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Teacher Feature: Get to Know Coach Bo

Lincoln Kids Magazine sat with Coach Bo so we could get to know him a little better.

Hi Coach. Let’s start from the beginning. Tell us a little about your upbringing?

I grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. Like many young boys, I wanted to be a college and NFL football player when I grew up, and a businessman. After my mom passed away my senior year of high school, coaches and my grandmother encouraged me to send my football films to colleges. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln was one of them and they invited me to walk on. That is how I got to Lincoln. When I first started college, my grandmother would often say, “You are just like my cousin, Dr. Clark,” whose story inspired the movie Lean on Me.

Walk us through your experience to finding your passion for working with kids?

I stopped playing football after my third year at UNL. In hindsight, I should have continued, but I did continue going to school, working on a psychology/sociology degree. An academic counselor got me into a class for an education practicum. She must have known something I didn’t because it was there that my passion began.

How did you end up at Lincoln High?

While in college, I worked with Family Service before and after school and subbed. After graduating, I applied at Lincoln Public Schools and got a para educator job at Culler and coached basketball. My Associate Principal saw something in me and encouraged me to get my teaching certificate, and supported me the entire time. During my student teaching, I taught kindergarten and reading in the morning at Clinton, and in the afternoon, I went to Park to work with 9th graders during their study hall.

To make a long story short, once I got my teaching certificate, I taught at Culler for
three years, Northeast for five years, volunteered and coached football and girl’s basketball all over the place, including Husker camps. I have been at Lincoln High for 15 years and counting.

What are your responsibilities at Lincoln High?

In addition to my athletic department duties: keeping up with kids’ grades and attendance, working with recruiters and coaches, and planning and supervising athletic events, I also appraise/review teachers and supervise students at lunch and in the hallways.

What do you often tell students and athletes to encourage them?

“You know better. Do better.” It is important to have high expectations of students, while also getting to know them and giving them chances to make good choices – so they can accomplish their goals.

What advice would you give student athletes who want to play at the collegiate level?

Show your coach and team consistency, mental toughness, and a strong work ethic.

What is your greatest accomplishment in life?

Definitely becoming a husband and father to my wonderful family. I’m very proud of my kids, Liv, 19 years old, South Dakota State Softball; Tre, 16 years old, Lincoln Southeast High School, and Zaya, 13 years old, Schoo Middle School.

I am also proud to say I was an original part of Teammates through the University of Nebraska Football Program, and I have had two Teammates!

What makes you good at your job?

I have always been a good “get-back” coach - I’m straight with people, kids too, and good at keeping them in line. I think this is because they know I care and want them to do well.

What are you working towards in your career?

I have been focusing on mentoring coaches and teachers. Talking to them about making connections and networking in the community and for the benefit of their students.

What is special about Lincoln High that everyone should know?

From leadership to individual teachers, we are great at building relationships and real connections with students, which we believe promotes growth. Don’t get me wrong, we care about grades and attendance, but we also understand that students and athletes are more than that, so we try to see the full picture. We are very student-focused.

We asked students and peers to describe Coach Bo.

“I enjoy watching Coach Bo interact with kids of all ages. He, above all, is kind. He listens to what kids say and is always encouraging them to do what is right.”
– Jeff Barger, Executive Assistant/PA Announcer, Lincoln High

“We like that Coach Bo is kind, personable, and easy to talk to. He’s always available, gives us snacks and Gatorade, and provides advice.”
– Lincoln High Girls Basketball Team

“We’d describe Coach Bo as kind, caring, and helpful.”
– Lincoln High Students: Mak Thomas, Jada Nguyen, Sofia Caruso, and Kayleigh Miller

When asked what he’d like to share with kids in Lincoln, Coach Bo said, “Keep doing your homework, read, go to school daily, and listen to the people who care about you – teachers, moms and dads, grandparents, and coaches.”

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