Oct. 13, 2022

50 Years of Stories with Horst Richardson, Legendary Colorado College Coach & USC Hall of Famer

50 Years of Stories with Horst Richardson, Legendary Colorado College Coach & USC Hall of Famer

In Episode 103, Horst Richardson, who coached the Colorado College Tigers Men’s Soccer team for 50 years and is a United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame Member, talks with Phil and Paul about his extensive coaching experience and the lessons he learned...

In Episode 103, Horst Richardson, who coached the Colorado College Tigers Men’s Soccer team for 50 years and is a United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame Member, talks with Phil and Paul about his extensive coaching experience and the lessons he learned from the journey, his favorite things about coaching, unorthodox film sessions, leadership and life lessons he has taught and learned from a half-century of coaching, how he defines success in coaching, why coaches need to not blow their whistles too much, and, most of all, some incredible (and funny) stories from his really long coaching career (all of which you can find in the book he and his wife, Helen, wrote about the history of Colorado College soccer (link below)). Specifically, Horst discusses:

  • His personal story, his journey from Germany to Colorado Springs, his circuitous and serendipitous path to coaching at Colorado College, and how he developed his passion for soccer, leadership, and coaching (3:13)
  • The story behind him sharing the stage with Pele at a NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia (11:10)
  • A video project he is working on and how he used Super 8 video footage to do video sessions well ahead of most other coaches (14:00)
  • Some fun memorable moments from 50 years of coaching, and lessons we can learn from the stories (20:33)
  • What he loved about being a coach for 50 years at CC (27:46)
  • An amazing story about when he almost lost a player in China (30:28)
  • Why Horst reminds Phil of Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid, and what we can learn from it (35:40)
  • How Horst defined success in his coaching and what he sought to teach his players during their time at CC (40:08)
  • How we need to pour into all of our players on our teams (45:19)
  • How he is using lessons learned from soccer in his marriage and parenting (51:00)
  • More lessons he has learned from the game that he has passed on to his players (and anyone else that will listen) (55:33)

Resources and Links from this Episode


hil: Welcome back to How Soccer Explains Leadership. Thanks again for being a part of the conversation. I'm Phil Darke, your host, and I got with me here, Paul Jobson, my co-host and brother in arms as we get to explore some really cool things in the world of soccer, the world of leadership, and how it all comes together.

Paul, how you doing today, man?

[00:00:20] Paul: I'm doing great, Phil. It's great to be back on the pod again, and I'm super excited, obviously about our guests today and what we're gonna learn from just a, a wealth of knowledge and experience that we can all learn from. So I'm excited, man. I'm, but I'm doing well.

The jobs in household is plugging away through the fall here, some cooler weather in Texas, which means we've, we're sub 90 so we're excited about that. But how are, how are things with with you, Phil? How are things with the

[00:00:43] Phil: fan? What's going. It's just a, you know, whirlwind in the Darke house as always, you know, Got kid, my daughter flew to Kona on Thursday to be part of the YWAM DTS stuff, and then she'll go somewhere in the world and, and just going out there, sharing, sharing the gospel.

And, and so that's, [00:01:00] that's she's doing that and. You know, got a daughter who recovering from a collarbone break and another one who's, you know, trying to get her driver's license. So, you know, it's, that's just the normal course of business here in the, in the Darke House . But I'm, I'm more excited we're gonna get right to it today cuz I have, you know, basically speak of the Darke House.

A member of, pretty much a member of our family Horst Richardson. He's, he's my part of my wife's family. And at Colorado College, he was, he coached there for 50 years, coached the men's program there and just an amazing, amazing story that we get to get into. And so as you talked about Paul, just a wealth, wealth of knowledge experience to be able to share with us so we can hear all about how he was able to teach leadership through the game and also teach the game in amazing way.

So, Horst Richardson, how are you

[00:01:46] Horst: today? Well, I am fine here too. The temperature is going down unlike Texas where sub nineties is great. This is sub seventies , so we're at 68 this morning and it's [00:02:00] invigorating .

[00:02:01] Paul: Yeah, that's, that's winter coat weather in, in Texas. Just so you know, we'd have our,

[00:02:05] Horst: our big coats off.

We're just, we're just having short sleeve .

[00:02:10] Phil: Yeah, it's Park of Weather in Texas and it's shorts of t-shirts in Colorado Spring. So

[00:02:15] Paul: it's sub 90 and I've got long sleeves on. You're sub 70 with short

[00:02:18] Phil: sleeves, so. So, and I, I have my Polo Colorado College polo shirt here, which is another fun story that founded at TJ Max about 10 minutes from my house here in, in Northern California.

Oh wow. Yeah, so you don't, you don't see that very often, but but it was pretty cool. I, I had to grab it, of course, cuz it was on the, on the rack here in my hometown here. So we're, that's not what we're talking about today. We're talking about much more important things in the weather and, and where I got my golf shirt.

So, Horst, you know, we always loved just starting with your story, so can you just briefly share your story Now it's, brief is a hard word when you're talking about 50 years coaching for a, for a school. But just really how you developed your passion for soccer. I mean, growing up in Germany passion for soccer and football, obviously in [00:03:00] Europe leadership coaching, and you know, what you're up to today.

[00:03:03] Horst: Sure. Well, yes I'm an immigrant. I uh, came to this country in 1955 as the adopted son of an American soldier who married my mother, a war widow. I was born in 1941, so I'm sort of in the octogenarian category now. Mm-hmm. , enjoying retirement. I grew up in a soccer family, but I, I didn't really know that till I was you know, 10, 11, 12 years old because my father had been killed in the war.

