise will stop;
Not God, He never does forget,
And in His Hall of Fame,
By just believing on His Son,
Forever – there’s your name.

I tell you, friend, I wouldn’t trade
My name, however small,
That’s written there beyond the stars
In that celestial Hall,
For all the famous names on earth,
Or glory that they share;
I’d rather be an unknown here,
And have my name up there.

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  1. Very inspirational for me. It is good to remember those who have helped us along the way. There is so much we can do if we don’t care about getting credit.