PIQUA — Piqua Central Intermediate School invited a retired teacher and accomplished coach to inspire their kids during the school’s last Breakfast of Champions event of the year on Monday morning.
Guest speaker Rick Gold discussed all-star athletes and professionals on Monday morning, encouraging students to find a passion as well as good friends during the Breakfast of Champions.
In addition to being a math teacher Piqua High School from 1985 to 2010, Gold also has an extensive coaching background and has received numerous honors for his coaching history.
He was the Piqua baseball head coach from 1986-2003, and assistant football coach from 1991-2008. As the head coach for Piqua baseball for 18 years, his teams won over 300 games, four conference championships, two district titles and was regionals finalist once.
He coached 75 players who went on to play college baseball, and six of his players went on to be Major League Baseball draftees.
As an assistant coach for the football team for 17 years, he was a part of numerous conference and playoff teams, including the 2006 Division II state championship team.
In 32 years as a high school baseball coach at Miami East, Piqua and Russia, his teams compiled a record of 564-261, winning 13 conference titles, 10 sectional titles, and five district titles in addition to being a regional finalist three times.
“I’ve had a good career, and it’s all because of people like you,” Gold said.
Gold named athletes like professional baseball player José Altuve, football star Tom Brady, soccer icon Mia Hamm, Olympic softball player Jennie Finch, and others while inspiring students to find a passion and pursue it.
“Don’t ever let somebody tell you (that) you can’t do something … I hope each one of you finds what you want to do,” Gold said. He added later, “The only thing that limits you is you.”
Gold also talked about how the students did not have to be athletes to be all-stars.
“These are teachers here at (the) intermediate who were students of mine,” Gold said, pointing out pictures of the teachers on the school’s projection screen. “These people are great all-stars. Your parents, your grandparents are great all-stars.”
Gold encouraged the students to find a passion and take risks, talking about how one of his granddaughters in Tipp City recently stepped out of her shell to perform a solo in a school musical and how “amazed and proud” he was of her for taking that risk.
Gold also encouraged the students to be good friends and also to make friends who challenge them to be better people.
“I want you to remember how your words can be pretty important to your friends,” Gold said.
Gold ended his speech with a story about how the students should value their grandparents, saying that when he was recently inducted in the Piqua Athletic Hall of Fame, a high school student told him, “I didn’t know you were somebody.” Gold encouraged the students to “make sure you say ‘thank you’” to their grandparents.
PCIS then handed out certificates to each of the students whose grades and classroom behavior qualified them to participate in the Breakfast of Champions.
The school also thanked Tim Hortons and Walmart for the breakfast items they provided for the event.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org