My grandfather was in the prisoner war camp. I grew up with my grand, my grandmother and my mother. So there weren't very many men in the family, but when grandpa came back from POW camp, it became clear quickly that he was Involved with the local village soccer club in Bavarian close to my hometown of Nuremberg [00:04:00] president of the soccer club.

And, you know, so I attended numerous adult games uh, village soccer, you know, nothing earth shaking. But I think that defining moment in my initial love for the game came in 1954 when glued to the radio in my grand parents' apartment. Uh, I listened to the World Cup Final between West Germany and Hungary, right?

Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , which the Germans won against all odds, three to two. And, you know, all of a sudden soccer was in the news and it was very important. For the uh, German psyche, you know, to uh, have make this uh, World Cup splash. So, somebody gave me a wallet for my birthday, I guess my 13th birthday.

And I kept all the clippings of these heroes of mine and in my wallet. Then early in 55 my stepfather Walter Richardson [00:05:00] decided to take the whole family back to his country, the United States, and we ended up in California where nobody at that time really had heard of soccer. But in eighth grade , there was a PE segment on kickball, right?

And I mean, it must have been a week or two. And, you know, having just arrived as a foreigner and then as a you know, member of the former enemy and having a, a strange name like Horst, you know, first name Yeah. That nobody could identify with. I, I was not exactly, you know, in the midst of things, but after that kickball session, you know, where I kind of balanced the ball on my head and I started doing a few things and played and dribbled and shot shot, you know, I was in, I mean, that gave me access to the community, right.

Well, that didn't last very [00:06:00] long because it was only a two week segment , but I had, I had set my mark and then not until college, University of California Riverside where I got my ba where they did have a soccer team, and which I joined. You know, did I explore soccer again on a, on a serious basis?

And you know, it was such a lowkey program, right? that couple of the players who didn't have shin guards, they put life magazines in their socks, you know, to, to play with against any kind of physical infractions. And I never forget that we, we played, might have been against Biola or a, a local opponent.

You know, we, one of their players who was a foreign student from Peru, Played the whole game barefooted. Can you, can you believe that he played barefoot and he was so fast and fleet footed, nobody could catch him, right? So, then in 1965 I got a job at Colorado [00:07:00] College. Had nothing to do with soccer.

It was simply a one year substitute position teaching in the German department here at Colorado College. And you know, while I was grading papers one early September afternoon, you know, I heard kids running around on the, on the fields outside of my apartment. I looked out and they were playing soccer, and I was.

Dumbfounded had no idea that, you know, they had this activ activity at the college. I went down there and started kicking the ball around and they wanted me to join them on the team. And I said, Well, I, I think I, I'm not eligible because I, I'm actually, you know, an instructor here. Ah, gee, that's too bad.

You know? And then, I mean, to make a long story short, the then Coach Bill Boddington, who was only connected to the college because his son was on the team, he was a, a businessman in [00:08:00]town. He basically said, Listen, I really don't want to coach my own son. If you wanna do it, it's yours. And it was a handshake, right?

So that's, that's how I got into coaching at Colorado College. Hmm. And then the one year job turned into a 10 year position. That's a long story in itself, but you know, I, I was a faculty member and my sort of adjunct responsibilities over time became the soccer team. But then as time progressed I fell more and more in love with the soccer end of things than with the academic faculty end of things.

And, you know, juggle those two positions over time till, till my retirement. So I, I, I taught German for 45 years and I coached soccer for 50. And, you know, we're in. Integral part of the college [00:09:00] still and are looking forward to homecoming, which begins this Friday actually uhhuh . So lots of things to do.

[00:09:07] Phil: Yeah. And it's a, it's a cool, it's a cool thing. I mean, 50 years, that's insane. I mean, we know we could talk for days and days and days. In fact, there's this book here uh, it's the history of Men's Soccer at Colorado College 1950 to 2015 that you and, and Helen, your wife, wrote and put together.

And it's a, it's, I mean, I haven't read the entire thing as you see, it's a treatise here. But I have read quite a bit of these stories and it's story after story after story. So if this thing's here, we know we could go for days and days and days talking about these things. We don't have that. I got it.

I got it right here. Do that. You got it right there too. Hey, we can do the me right there. Boom. Paul, you don't have let, let me see. Let me see. Oh,

[00:09:49] Paul: wait, I don't have that one. .

[00:09:50] Phil: Nobody sent me that book. Hey, we'll get it to you. I guess I'm gonna

[00:09:53] Horst: go online. Just show me.

[00:09:56] Phil: We'll get you one. We'll get you one, Paul.

So, but you [00:10:00] know, part of the women's program, I have, you know, Affinity, my wife played there as, as did three of her sisters. That's a whole nother story that you were a part of there. Horst and just been part of our family, have been very grateful to, uh, get to know you get to marry into it, really.

And just, just blessed by that. And I know you've taught, you know, a lot of leadership through what you're doing. There's also a cool little story that you, you have the, if you walk into the, the entryway of the Richardson home there in Colorado Springs, you basically see a, a history museum of the Colorado College Men's Soccer program as well.

And in there is also a, there's basically, there is literally a picture of every team that you coached, which is amazing. And there's also a little picture there that has you, with a prominent figure of the soccer world over the years, a little, little known Brazilian player that that you, you have a picture with him.

Can you just sort of share that story? You got to share a stage with with Pele at some point. Well, . [00:11:00]

[00:11:00] Horst: Yeah, that was at a uh, soccer convention of the then National Soccer Coaches Associates Association of America at a convention in, I think it might have been Philadelphia, Can't remember exactly, but Pele was the, you know, honored guest.

