Everybody makes mistakes, that's a given. It takes a special person to learn from those mistakes then pay it forward by providing guidance and leadership about those miscues to educate others.
That's what McNeese football head coach Lance Guidry was able to do on Tuesday when he returned to Bowling Green, Kentucky, speaking to the Western Kentucky football program about the mistakes he made in his past and the lessons learned, and to educate the Hilltoppers about the problems that can occur when alcohol is involved.
Guidry coached at Western Kentucky in 2011 and 2012.
"We are in a sport and a profession that has a lot of notoriety, good and bad," said Guidry. "We as coaches can be very influential to our players and staff. Due to my past experiences, I feel the need, as well as an obligation, to speak to groups about alcohol awareness within our sport and profession."
Guidry coached Western Kentucky's defense to a No. 1 ranking in the Sun Belt Conference and 26thnationally, while also helping WKU land its first-ever bowl invite (Little Caesar's Bowl) where he was tabbed the interim head coach for the game.
The Welsh native and McNeese all-conference defensive back returned to the Cowboy sidelines for his third stint in 2013 as the defensive coordinator, then was promoted to head coach in 2016.
"I truly love and feel very blessed to have a family, a university, and former employees that have stuck by me during the tough times," said Guidry. "None of them have wavered and they truly believe in me as a person and a mentor.
Guidry will speak on the same topic in January at the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) convention in January.
"This subject has been weighing on my heart for years now and I feel it's time for me to speak out and hopefully others will avoid making a bad decision by hearing my story."
In 2017, Guidry's second year as head coach of the Cowboys, the defensive mastermind took over control of the defense and led the squad to three No. 1 national rankings, including rushing defense (54.5 ypg allowed setting a new McNeese and Southland Conference record), third-down defense and first downs defense.