HONORING COACH BRINK
On Saturday, February 16, the ROCORI boys’ basketball team played a home game. The weekend also featured the Alumni Basketball Tournament with many players from ROCORI’s past returning to the gym to enjoy good, competitive basketball. The Alumni Tournament and the home varsity basketball game provided an excellent opportunity to also recognize retired head basketball coach, Bob Brink.
At the varsity game, members of the basketball alumni group presented a plan to honor the legacy established by Coach Brink and his wife, Judy. Working with the School Board Facilities and Grounds Committee, a plan has been approved to place a granite display in the gym area as a tribute to the Brinks and their impact on the ROCORI communities.
The granite display is in the process of being made within the community, but a sample banner of the granite marker was shared at the basketball game. The display is a very attractive, large plaque that will be placed above one of the doors (south pair) to enter the new gymnasium. The marker will be a four by eight foot granite “plaque” attached to the wall.
The entire project is being funded by proceeds raised through the Alumni Basketball Tournament. There are no district funds being committed to the project.
Each year, the Alumni Basketball Tournament generates revenues for the alumni group. The funds are held by the organization and the alumni have determined that they would like to use some of the funds to honor Coach Brink and Judy.
The idea of some kind of recognition for Coach Brink has been proposed to the school board by community residents beginning almost three years ago. As the construction project was in process, individuals within the community came to the school board to ask about the possibility of naming the main court in the gym in honor of Bob and Judy Brink.
Although the school board and district did not accept the original proposal, the idea of recognition for Coach Brink was not denied completely and a few different ideas were shared over the past couple years.
Not too long ago, the idea of the granite marker was presented to the district. The initial proposal retained the idea of recognizing Brink Court but the discussions evolved into the idea of honoring the Brink legacy instead.
The proposal was referred to the district Facilities and Grounds Committee. The committee met with a representative from the Alumni group to talk about the plaque and the district questions or concerns. Some excellent conversation took place with district representatives sharing their perspectives on a variety of issues as well as concerns and implications related to the project.
A significant shift took place through the conversations. Everyone at the table agreed that the longevity of Coach Brink, the values that have been supported through the system, and the impact on the overall community were worthy of recognition. Rather than naming the court specifically, it was important to everyone to honor the legacy that was developed. This shift made a significant difference to the members of the Facilities and Grounds Committee.
The plaque speaks, eloquently, to the legacy issue:
In addition to the legacy, the records and accomplishments of Coach Brink are reflected in the marker. Those accomplishments include:
The Facilities and Grounds Committee, and ultimately the entire school board, are committed to having the lobby area outside the gym honor and recognize traditions and excellence in the ROCORI District. The area is filled with trophy cases for activities. The “legacy stone” honoring the 2011 state champion football team is located in this lobby. There are plans, because the Hall of Fame in the original building is full, to begin an extension of the Hall of Fame in the lobby area.
As the various recognition elements were discussed, it has become clear that the district would like to honor people and teams in special ways. The pedestal and granite football is an excellent example of ways that championship teams might be recognized. Although the district cannot fund similar objects, the district would support recognition of other championship teams in similar fashion.
Individuals, in the future, may be honored in similar fashion to the plaque being developed for Coach Brink. There are numerous places in the lobby area where other memorials and markers can be installed. Again, the district will not fund these objects, but will certainly consider appropriate recognition efforts. The district is in the process of developing some guidelines for such recognition.
As the discussion turned to the issue of recognizing the legacy and impact of Coach Brink, the committee members felt it was very appropriate to proceed with the marker. The full board, when looking at the issue, supported the recommendation of the committee.
After much discussion, covering several years of ideas and proposals, the decision was made to install the Legacy plaque honoring Bob and Judy Brink. We, as a district, are proud of what was accomplished during Coach Brink’s tenure and understand that his longevity in the district is unlikely to be matched! Those qualities are worthy of recognition.
The approach and the process that has been used provide excellent “groundwork” for other, future efforts to recognize individuals who have a significant impact on the school and the community. The precedent that was set and the pattern that may follow were important elements of discussion for the committee and school board.
As I noted, the granite recognition plaque is currently in the production process. Before the current basketball season concludes, and while alumni were present, the district felt it important and appropriate to unveil the plans to honor Coach Brink.