And I had received a a letter of commendation for my activities in the association my services that I rendered to them. And Pele was going to present me with that certificate on stage. Right. . And, I mean, you know, he's, he was exactly my age. He was born in 41 as well. So, We shook hands.

I was actually on my way to teach German for my German students in Germany. We had a semester abroad program and, you know, so, it was a quick stop over, but just to be in the presence of this gentle giant, you know, being able [00:12:00] to shake his hand, you know, embrace him hear him you know, tell the story or tell the audience that you know, love is the essential element in your communication in the world.

And, and he used that world exte, that word extensively. You know, he just exuded. This uh, he exuded this presence. You know, that anyone who was in his immediate vicinity you know, could sense how his his life in soccer had made him an icon. I mean, not just for, you know, his own team or his country, but for the world, you know?

Mm-hmm. , and, you know, you, you felt so so humbled to, to be in his presence because of his inherent grace. I mean, he, you. It, it was an overwhelming [00:13:00] experience, you know? And you know, extremely, extremely memorable. Yes. And, and I, I have that picture right in, in that trophy room as it were, you know?


[00:13:10] Phil: I know. My, my son was, was pretty blown away by it. Justin and my 11 year old when he, when he got to come, we, we visited you guys a few months ago. He was, he was excited. Yeah. So one last thing before we get into the the leadership stuff. I know right now you're working on a project I know you're really excited about cuz you shared it with me.

It's pretty darn cool. You had an opportunity back in the, in the seventies right? To, to video some, some soccer games or football games in the World Cups games. What's, That's that project you're working on now, just to show you, you, you do not stop when it comes to being part of this game. Like, just cuz you retire from coaching.

You know, share, share what you're doing now with these with these Super eight. Explain what a super eight is for a younger audience. Paul probably doesn't know.

[00:13:50] Horst: Well, I mean, you know, the younger audience who just goes around with this device, right? And documents events on video you know, may [00:14:00] not know that This wasn't always the case, right?

I mean, there were times when you carried a movie camera around, you know, and documented you know, camping trips or international trips or for that matter soccer activities. And I think Phil, what you're referring to is our recent attempt to transfer thousands and thousands of feet of super eight film 16,000 feet to be exact.

No, that's that's several miles miles of of super eight movie tape into digital form, into um, DVDs and a big part of that footage. Is in fact soccer material, you know. before we get into this more in greater detail, I really have to give credit to my wife Helen you know, who shot innumerable, you know, videos of home games over time at [00:15:00] Colorado College carrying, you know, super VCR cameras on our shoulder standing on a ladder, you know, to get a little bit of elevation above the field.

But these, these super eight movies document Some games as early as in the sixties here on campus. But I think let me focus my comments on the 1974 World Cup, which was held in Germany. I had spend a semester teaching in Germany ahead of the summer competition. And then stayed for the summer with with an acquaintance in my village.

And was able to go to a few games, but I sat in front of the TV there for hours and hours on ends and videotaped, you know, critical games. Off of the German television, hoping to use that material when I got back, you know, to as instructional material for my own team. [00:16:00] And so, you know, these super eight films Had lane dormant for decades in the basement of the house here.

And you know, a quaint coincidence allowed me to contact a contractor with whom now we are doing some editing and converting these these films to digital form . But yeah, just, you know, me sitting in front of West German tv you know, video. I mean, taking super eight movies of the television reviews of you know, important goals and plays and saves and celebrations brought back streams of memories, you know, and , I, I couldn't believe that we still, you know, have this in, in a form that is viewable.

But I did use these, then these films in 74 and 75 for instructional material because the [00:17:00]coverage of soccer in this country at the time, you know, certainly where we lived was minimal. And occasionally, you know, an article in the paper about some big event. But that the players really appreciated you know, having sort of, firsthand coverage of that World Cup, even though most of them, you know, didn't, didn't see any of it.

Right. Yeah. And, and, and I, I mean, there were, there were heroes there that you know, from Beckenbauer to Mueller, you know, the goal score or Sepp Maya, the you know, the, the German keeper that brought back all of these emotions, you know, when finally the Germans beat the Dutch in the final.

But yeah, I. I am hoping that one of these days I can maybe have a, a mini convention in the house with some of the players from 74 and five, and we can see these again. And I say, Now, what did you guys learn from those? That's

[00:17:56] Phil: funny. Yeah. That, that's the old school [00:18:00] old school film sessions, right?

Yeah. You, we don't, we don't have the on demand everything now with the video, different angles of our own games and every other game that's played in the world. That's, that's that's amazing. Paul, what would, would that be a little different than what you did with your with your

[00:18:14] Paul: teams? Well, I'm just sitting here thinking like you.

Probably so far ahead of, of your time, What other coaches, probably during the, you know, the mid seventies were showing, you know, World Cup matches to, to their teams or, or even had the ability to do that. So ahead of your, ahead of your time. And to flip back to, to Pele for, for a minute, it is amazing to me that a player like that, the longevity of his excellence on the field just surpasses time.

My 10 year old son has a poster of Pele on his wall and loves Brazil because of Pele, who he never saw play, knows older men in his life that played against Pele, things like that. But it's just cool to me. And then for you to hear firsthand experiences of people like yourself [00:19:00] who just Can attest to the genuineness of the man that we all think he is, is, is amazing.

Cause there's so many athletes now that are gonna have great careers, but you wonder what they're really like. You, you know? So I just, I I, I love that story and I, you know, I'm, I'm blown away by his, you know, his greatness to this day still, I think probably one of the best players

[00:19:21] Horst: ever to play the game.

