Just to let you know, Coach Wallace has impacted far more lives than just mine. It would be an insurmountable task to interview all of the people he has touched. However, I did speak to a few.
Words just can’t do justice in describing what Jim Wallace has meant to our community. Jim has influenced so many lives during his career in education and continues to participate in organizations that are geared toward making Trigg County a first-class place to live.
He has been a very special person in my life. He has been my coach, my mentor, my father figure after the passing of my Dad, a Christian example of how to deal with life’s situations, and most of all a true friend. As his assistant coach, we had lots of fun experiences and some of the greatest kids in the world to work with. Jim always made coaching fun for all that was involved. He is a great man.
First of all, I learned math skills that have allowed me to make a living for 29 years. Secondly, I learned to work hard with discipline and perseverance, knowing someday good things will come from it.
Lastly, I learned of his strong faith. I was never in a locker room on a team that he coached – from our 6th grade AAU team until my last game at TCHS – that he did not say a prayer before we took the court and a prayer after the game. Coach Wallace showed integrity by his words and his actions.
Coach Jim Wallace has touched so many lives, and I am one of the very fortunate individuals to have had him as my math teacher, track coach and many years later boss when I took a position at the Trigg County Board of Education.
One of the most important life lessons that I learned from him was during a track meet when I walked off the track not completing the race that I was running, which happened to be the mile run. He walked up to me and said, “I don’t care if you come in dead last, I don’t ever want you to walk off that track and not finish a race again.”
I was devastated because I had disappointed Coach Wallace and myself. But that lesson I carry with me today because he was not only talking about that race, but life. Giving up on yourself is never an option.
It was great having Coach Wallace for a basketball coach. He was much more than my coach, he was my friend, my role model and my mentor.
Coach Wallace not only taught me basketball, he taught me life-lessons. He taught me the importance of setting goals for myself and always striving to be the best person I could be.
He was not a man of mere words, but he was a man of action. As basketball players, we knew we could always depend on Coach Wallace, on and off the courts.
If I was asked to give an award to the greatest coach in Kentucky, it would certainly go to my favorite coach and friend, Coach Jim Wallace.
Bill Fort also says that he will never forget Coach Wallace taking us to the Little League state tournament in Paris, Ky. Most fondly, Bill recalls Coach Wallace teaching Sunday School class when he was high school and college age and how he made the scriptures come alive.
“That had a profound influence on my life,” Fort said. Bill is now the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Richmond.
Former Wildcat Head Basketball Coach Ray Maggard spent five seasons in Trigg County.
“Coach Wallace taught me a lot,” Maggard said. “Wallace has a great appreciation for the history of Trigg County. He was for the kids. Coach Wallace also bled black and white. If there was ever anybody that fit the bill for being Mr. Trigg County, I think it would be Jim Wallace.”
My sentiments exactly. Thanks for everything, coach.
Enthusiasm Makes the Difference
(Mike Wright is the head coach of boys basketball and cross country at Trigg County High School. Emails concerning Coach’s Corner can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.)