Thursday, May 27, 2010

Coach David Milson

You can search all over the world, but I honestly don’t think you would find a more genuine man than Coach David Milson. I first met him at “Meet the Teacher” night in 1997 when he was meetingTanner’s kindergarten teacher. His wife, Valree, and I were new teachers to this school.  We didn’t know each other too well and little did we know then that we would become very close friends. After “Meet the Teacher” ended, we all were standing outside of our counselor’s office talking and David walked up. What I didn’t realize until he so eloquently began talking that he was wearing his new “Billy-bob teeth”.

He was talking in an exaggerated country style. I almost died laughing but knew he was trying to pull the wool over someone’s eyes. This time the recipients of his antics were our counselor, Marilyn and her daughter, Stephanie. I discovered then and there that David was quite the trickster. Val was standing there also and we looked at each other and smiled, but didn’t laugh.   I think I was biting my tongue to keep the laughter away.  We were watching Marilyn and Stephanie. Their eyes got rather large and I’m sure they were wondering, “Where in the world did this man come from??? Is he a parent of one of our students?? Oh my!!” Then he introduced himself as Val’s husband and this caused an even greater shock factor. After we stood and conversed for a while, he finally took out those teeth and we could not hold our laughter any longer. It was great roll in the floor laughter. The kind of laughter that makes your sides hurt. I can still see Marilyn and Stephanie standing there, bewildered by this man!!! That was the beginning of many good great times.

As the years past, I had the privilege of being Tanner and Rylea’s 2nd grade teacher. They are both great kids. Val and I taught across the hall from each other for 9 years. Tanner is now a senior, graduating with honors from Cedar Hill High School and will be attending University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a full basketball scholarship.  Rylea is finishing her freshman year at Midlothian High School. She is quite the basketball player also.

My hubby and I have watched Cedar Hill basketball many times. We watched Daniel and Jason Horton, Shawn Glover and many more play some great BB. For the past 4 years we have had a more personal connection to the team while watching Tanner play. We certainly appreciate David’s style of coaching. He is calm and caring, but has a firm hand on those young men. David teaches his players more than basketball; he teaches them about life and he makes sure they are taken care of. David and Val have their players over to their home for cookouts and he has players that return to see him when they are in town.

David is retiring this year. He wants to be able to travel and see Tanner play basketball in college. He also wants to be able to see Rylea play basketball. What David didn’t anticipate was a diagnosis of lung cancer. It has been extremely stressful for David and his family.

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The following was updated on Feb. 2, 2011.
Please visit his caring bridge site  to read his story.   What made David an even better man was his devotion to God and family. I consider David, Valree, Tanner, and Rylea to be family.  You may read  my memories of David here.  My thoughts and prayers are with the Milson family.  Our "Team Milson" will continue to embrace Val, Tanner, and Rylea. 

3 comments:

McKenna Walker said...

Coach David Milson is an extremely amazing, and the most inspiring person I know to this day. He is not only a terrific coach, husband, father, and friend but he is my uncle. My name is McKenna Walker, I am cousins to Rylea and Tanner Milson. I think my appreciation for David began when we made my twin sister and I go to his Cedar Hill basketball camps, not only where we the only white girls there, we were the only girls as well; David had forgot to mention that to us at the time. During all those years in Cedar Hills MEN'S basketball camp he taught me dedication, determination and the will to do better, to expect better. David Milson is one of those coaches that you wished your own coach would watch, the way he inspires his players and his staff is one of a kind. Watching Tanner go from Cedar Hill's water boy, to transferring to Cedar Hill to play, and to go on to become one of the best players on the team was simply incredible. David Milson is in so much of Rylea and Tanner, his charm and humor, his dedication, his love for the game and his friendly personality. David Milson lit up the room as soon as he walked in, knowing his deck of cards and hidden quarters weren't far behind. If I can accomplish a fourth of David Milson's passion for something in life I would be so lucky.
David if I could talk to you now I would tell you that first, I want to see the video of Tanner, Rylea, Kelby and myself singing Shania Twain on the box during camping 12 years ago, I've just got to see it. And second, that you have impacted my life more than you can ever know. When I get tired and don't want to go practice golf, a lot of the time I think about all the practice you have done with Tanner and now he works on his own. You have taught me skills for my future and I can't thank you enough.
I love you David and I miss you so much.
McKenna Walker

2dayisgood said...

Mckenna-
we have lost a great man today. he was a friend to so many and impacted more lives than we will ever know. thinking of you and your family during this difficult time and lifting you up in prayer.

Bradley Griffin said...

For anyone that has come to know of David Milson after his passing, trust me when I say that how great of a man he became was affected by his faithful wife Val, and you can see David to this day in Tanner and Rylea. Uncle David will be greatly missed but I thank God that we can still see him anytime Tanner and Rylea step foot on the court. I can't wait to see you again someday!