Exactly. And, and he should have run for president, you know, in Brazil. I mean, there's an election, I think today, right? Yeah. In Brazil, or it was yesterday. You know, two uh, politicians from extreme ends of the political spectrum. I think p should have run. He, you know, as a middle of the rotor, he, he would've won.


[00:19:41] Paul: he would've won by a landslide probably, but because of his personality, that's why he's not in politics, right? , I would assume so. But, but horse again, just ahead of your time with the video thing is amazing to me. Having been a coach, not nearly. Nearly as long as you, you've been a coach, but I know being a coach, some of the best experiences are with your [00:20:00] players and, and I, and I can tell just from the little bit that I'm knowing of you in this interview with the book and the stuff you did with your players, with the video and, and all the different things.

Are there a couple of moments over, I mean, 50 years, how in the world you pick out one or two, but are there a couple of moments over your coaching career that just stand out to you that they're just so memorable that you could share with us as a coach?

[00:20:23] Horst: Well, there are about 435 stories in this book that, you know, the, the book by the way, I is based on stories and tall tales and memories from players and friends of the program. Not necessarily just, you know, records and, uh mm-hmm. , highlights of, of, of scores. And we have that as well, of course. But you know, Helen and I just bought a new television set you know, a smart tv. We haven't , we haven't ever had a smart tv, so we just bought a new set because [00:21:00] we wanna enjoy, you know, watching the World Cup from Qatar in, in November.

And, the technicians, you know, the Geek Squad from Best Buy came over to help us set this up. And I was afraid that I would be losing my ability to you know, view some of these old VCR VHS tapes from the seventies, eighties, nineties that we've got stacked downstairs through my bcr video deck, you know, the tape deck.

And so finally they, you know, hooked up adapters and things and, and the system worked. And so Helen said, Well, let's see what kind of quality we get out of this new tv. And we put in the 1992 highlight tape. 1992 was probably the best team we ever had, You know, Final four Final four team. From here.

And we enjoyed watching the incredible highlights of of that particular year. And [00:22:00] so let, let me just focus on a couple of stories from, from that particular year. We um, we were selected we went out to the West coast and played two games, survived those. And we, we traveled 10,000 miles to get to the Final Four, you know, from where we are, West Coast.

And the second, second round was in in St. Louis at Wash U and the athletic director was along right Max Taylor to you know, compliment the team. And, and it was, we had scored, it was a one nothing game. And the last 15 minutes, you know, were so intense. I mean, one corner kick after another against us.

Fabulous goalkeeper, you know, dynamic defense. The, the ad the athletic director couldn't stand it anymore staying and watch it . He had to leave. He left the stadium and paced around the outside till the game was over. You know, he, he, his the [00:23:00] intensity level was so great that he thought that he couldn't survive staying.

On the other hand when we were in the first round going out to California and I, I mean, here's a human interest story that kind of that kind of Defines, you know, the liberal arts process here at Colorado College. On that team were three all Americans a and one of 'em was Noah Epstein a fort a striker who had you know, entertained us with incredible competitive play.

But in the middle of the season, he got hurt and had a knee issue that needed to be addressed. So we were without him for much of, of the season. And you know, I met him on occasions down in the rehab room and he was on a bicycle working out, and I said, Noah, you know, you, you need to get involved in some other extracurricular activity to get your mind [00:24:00] off.

You know, your. Not being able to play with the team. And so as an English major and a handsome look and fellow, he tried out for a play which the drama department was putting on for their fall show. And it happened to be Romeo and Juliet. And you know, guess who got the part of Romeo ? It was no Epstein.

Right. And so he was in rehearsals and started to play on the team again. And he was just a happy, happy camper. But we made the playoffs and the show opened up the same day that we were to play the first, you know, playoff game out in California. It was a, a Friday, you know, Saturday, Sunday show, and we were playing Friday, Sunday.

In California. So what do we do? Right? How , how to deal with the drama department, you know, to release [00:25:00] him from his from his stage appearance. And so, we came up with a compromise to encourage him to do the Friday night show at Colorado College. And after that fly him out early, early Sunday morning to play with us at a noon game at Claremont College and then.

Speed him back to a plane to get him back to Colorado College for a Sunday night that the drama department had moved the Sunday afternoon show to Sunday night to accommodate us. And had it not been for my wife, Helen, to deliver him to the local airport and pick him up from the local airport, you know, he would've never made it.

And probably you know, the drama department would've been our enemy forever, but it, it worked out. And of course, he assisted on the winning goal, right? . So, I mean, what what an [00:26:00] incredible story, right? And so, no, I actually was in town not too long ago with his wife and daughter is. Who may be applying to Colorado College and come here in the fall, you know, and, and so the, the enjoyment that my wife and I have had over the years our relationships with these sons of ours, if you will and there are hundreds of them, is when, you know, they, they do come to town when they give us a call when they announce the birth of their second child, you know, when they want to have us host somebody who's coming to look at Colorado College.

That gives us, you know, incredible enjoyment. We were at a, a soccer game yesterday here, watched the men play And I turned around and there is Brian Swagel, right, who played for me in 2000. There he is with his two little girls, came down from Denver to watch [00:27:00] the game and says, Hey, coach, haven't seen you in a while.

You know, how are things going? And, you know, those kind of things keep the heart warm and the body young, you know? And so that's, that's really the incredible satisfaction I get from you know, my connection with the old group. That's

[00:27:20] Paul: awesome. I think, I think you kind of answered my, probably my next question, just, just right there.

I mean, would you say that's your favorite part of being a coach? It's not the X's and the O's, it's the, it's the relationships. And I don't wanna put words in your mouth, but what, what would you say is that your favorite part of being a coach over the over 50 years?

[00:27:36] Horst: Well, and not just the relationships after retirement, but I mean, all the relationships that you build, you know, during the season.

