Coach Bruce Villwock has been one of the pillars of leadership at both Broadneck and Annapolis high schools. As he retires after almost 40 years of coaching, it is fitting to note the lasting impact he had on my life and those of many other players and students.

I played three years of football and lacrosse at Annapolis for Coach Villwock. He was my defensive line coach in football and my goalie coach in lacrosse. I had the privilege of working closely with him. During those formative years, I got to know a selfless, hard-working and dedicated man who gave himself to the students at Annapolis.

He was not only a tough coach, but became a great friend and mentor later in life. I would often see him doing all of the little things that seem unimportant — collecting football equipment, taping players, providing counseling and, most of all, investing his life in the young men he cared so much about.

Coach Villwock was instrumental in helping me to obtain an appointment to the Naval Academy and from there eventually to serve in the Marine Corps. I count it an honor and privilege to have been associated with him and feel very fortunate and blessed that our paths crossed in life during my high school years.

Many of the values of life that I attempt to live by today were formulated during the years that I played under Coach Villwock. His work ethic, integrity, character, loyalty, faith and undying devotion to his players is what inspired and motivated me.

I only hope I can touch as many lives as he did over a 40-year coaching career that included many wins and losses and numerous county and state championships. He always emphasized that it wasn't really about sports but about being a positive influence on others. Thanks Coach: With deep love and respect, I appreciate all you did for me.

Michael D. Yu, Annapolis