The Norman Transcript


June 25, 2014

Young provides model for future leaders

NORMAN — Outgoing Norman North principal Bryan Young didn’t want to answer the question, but he finally got to bed at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. He was up at 5:45. 

For whatever reason, it was important to him to explain that, typically, he actually gets four hours of sleep each night rather than two and a quarter.

“I had a project,” he said.

Anyway, it’s a good place to start, understanding that almost nobody can really follow his example.

They’d die of exhaustion first.

Still, his example is instructive, because for the last several years, though Frank Thompson was a fine athletic director and the coaches North has brought on have all been seemingly strong hires, and while Eddie Paul has been omnipresent as the school’s athletic coordinator, it is Young that’s been at the center of it all.

He’s been the constant.

Through some mad science of his own personal alchemy — uber-competitiveness, an inability to be casually involved (in anything), the mean trick of taking things personally without their becoming draining — North enjoyed an extra gear that probably paid off everywhere and certainly paid off in athletics.

Even down to perception.

If a coach wasn’t returning phone calls, Young saw to it they did. He understood the easiest way to lose control of the message was to disengage rather than the other way around. It remains stunning how many coaches don’t know this.

He was everywhere.

Not only at the soccer games he used to coach, but everybody else’s games, too. Further, being a quick study and an old coach, he knew North’s teams.

It’s something to think about as North goes about hiring his successor, not to mention as Norman Public Schools goes about hiring anybody in administration.

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