I haven't always been good at honoring the person who came before me—who sat in my seat prior. I have been beyond blessed never to enter a job and think, "Man, this is a total disaster piece." When I took over at Buffalo, the trail had been blazed by Ryan Cidzik so that my path of continuance wasn't one of impossible odds. When I took over at Georgia Southern, Jeff Ward and Nic Obey had done everything possible to improve the job every turn of the way. And now I sit here after Kelly Cosgrove did a phenomenal job of making my position better than what she had walked into, and for that, I thanked her earlier on the phone today.

Buffalo—Ryan Cidzik

Far too often, we find ourselves in new jobs, and (maybe as a sick defense mechanism or a way to justify our validity) we trash the person who came before us. I don't cast a stone free of sin because I too have done this. When I took over at Buffalo, I complained about what the boss before me had done. That whole thought process was not only irrational but misguided. And beyond that, it was utterly irrelevant. No one cares. Keep working. What does it matter how the person before you did? The only thing that matters is how you perform now. And my boss before me at Buffalo, I think, did a phenomenal job. If anything, my pride and arrogance to realize what a great situation I had walked into messed it up.

Georgia Southern—Jeff Ward and Nic Obey

It wasn't really until I had become the Director at Georgia Southern that I started to appreciate the sacrifices of those that had come before me. Nic Obey worked tirelessly to make Georgia Southern better. Jeff Ward (who loves his alma mater) did the same. I was honored to be able to walk on the shoulders of those two giants. And years later, I was able to do the same thing.

"Here is my hard work, take this and be better than I was."

There was no passing of the torch, but it was good to see someone else succeed me and do better knowing the work my assistants and I had put in prior. While we may go unknown, the structures should always grow if we do a good job.

While we may go unknown, the structures should always grow if we do a good job.

Murray—Kelly Cosgrove

When I got to Murray, the first thing I wanted to do was talk to people and learn as much as I could about how things were run from an organizational level. Then I reached out to Coach Kelly, and she was gracious enough to take an hour out of her day to talk me through all the questions I had. She even gave me advice. I told her how appreciative I was for her services and the sacrifices she had to make for me to be in a better position. And really, in an athlete-centered industry, that's ultimately what you want to do. When you leave, give the next person the best chance of success so that your athletes can succeed.

This article isn't by any means about me. It is a tribute to those who came before me. For those I didn't recognize when I had the chance and for those I am honored to have recognized now. In our industry, there is so much tearing of everyone down around us. We put up these walls and build these castles and try to lay that groundwork on the bodies of those we don't necessarily deem worthy based on our narrow-minded thought processes.

Again, I do not sit up at the mountain top and yell down below me. There have been many skeletons I've had to look at as I've dug them out of the closet. I have admitted to my faults on the biggest stage I could think of—the Cscca National Conference and as a columnist. But self-actualization is part of growth, and I am someone who continually seeks constant growth.

 I truly believe if we had more human experiences with the people we meet, our industry would be far better for it. I am where I am today because of the people who have endlessly looked out for me. Some good coaches, some ok strength coaches but all great people. At the end of the day, we are all going through the human experience together and learning what it means to walk through this thing called life. And the walk is only enhanced if we do it together as brothers and sisters instead of strangers and enemies.

Well, it's been a long path full of trials and tribulations, but at least I'm back. I don't just mean having a job again (I've had two since you last heard from me), but I'm back to writing. I have gone down many roads, and it's true what they say; many roads do seem to lead to Rome. Though I will say, I hit a few snares in my journeys.

Right now, I'm sitting at work as the Director of Strength and Conditioning for Olympic Sports at Murray State University. It's been a miraculous path to get here and one that was hard-earned. The last time I wrote for elitefts, I wasn't too far away from resigning from a job I loved under circumstances I hated. I don't want to dwell on the past but look forward to the future and drop some classic knowledge bombs as I start this new journey through life.

Donald Day is the Director of Olympic Sports at Murray State University. He joined the Racers after being Assistant Strength Coach at Arizona. Donald holds a CSCCA with the S.C.C.C (Strength Conditioning Coaches Certification), USAW, and Precision Nutrition certification. He and his wife Brianna reside in the western part of Kentucky with their dog Fritz.