Mustang Monitor – August 16th
Sad and Happy reflections on the passing and funeral of former Mustang Teacher and Coach, Bill Laird. Coach Laird taught and coached at CAC for a good many years. He was the head football coach from 1988 – 1995, taking the Mustangs to their first two playoff appearances, ’94 and ’95. He had a record of 36-44-1 topped with an 8-2 year in 1993. Bill also coached some outstanding boys track teams with many individual district champions in his tenure. In addition to his coaching duties, Laird was a Bible teacher who both knew and lived the Word. He continued his love for the Scriptures and others as a minister for several years at the Southwest Church of Christ on Lawson Road.
Some thoughts on his impact on young lives while at CAC:
Some of my best memories are from atop Mustang Mountain. Coach Laird was more than just a Coach to me…he was a mentor. A man who planted seeds of passion, discipline and perseverance that have grown into the fabric of who I am today. Thank you Coach…for being such a Blessing to me and so many.
Steve Janski, CAC Class of 1993; Former Head Football Coach, Heber Springs High School; current Athletic Director, Fayetteville High School
I was telling some of the guys, we really weren’t playing for CAC, we were playing for Coach Bill Laird. His name should have been across the front of our jerseys. Coach Laird didn’t care how great an athlete you were, he simply asked you to give everything you have. You didn’t want to disappoint him. Coach didn’t have to yell or berate you, he wasn’t that kind of man, and a silent face of disappointment was the biggest motivator I had at that time. We weren’t the greatest bunch of football players and we certainly weren’t the greatest football team, but we turned into a bunch of solid men and he was key to making sure that happened. He was a football coach, but I believe he understood not many of us would go on to college to play football and certainly not make a living out of it, so his focus was on coaching us to be men of God and men of character.
At one of my first track meets running the 400m I almost collapsed at the finish line and Coach caught me. I looked up and said I was seeing black and he calmly informed me that was just all the boys who finished ahead of me! I’ve been around a lot of coaches in my life and there are two kinds – a players’ coach and nothing other than a coach. Coach Laird was certainly a players’ coach. Many times a group of us would sit in his room during “athletic period” listening to him tell stories about his life and watching him put peanuts in his Coke.
Justin Pickens, CAC Class of 1996; President, Chi Rho Financial Services
Very few men have had the lasting, far reaching impact that Bill Laird has had on me. He was there at the beginning of my coaching career and many times since serving as an example of what a Christ wants in all of us. He will be forever missed.
Dr Brad Gist, Former CAC Teacher, Coach and Principal; Principal, Bigelow High School
You fought the good fight, on offense and defense;
You finished the course, to the final horn.
You coached all your students with plays for life,
Supported by family and a loving, Godly wife.
You’re now a real champ, we’ll miss you my friend;
You’ve gained and deserve, God’s glorious end.
Our thoughts and prayers with Kathleen, Tammy, Craig, Jerry and Bill’s extended family and wealth of friends.
Save us just a spot on the bench or the stands; we’ll bring the peanuts!
Doug Killgore, CMAA