I mean, you know, to be successful and, and you know, we can get into defining success maybe at a later moment here, but to be successful, you have to have buy in from your team, right? You have to build [00:28:00] trust you know, you have to delve into their lives. Understand how complicated, how difficult it is, you know, to grow up in today's world.

Colorado College has a tradition that prior to preseason we do four days of volunteer work somewhere you know, in, in, in the Southwest. And I had established a connection with the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico through. Former player. In fact, it was that goalkeeper from the 92 Team who ended up being an activity director, sports activity director for the TAs Pueblo, and for, you know, maybe four or five years we went down there camp and helped you know, work on their infrastructure in rather, you know, difficult physically taxing conditions, you know, and you could build some Esri decor, you know, as they were sweating along, [00:29:00] you know, maybe fixing a roof for painting a house or working in a greenhouse.

And, and you know, of course I could observe, you know, who was working and who was sling and you know, kind of get an impression of how the group might gel. Where the leadership might come from internally. And so those, those were special moments to work hard in difficult conditions and then come back the campus, you know, and transfer that energy to work out sessions and then eventually meaningful games.

And yeah, those

[00:29:35] Paul: experiences can be transformational, not just for, you know, a team as a whole, but individuals as well. And I'm through, I'm sure through your career, I mean, obviously in a little bit of time that I had the pleasure of coaching college soccer, some of the coolest things. We're seeing those transformational moments in, in a kid's life.

Where're, you think this kid's never gonna get it. And at some moment something snaps and you're like, and then you know, when they're done, 10 years later you're like, Wow, that [00:30:00] I remember when, you know, you couldn't tie your shoe or, you know, I mean, I didn't think you were gonna make it outta college. And look what you've accomplished now, I'm sure you've got thousands of stories like that as well with kids that you just kind of took under your wing and said, Okay, I'm gonna invest.

A ton into this, just cuz it's, it's, that's what we do as coaches.

[00:30:18] Horst: Well, I mean, we have probably more than a professor in a class we have as coaches, the ability to touch someone, you know, in a meaningful way and direct him into an avenue of development that, you know, eventually will assist him to become a productive citizen.

and my unique position at Colorado College, being both a faculty member and a coach, allowed me to identify with them in their academic life as well as their athletic, progresses in, in their various sports. And on occasions I would actually have [00:31:00] a player in, in a German, in a German class, right?

And then, you know, we would kid around on the field and they'd have a few German phrases that they would throw around to impress me, you know, and maybe give them an extra, an extra brownie point in class. But yeah, and, and you know, what, what we did do with my teams over time, and Phil knows this we had probably eight to 10 international trips during my career.

You know, we went to China with the team in 1988, a year before Tianmen Square. Right? Wow. We went to Brazil. We went to Europe often, right. We went to Ukraine a couple of years ago and Poland. And you know, that extension of the ability to meet and greet the world through our game is an invaluable educational experience.

Right. [00:32:00] And, and gosh, there're just, they're just so many, so many stories. Just from those international, international trips, we, we never lost anybody

We never left anybody behind, but. Twice. We almost you know, well, I gotta tell you this one met him, Oman, who was a player. He actually was a foreign student from Turkey who became a US citizen and ended up working for the cia. I mean, that's a great story in itself. But we were on the Yangtze River, right?

On a river cruise going to Wuhan and, you know, ending up at the great big Yangtze Dam. But going through the gorge we stopped occasionally. It, it was just a, you know, a regular commuter boat with probably 200 passengers. And we were just on there. And the boat would stop at, at, at some town of 2 million people.

And, you know, didn't have a name that we would [00:33:00] remember. But the guys wanted to get out and jog a little bit or, you know, get some fresh air. And so we land at this particular town the boat ties up. There are probably a hundred steps leading up the embankment through the city square. And four guys decide, you know, we're gonna go for a jog.

And I said, Listen, you know, make sure you take your watch. You gotta be back by such and such a time boat leaves, right? And, and so they have shorts on, no shirts, right? Just jog and shoes and their watch. And and met him had, you know what a walk man is? Remember? Oh, yeah. Oh yeah. Putting your earbuds right.

And off they. Right. Well, three of them come back at the appointed time, but Netm isn't among them. Right. Where is Netm? Well, they, we were jogging through here and there and all of a sudden he was gone in, in the crowd. Right. And he probably stopped at some market or, you know, [00:34:00]wanted to uh, take a look at something and, you know, he was gone.

No passport, no identifications, nothing, no wallet. Right. I mean, , the the, the sailors, the boatmen, you know, literally were casting off the ropes, you know, that that tied the boat to the moorings when Thatam appeared way up on top of the walkway, and the, the whole team was there on the railing, you know, come on, Adam.

And he ran and ran and ran and hurled himself on the boat as it was shoving off. And he says, Well, you know, I just got lost. And so how did you make it? Well, he, he stood in the middle of the square and he pumped his arm. He said, 2, 2, 2, 2, you know, and some guy, some guy on a little motorcycle at a scooter.

He said, Oh, yeah, okay, okay. You know, and got him to the dock, right. [00:35:00] You know, he, he might have been there still if , if he had . He didn't have that you know, sensibility to use his uh, communication skills, nonverbal to get back to safety. But yeah, I mean, you know, there are, there are lots of stories that you know allow for even in conversations with these guys when.

Come and visit, and some of them will do that next week during, during homecoming.

[00:35:30] Phil: I absolutely love that, that what I love about it is like we have story after story after story, and very few of them even mention the field. and doing things on the field and it, you know, what formation or what the goal was or what this, I mean, there are a couple I've heard of maybe one assistant that you mentioned, but that's, that's what's so cool about coaching.

