Never forget where you came from is not just an expression, it is a certainty for Clarksburg native Jimbo Fisher. National championships, Heisman trophy winning quarterbacks, 29 consecutive wins, all can be contributed to growing up in the blue collar state of West Virginia according to Fisher.
“When you grow up in the state of West Virginia, you reap what you sow. My dad was a coal miner and people say you work hard and spend a lot of hours coaching out there but it was nothing like when we grew up. Just the mentality and culture of West Virginia, just going out and earning what you can and putting in a days work, has really helped me in this business.”
With so many counties devastated and destroyed by flooding, many high schools were in jeopardy of also losing their football programs this Fall. Coach Fisher didn’t hesitate to reach out to high schools across the state of Florida, in a powerful letter Fisher expressed his concern for his home state, and pleaded with the Sunshine state to donate uniforms.
“With the platform we have, I think it is a great way for us to be able to give back in a good way and the mental healing process that goes with it. I think athletics plays a big role in that.”
On the surface, high school football is entertainment for many on Friday nights, something to do. But, when you peel back the layers, sports teaches life lessons on and off the field. It also brings a community together for that one night, nothing else matters, but watching your kids out there on the field having fun with their friends, and banding together for one goal.
“Getting knocked down and having to get up, failing and not having success and having to keep going and keep practicing and keep working. It just exemplifies what life is all about.”
Tragedy brings communities together, and Fisher believes sports is a part of the healing process. Assuring that these high school programs are able to field their teams this Fall could restore a sense of normalcy for these communities.
“Tragedy brings you together and athletics brings you together. Tragedy brings you together for the wrong reason and athletics brings you together for the right reasons. Sometimes you got to have that peace of mind that normal life is going to happen again, I think athletics is a way for a community to bond and do things.”
Coach Fisher is at Clay County High School this afternoon presenting the uniforms donated and will see the devastation first hand. Fisher has no doubt that the people in these communities will get through this tough time, it’s what West Virginians do.
“I know those people are hard tough people and they’re going to persevere, but we got to help them out.”
This type of humility and humanity from West Virginia natives like Jimbo Fisher, makes me proud to be a West Virginian. Coming together, banding together, and helping each other out in a time of need is the West Virginia way.
Listen to the interview in its entirety and listen to the Brandon Lowe Show live every weekday evening at 5 on AM 950 WBES Charleston. Entire episodes are also available online at 95thesportsfox.com and on your Tune In app.