“In the summer of 2016, I was nominated to be the head coach of the Junior Pee Wee Team for Torrey Pines Pop Warner in Carmel Valley, California for a group of 24 boys from 10 to 11 years old. As a professional educator of 17 plus years, and youth coach with over 7 years of experience coaching both girls and boys in sports ranging from lacrosse to baseball, I had plenty of experience working with kids both in structured and unstructured settings, yet I had absolutely zero experience as a head coach of a youth football team. I knew I needed help, and I knew the type of person and mentor I was looking for to help me not only learn how to be a “head football coach”, but I knew I wanted some mentoring and assistance to be able to manage, plan, organize, and teach twenty-four boys how to play the game of football.

Fortunately, for me, I was referred to former head coach at the youth football coach and an active community member that had years of service and expertise under his belt, and that “teacher” was Edward Dietrich.

What was most important to me as a teacher…was that the adults I surrounded myself with were not only thoughtful teachers, but even better human beings. I wanted an adult whom could interact with kids in positive and uplifting ways that would not only teach the skills and concepts necessary to play the game of football, but build the whole child up. I wanted an adult who could not only help set and achieve goals for our team, but could address the need each child has to feel valued and part of a team. Ed Dietrich, checked all of the boxes for me as an educator/father/community member/ and coach.

He brought years of acquired knowledge, experience, and leadership, and he was a great teacher. He was able to teach some really advanced concepts that are typically taught to kids much older than our group boys, by scaffolding the process and teaching the concepts incrementally so that one concept built on the next, so that after one objective was met, we could move onto a more advanced concept after successfully demonstrating mastery of the prior concept.  He was methodical and incredibly organized, and he was a great resource for both myself, and the other coaches on the team.

Over time, and a lot of learning on the job, I was able to see how each piece fit together, and so were the kids who were learning the game on a level they had not seen it taught before. Perhaps more importantly as all of this advanced teaching was taking place, I was able to watch Coach Ed interact with each and every child on our team. He was able to inspire kids by getting to know each of them individually as people, and by setting his expectations high for each and every one of our kids, no matter their skill level or years of experience in the sport.

He did all of this with a smile on his face, and a positive attitude. He did all of this selflessly, with no monetary reward for the hours of service it took to help make all of this possible. He did it because he wanted to see kids benefit as young people and learn a game that we love, and he wanted to help prepare each of them for an unknown future where ideas like teamwork, collaboration, self-discipline, hard-work, and empathy for your fellow teammate or co-worker will still matter in the 21st century. Ed Dietrich was everything I could have hoped for an mentor coach, and more. “