I mean, we, we just, we all love coaching for so many different reasons. One of the things that you did that, that I don't know that a lot of coaches do I, I, I often refer to you as the Mr. Miyagi [00:36:00] of, of soccer coaching because you also had your players as team bonding and team building events of course help you with home projects.

You know, you said, Hey, here's my nice new deck that my team built, or here's you know, the, the back chicken coop or whatever it may be. And you know, you had these neither than free labor, which we know is, is never a bad thing, but I know that's not the purpose you had behind those projects. What was those purpose of those projects, those home projects, you, you had your teams come and do in your backyard in different places around your house?

[00:36:32] Horst: Well, you know, just to clarify it, it was employment rather


[00:36:36] Phil: free labor. Okay. Okay. Okay. Employment. Here we go. You get 'em there. It was not exploitation. I didn't know that part. Okay. Well there, well, I was, I didn't say exploitation. I didn't say that word. I didn't ever say anything about exploitation,

[00:36:49] Horst: so.

Well, yeah, I mean, they helped build a number of things around here, including the sunroom and you know, it was um, it was sort of a compliment to the [00:37:00] academics to come over here and engage in some vocational activity, right? I mean, how many of them had ever swung a sledgehammer, Right? Or run a saw, electric saw or you know, put in solar panels, set posts in concrete, right?

And so, during block breaks especially, we have these four day breaks. Paul in our academic schedule here at Colorado College those of uh, them who um, weren't traveling or, you know, hiking in the mountains could come by. And I said, Okay, well, you know, we, we really wanted to put up solar panels because that's an environmentally friendly thing to do.

And so, you know, three of them come, came over and helped dig ditches to the freestanding poles and install you know, the electric feeder lines from the garage to um, the source of [00:38:00] the energy. And worked hard, you know, Helen fed them well and they went home with a few dollars in their pocket.

And it inspired some of them, you know, to summer jobs, I mean, you know, work in construction doing physical labor. And in fact, one of the guys who helped me install those solar panels now has a solar business. Right. And enjoys what he does. And on, on occasions refers to me as the guy who got him into the job, you know,

So a little bit of that helped along the way. And, and I think they they en they enjoyed the, the physical labor as a as a pause, you know, from their activities Yeah. In the classroom. And, and was kind of rejuvenating. Right. And they probably learned something along the way too, you know?

[00:38:52] Phil: Yeah, no, and I, that, that's what I love about this is is just the idea that you as a coach didn't stop at the field. You said, Hey, I [00:39:00] wanna teach these boys about life, These young men, these men about life and different aspects of life. One of the things that, as I was walking out the door this morning, and Becca reminded me that when you went on those 10,000 mile trips she, she had mentioned, this is what my, my wife remembers of it, is that you, you didn't either didn't have air conditioning or often would cut the air conditioning cuz it was more fuel efficient and you wanted to make sure to have the you know, the efficiencies to be able to teach the frugality to the kids too about you know, hey, how, how to do life you know, in ways that are efficient and effective and, you know, and also uh, so that, you know, those different things that that are there that are.

Part of the coaching. It's not just about, you know, and that's what we talk about on the show. It's, it's, it's not, at the end of the day, it's about soccer, but it's about so much more than that. And, you know, and that's what I want to get into next is just really what, how did you define success when you were coaching and, and what were one to two things that you hoped every player would learn during their time playing with you?

[00:39:58] Horst: Well, let's [00:40:00] make a transition from the frugality comment that you just made to that particular point. I mean, you know, I was born in the middle of World War ii mm-hmm. . And I grew up after the war in you know, an environment or it was, it was there difficult to survive, right? Mm-hmm.

And my mother, you know, reminded me as I grew up that You've you've gotta be grateful for the, you know, few things that are granted to you from, you know, food to opportunity and occasion in education jobs you know, and, and work your way up the ladder of success. So when I, when I first started at Colorado College in 65, I was sort of the age of the players.

I was like their brother, you know, And then with the progressive time, I became their father. And at the end I probably was their grandfather, you know. So, you know, there were, there were different [00:41:00] generational gaps that I tried to fill as, as best as I could, but, in order to build.

A team where you have mutual trust and where you have you know, buy in where I know them and they know me, and neither one of us has you know, a fake persona to play, but we're honest with one another. It, it takes, it takes a little bit of time and it's a, a process that has to be replayed every, every year. And, and I mean, my, my approach always was you know, at, at teachable moments, you know, take a guy aside and say, Well, you know, you know how. How's your family doing? I mean, what's the latest with your dad? Right? Or you know, I hear your mother might have had you know, an operation or something.

I mean some, some kind of connecting point on a human level that allowed them to engage in a, in a [00:42:00] meaningful conversation between two individuals. Right. And so, you know, give me an, give me an I I'll give you an example. I was never in the Army or the service, but when I was when I was a paperboy in California, age 14 I one a three week stay at Camp Pendleton in with the Marines, because I, I sold more subscriptions than anybody else in my neighborhood.

So I got, I got three weeks stay at Camp Pendleton and I, I played Marine, right? We were, you know, in the, in the tanks, in the vehicles, and marched and you know, got up at four o'clock in the morning and did pushups, things like that, right? But there, there was a, a drill sergeant who taught me a wonderful lesson that I used when, when we were on away trips with a team and say, You, you, you'd have to have a team meal somewhere, right?[00:43:00]

And everybody was hungry, right? The lesson was that officers eat last. Right. That, that the grunts would get to the food line first. Right. And that was very hard for the assistant coach to accept, you know, who was young and hungry as well. But I said, Now, gotta let these guys eat first and then we're last in line, right?

