Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog

Collin Tabor played several sports when he was a student at Brighton High School. He turned that interest into a chance to play collegiate basketball at Webster University. 
He’s embarking on the next stage of his interest in basketball – coaching the “C” team at his high-school alma mater. 
“It came about in a way I wasn’t expecting at all,” Tabor said. “I actually got connected with the head coach, Rolando Davila, at Brighton High School through the Rev. Christopher Spotts at the First Presbyterian Church in Brighton. We were talking one day about Brighton basketball, and I told him that I always wanted to get on the coaching staff. And he took the initiative and contacted the coach. In return, we came into contact, and the rest is history.” 
He joined Davila’s staff late. The shortened season began the last week in January. 
“I kind of came into the coaching job late, and that specific team needed a coach,” Tabor said. “The coaches from previous years were already designated in their rightful spots, so I kind of took the job with the understanding that I could be placed anywhere. 
“I’m 100 percent fine with where I ended up, but I do have aspirations to move into a JV or varsity role as the years go by,” he added. “Right now, I just wanted to get my foot in the door, even if it meant cleaning basketballs or running the scoreboard. I always wanted to make another impression on the Brighton basketball program somehow, some way. Honestly, I’m just blessed to have gotten a coaching spot at all. I know in some cases high-school coaching jobs just don’t come about the way this one did.” 
Tabor isn’t a lot older than the players he’ll be coaching, but he said that doesn’t concern him. 
“I know when I was a player at Brighton, we had a few coaches who weren’t too much older than us. But we always gave them the utmost respect that they deserved at all times as if they were the head coach,” Tabor said. “Same thing at the college level. If you were labeled as a coach, then you got treated like a coach, no matter the age difference.” 
There’s another factor that may help diminish any age issues. 
“I think I have a good enough basketball background to be assertive and to keep these guys in line, even if I’m only eight to 10 years older than most of them,” he said. “I also believe that the style I plan to coach the kids will work both of our favors. I’ve always had a vision of how I was going to do it when I got the opportunity to do so, so I’m not going to let the age difference interfere with how I want to teach these kids a game of basketball. 
Like a lot of coaches in a lot of sports, Tabor took something from his coaches into his new role. 
“Of course. I have been blessed with some great coaches and mentors along the way. Even some skills and ethics I learned from my former teammates, I absorbed and will teach to my team one day,” Tabor said. “I’m all about paying homage to those who were there before me. I actually think all the skills I learned from my previous coaches are the same skills and techniques that I will teach my kids. That’s the way I was taught. It worked out for me, so I think it’s only right to do the same. 
“I plan on taking bits and pieces from coaching techniques/strategies -- even life lessons -- from every coach that I once had and implying those lessons in the way coach the team.” 
Tabor wanted to be a coach at some point but “just never acted on it until recently.” 
“I have a really busy work schedule and currently work a job that not many 26-year-olds do, to begin with, so I was really waiting to get more established at the funeral home before I embarked on my coaching journey,” Tabor said. “But again, this opportunity came to me really without even asking. I thought long and hard about it and came to the conclusion that this wasn’t an opportunity to pass up. So, I went with my gut and completed the application process. Within a day or so, I was deemed a coach. It might’ve been a sign from God telling me that this was my turn.” 
Some of the appealing facets of life as a coach included the chance to give back to his alma mater. 
“I grew up and lived in Brighton all my life, except when I moved to St. Louis for college,” he said. “And again, I always dreamed about being a Brighton basketball coach one day. Technically, it’s a dream come true, which also made the job much more appealing. So far, everybody I’ve met has been very inviting and seems to be very knowledgeable in the game of basketball. I can’t wait to work with these guys and pick their brains so I can add to my own arsenal of basketball knowledge.
“Coach Ronaldo is a good guy, and the rest of the coaches are all good people,” Tabor continued. “It’s always nice to work with people who truly care and are dedicated to making their work environment a better place for everyone.
Even with a shortened season for basketball teams this year – just 12 games for sub-varsity teams, such as Tabor’s – he’s ready.
His season was due to start last week. 
“I am just very thankful for this opportunity. I can’t wait to get the season started. I wanna thank the head coach and the athletic directors for giving me a shot. I have dreamed about it my whole life. Win, lose or draw, I’m a Bulldog for life. I am beyond ecstatic to be a part of this program once again.” 


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