By Andrea Xu, Executive Assistant to the CEO
There is always that one person who makes a lasting impact on an individual, whether he or she is a parent, teacher, friend, etc. That one person who helps shape your character, your values, your beliefs, your work ethics. For many, that person was Coach Buehler, a track and field coach at Duke University, an individual who initially to the majority of the world, was simply a coach who truly cared about his athletes.
Yet, he was so much more.
Coach Buehler has touched the lives of thousands of athletes, ranging from Olympian athletes such as Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Carl Lewis, to Duke icons such as Coach K and Grant Hill. Coach Buehler’s significance however, extends beyond the impressive line of powerful athletes he has coached. His career spanned four Olympics, including serving on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Teams in Munich, Los Angeles, and Seoul, as well as serving as the head manager for the U.S. contingent in Lisbon, Portugal for the World Indoor Track Championships.
More importantly, Coach Buehler has broken several boundaries in women’s athletics, race relations, and international sport throughout his entire career. He formed a lasting friendship with Dr. LeRoy Walker, Head Track and Field Coach at the all black North Carolina Central University during a time when segregation was at its peak, and was one of the first to realize that women could be athletes too, giving up every male scholarship at Duke University to start Title IX. Despite having an inoperable benign brain tumor, Coach Buehler still teaches his popular seminar called History and Issues of Sports at Duke University.
It is these moments in his career that have depicted him as beacon of inspiration for not only his athletes, but for everyone else as well. He serves as a model of acceptance and still continues to inspire individuals all over the globe, so much so that a powerful documentary has been made about him, detailing his life and his impact that has resonated on a global level.
Prepared to be inspired. I know I was.