And we organized the whole thing. And it was, you know, not a big deal, but it was kind of subtle. And, and I think the boys recognized that we care, right? And I think that what is just a, a, a small example of you know, how you extend you know, your love for them in a minimal way that might have an effect over time.

And then, you know, they trust you. For saying, Well, you know, we gotta do this and we gotta do that to [00:44:00] to win the game or to succeed or to survive, Right. Or to hang on. And most of the time I think I, I was, I, I, I was able to succeed in those endeavors. But, you know, you, you have to you have to invest emotionally in your charges, in your players to um, you know, get maximum achievement out of them on the field of play, you know?

[00:44:33] Paul: I'm big fan of that Horst. I appreciate you saying that. I think there's probably some coaches that are listening to this that maybe have lost sight of that a little bit in the challenge to. To win the next game or win the championship and losing sight of the little pieces that actually help you achieve that, which is exactly what you're, what you're speaking to, even to the point of spending most of their time pouring into the best players.

Right? It's easy to be attracted to the best player, but in my opinion, and I want your opinion on this [00:45:00] too, is my opinion is that, is the, is the players that don't play a lot, that win you championships and you have to invest in them to make them feel like they're part of, part of this

[00:45:09] Horst: process. Also, listen, I, I got a story for you about that.

Okay. , it's, I dunno, it's probably on page 220.

So, in the mid eighties we had, we had excellent squad, right? We had probably play off appearances three, four years in a row. And a A core part of that winning effort was a black player named Jacque Lavo. Jacque Limbo was originally from Zaire. He went to Belgium. He joined the US Army.

He came to Fort Carson in Colorado Springs for a summer soccer tournament. They had inner inner service tournaments. And a friend of mine said, Hey, you've gotta, you gotta come and watch this guy play. The friend, friend actually being you know, the, the the coach of the Army team and I was so impressed with this [00:46:00] individual because I mean, not only because of his playing ability, which, which was obvious from the beginning but after the game I met him and, you know, he spoke four languages.

He you know, he spoke French from Zayir German because he learned that you know, and Swahili and then of course English in the Army. And he was an outstanding dancer. He was, you know, an artist. He painted, he showed me his pictures. I went to the admission office and I said, You know, even though it's August, we've got the get this guy's unbelievable.

Right? Unbelievable. And the then director of admission whom I knew well, and my ability as a faculty member to go in there and say, you know, this would enhance the entire campus community. We gotta take Jacque. And they did. And he came and it was, it was clear from the beginning, you know, he was a, you know, a star without question.

And the soccer field, Phil, as you know, you know, is located north of [00:47:00] Washburn Field, which then was the football field, right? We don't have football anymore, but then football was a big deal. And Jock would come out from the locker room and juggle the ball the length of the football field. And sometimes when he felt like it, he would take a football right.

And place it on the 40 yard line, the 50 yard line, 55 yard on, and he'd kick field goals, right. And the coaching staff of the football team would drl Right. And they, they'd want Jacque to just be the place kicker, right? And Jacque would look at them, you know, he was he had these tribal marks on his cheeks, you know, from his home country.

And he says, to the football coach, coach soccer. , it's my life. . Mm-hmm. , Soka is my life. Right. And he would stride off, you know, princely as it were. Well, you know, he was a star, but you know, he had his issues. [00:48:00] Right. He knew he was a star. And so he wanted you know, special benefits and and that became kind of apparent with the team.

And, you know, you have to be very careful to uh, treat everybody you know, the same way and. One day we were going away on a, on a, on a a wait trip. Bus is ready to go. Jock's not there, right? And we had a rule, you know, five minutes, maybe 10, and the bus leaves and the bus left and he wasn't on the bus.

And we went down to New Mexico, played the game, and tied one and lost another one. And uh, he could have probably helped us win them both. But that was a lesson both for the team and for him, right. . And then for the rest of the season, I think things went you know, amiably and we we persevered.

But he's a, he's a, he's an unforgettable character. Right. And , you know, after he left Colorado College for years, he would send me his poetry. Right. He would, he would send me [00:49:00] poems for Easter or for the holidays. And then, you know, I lost sight of him and he never reappeared. I mean, he's gone. I have no idea where he is.

Wow. But just, you know, maybe a handful who kind of, are in that category. All the rest of them we keep track of, you know. But Jacque Lavo was like a shooting star. He came through and, you know, he lit up with a campus and then he's gone, you know, never to be seen again. So, would never forget him though, you know.

[00:49:34] Phil: yeah. So, Horst, you know, we're gonna, we're, we're hitting the hour mark, so we are going to come to wrap this guy up. I, I just love, I mean, we can tell a story after story after story. I just, what I love more than anything is just, you remember these players like it was yesterday and you're talking.

over 50 years, and these are, I was, I was kind of doing the math on it. And that, that's a, that's a, a whole lot of players, I mean, if you're just saying, I know it's [00:50:00] more than this, but even if it's just 20, that's a thousand players that, as you said, your sons. And just, and I know there's more than that, you know?

So. Awesome. Just so cool. So cool. And that's what I just, you know, I strive for as a coach is to be able, And I remember, you know, I just have very lot less years and sometimes with names, I, I struggle. And so to the fact that, you know, that with 50 years of names, I, I, I'm just. I love it. I love it. Cause that, that just speaks to you and how you coached and what kind of coach you were.

It wasn't, it wasn't about the, it was about teaching them about life. And so with that, I know you, I'm gonna turn it back on you and say you played the game, you coached the game. What are some of the lessons you learned directly from the game? Maybe just one or two that you used in your marriage with Helen and your parenting with, with Eric and Stacia and now with your grandkids that you have.

