Waller McCool Trophy

  • by admin - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 5:28pm

The Salisbury Lions Club has undertaken an effort to recognize and to memorialize two of Wicomico County’s most successful high school coaches, Butch Waller and Barbara McCool.  The citizens of this county have benefitted immeasurably from the devotion of these two leaders to their trade, to their schools, and to their student-athletes - each coach producing hundreds of citizens who then became exemplary role models themselves after graduation.

Most of us cannot fully understand the level of dedication that is required to produce successful sports teams and esteemed programs; moreover, we are not able to witness the personal sense of obligation these two coaches are, and were, willing to shoulder in order to help mold the youth for whom they feel responsible.  The phrase, “pay it forward” aptly describes their life’s doctrines.

The high school sports world is a microcosm of life itself, filled with trials and tribulations, successes and failures, temptations and self-restraint.  For the student-athlete, learning to deal with those confrontations gracefully and morally, without proper guidance, can be overwhelming and sometimes may even prove to be catastrophic. One of the best ways to learn about how to conduct oneself honorably, is to follow the examples of others.  Countless times, Mr. Waller and Ms. McCool were not longer coaches to these students, they became mentors, surrogate parents, the brother or sister they never had, the benefactor they needed, the ear to help them vent.  At the very core of this counsel, both coaches permanently impressed upon them that hard work, continued diligence, and unrelenting determination, will make you a better individual and you will ultimately be rewarded with personal success.

Both Coach Waller and Coach McCool became fixtures on the Eastern Shore, not solely because of their longevity, but because of their loyalty to this region and their allegiance to their schools. In addition to coaching careers spanning over 40 years, both were two of the winningest basketball coaches in Maryland’s history.  Their accomplishments, while unique and unrivaled, are almost identical, and their coaching and teaching careers almost match chronologically. The high regard and respect to which both are held by their colleagues, their peers and their students is without equal. It is therefore only fitting that they both be recognized concurrently for their outstanding achievements.

The Salisbury Lions Club is proud to announce the conception and the production of two perpetual annual high school basketball awards – the Butch Waller “Most Outstanding Male Player”, and the Barbara McCool “Most Outstanding Female Player”.  The singular annual male and female winner will be selected from one of the four Wicomico County institutions.  The award winner’s school will be able to display the impressive trophies in their respective school’s trophy case for one year with their names permanently etched upon the name plates.

The selection process will be conducted by a panel of seven, consisting of four head coaches, one from each of the county’s high schools, and three media representatives.  The details of the final procedures will be forthcoming.  However, the wording of the guidelines and the requirements of the individuals to be nominated will be developed by Coach Waller, and will assuredly reflect his emphasis not only on athletic ability, but more importantly, their integrity as a person.

This small token of the Salisbury Lions’ appreciation for these two impeccable coaches hopefully will allow their notoriety and their standards to be emulated and to endure for years to come.