This is about way more than the stuff that happens in the classroom. It’s about way more than journalism. It’s about extending yourself fully, about intuiting how far out of your way to go for someone who has potential. It’s about the kind of person Bob Cole is. How apt that his celebration is titled, “Gumption.”
Bob Cole recruited me into journalism when he saw my writing in The Signal. When I quit college in my sophomore year, too overwhelmed?with paying my way through to stick with it, he stuck with me. It was years later when I received a call from him while working a mundane clerical job. He called me at work to tell me he had set up an interview for me?with the sports editor of the Trentonian. He made it clear he just wanted me to go to the interview. Whether I took the job was up to me. Ever the stubborn Italian, I made it clear I would? never work on Perry Street in Trenton, but I would go to the interview out of respect to him.
Need I say it? I got the job covering sports part-time. It led me to quit the clerical job and go back to?college fulltime.?That led me to a 10-year full-time stint as a sports writer/columnist at the Times of Trenton, which, it’s worth pointing out, is on Perry Street. And what a ride that was. That prepared me for work in New York, first Web producing and writing for FOX Sports and the National Hockey League, then television producing and writing for Oxygen Media.
? And that brings me to now. I have been a certified life coach for nearly four years. It was not until I sat down to write this piece that I realized how profoundly this ties into my experience with Bob Cole. I am making my living giving people enthusiastic support as they pursue things that allow them to live their lives with passion and purpose. I learned this from a master. He changed the course of my life. It is my pleasure to honor his.