[00:50:50] Horst: Well, you know, you, you coach the game. You are preparing the team for an [00:51:00] event competition, struggle, you know, competition where you. Exhaust yourself where you become emotionally involved, where you, you know, lose sight of things where you become angry or you know, where you tackle somebody unfairly and you should have never done it where you, you know, accused the referee of giving you a bad call.

You know, it's, it's the heat of the moment. I mean, you know, you, you, you have your family at home. You, you might get into an argument with your wife, you know, maybe your kids are not doing what you expect them to do. And, and so you know, you're confronted with Tackling issues that need to be settled, right?

I mean, maybe there needs to be a compromise. Maybe, maybe you need to be more patient and understanding you know, maybe you need to have a heart to heart talk with somebody, you know? No. [00:52:00] Maybe you need to invite one of, one of the guys and the captain and two others to your home for dinner and talk things through, right?

But you know, the, the lessons learned is that you know, there are always, is always another side to every story. You have to listen. Well, you know, you have to. Understand the issues at hand. You have to be calm, cool, and collected. You, you can't talk down to anybody. You know, you wanna be understanding, but at the same time, you have to be realistic, right?

I mean, you know, did you actually curse at the referee? Well, yeah, maybe coach, maybe I did. You know, and maybe I shouldn't have done that. And so, You know, you were punished for that. You got a yellow card, or maybe you were even thrown out of the game. So now you have to live with it. And, you know, how can we learn from that experience and how can we [00:53:00] do better, you know?

Do you actually know the rules of the game? Right, ? I mean, well, I didn't know that. You know, So, you know, there's, there's an education along the way, but it cannot be overbearing. You know, you can't. Talk down to them. I mean, it, it, it has to be a situation where even though you are the teacher and they are the pupil you know, they have to understand that from this particular experience, we can grow together and we can improve and we can live a better life because of the way we were able to sort things out.

Yeah, lessons learned for sure. Right. And you know, , Helen and I in our retirement, continued to coach, right? We run the Colorado College Retiree Club. You know, all the faculty and staff who are retired. We have a Physical fitness group, actually, in an hour from now, we're [00:54:00] gonna be at our exercise group, right.

And there's maybe 25 who come regularly, you know, and three times a week. And we do this and that. And you know, sometimes they think they can't do it, you know, And so, well, maybe a little bit of encouragement helps, you know, and so we still have sort of a team to deal with, right? But we're all old farts now, , right?

And we've got our life behind us. We're just trying to stay alive, right? And maybe make it for another 5, 6, 7 years and enjoy ourselves along the way, right? Yeah. And I think, I think that's the key, you know, enjoyment, love for one another, respect, you know, trust and socializing along the way that helps us you know, approach another day.

And that's what we're gonna do today. But we don't play soccer. , ,

[00:54:55] Phil: that's probably wise. I don't play soccer at 48 anymore for that [00:55:00] probably, you know, you never know what might happen.

[00:55:02] Paul: But it's a good lesson that coaches never really stopped coaching. It really is truly about those relationships, and that's what you continue to, to do is build those relationships and pour into each other.

And that's what community is about. Horst we kind of wrap things up. Is there anything that that you've watched, read or listened to that it's impacted your thinking on how soccer kind of explains life and leadership?

[00:55:23] Horst: Well, I mean, you know, it's the world's game, right? There, there are so many lessons.

To be learned from, you know, investing hard work, persevering on the field surviving under pressure you know, coming back from defeat, trying again. for me an ongoing passion that you know, I developed early in my life because of my grandfather's involvement in the game.

And, you know, just the association with wonderful people who give you as many lessons as you have lessons to offer to [00:56:00] them, right? We learn from one another. We, we go through life and we have this bond through the game that allows us to really become a world citizens, you know, through, through the game and get enjoyment out of it.

When we watch the incredible artistic ability and choreography of these players and games at the highest level and. You know, we, we carry on because of, because of these encounters and, you know, to, to compliment YouTube engaging in these kind of conversations for um, educational use for our fellow coaches our fraternity and sorority that we have built over time out there.

You know, the message for the coaches is You know, carry on, let the kids play. You know, give them creative opportunities. Don't blow the [00:57:00] whistle too often, , you know, just let 'em do their thing. . Mm-hmm.

[00:57:05] Phil: Well thanks. Thanks, Horst. You know, and I know as I, every time I talk with you, you are a student of history reading a lot of history books and just seeing how, you know, really teams in, in history that's how things get done right, is is through teams and, and watching soccer.

It's, it's no exception, right? Is, is to see these team sports are, are a really a microcosm of the team work that needs to happen in the world to really get things done in, in ways. And, and so that's something I, I just appreciate you, thank you so much for your friendship. I mean, first of all, but also just for coming on today and being a part of this conversation.

Thanks. Thanks so much Horst

[00:57:42] Horst: Carry on the good work.

[00:57:43] Phil: All right, folks. Well, thanks again for being a part of this conversation. Thank you for this download. Thank you for all that you're doing out there. Hopefully taking everything that you're learning from this this show and using it in your leadership, using it in your own coaching.

All the stuff we talked about on the show will be in the show [00:58:00] notes. You can find that at howsoccerexplainsleadership.com/horstr ichardson. You can find the book. We'll have a link to that. We'll have a link to the Warrior Way stuff, the coaching, the bigger game stuff, all of those things that we're doing, you can see there.

As always, please, please take all that you're learning from this show and use it to help you be a better spouse, a better parent, a better coach, a better leader in all that you do, and continually remind yourself that soccer does explain life and leadership. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.