I have known coach Gourley since 2004 when I became the head football coach at Buena High School. We immediately connected and he became a mentor to me so much that in 2008-2009 to work for him at Grace Brethren High School as an assistant football coach. I learned so much during those two years from Terry about how to be more confident and believe in myself. I offer reach out to him when I have to make important decisions. He is always there for me and doesn't just tell me what I want to hear. He will literally give you the shirt off his back. Justin Berenson
I have had the privilege of knowing Terry Gourley for the past 11 years. I have known him as a coach, mentor, and as a close cherished friend. Over the years, while he has played different roles in my life, he has always displayed an incredible ability to listen, understand, and give in return wise counsel, words of encouragement, knowledge, motivation, and hope.
I have been serving in the United States Marine Corps. for nearly 7 years, operating as an infantry squad leader. I have 3 deployments under my belt, multiple high level courses completed, and have been recognized by my peers and superiors for outstanding performances in multiple areas of service. Key aspects to my success within the Corps., are not limited to but directly link into 3 phrases by Terry.
Sophomore year of high school, 2007, Coach Gourley was screaming at me for utterly destroying an offensive play during a pre-season game. I simply did not comprehend the game yet, and all its moving parts. Gourley, calmed his head and mouth, and simply said, “When you don't know what to do ATTACK! Attack with reckless abandon”. Such a simplistic phrase changed my life to this day. In today’s world everyone is consumed with over thinking, distracted by the “what ifs” of life, and weighing their choices as they sweat out panic. When you attack life, it doesn't mean be reckless, it means act with reckless abandonment, fully committing to the course you choose. For me that meant aiming to be better than all my peers in boot camp…so I graduated as the Honor Man. After that it meant being the best Marine at infantry school; so I graduated Honor Man again…I have attacked every rank, every mission, every obstacle, every course with reckless abandonment. It doesn't mean I was the most skilled, trained or knowledgeable Marine, but unlike others I heard and listened to my mentor’s words. When I didn't know what to do, I ATTACKED.
As a small unit leader of 13 Marines in a squad, it is pivotal to be a team player on all fronts. The football team’s motto one year, under Coach Gourley, centered around “Little Me, Big Team.” Focusing on yourself is easy, it’s simple and within your power. Focusing on others is much more difficult. Again as a squad leader, this phrase alone guides how I lead and interact my Marines. Realizing the power of a united front, and a solidified core of dedicated warriors is truly breathtaking. When each Marine doesn't simply “buy into” that phrase, but when they truly believe “little me, BIG TEAM”, we truly become the tip of the spear that America can readily throw at any enemy with the assurance that we will penetrate and obliterate.
The third phrase came to me in 2009, “For the Faithful, Wars Shall Never Cease.” I believed this message so much, brought to my attention by Terry, that it became my first tattoo. In a world of extreme opposition, intolerance, and crippling judgement, if you don't possess faith in yourself and your beliefs, then you will fall to whatever challenge you face. I have laid out my personal beliefs and convictions. I have set my moral compass and have walked by faith in them. There have been innumerable times during my deployments around the globe that situations and circumstances have found me questioning myself, beliefs, and if my course is still headed in the correct direction. I simply need to look on my left shoulder and read, “For the Faithful, Wars Shall Never Cease.” Every day is a battle, and life is a war, we must stay grounded and faithful if we are to endure and be victorious. Had Terry not introduced me to this concept, many things in my life may have been drastically different.
I count myself blessed to have learned these fundamental concepts at a young age and that I’ve had time to reflect on them, apply them and teach them to the future generations that will shoulder the weight of this country’s protection. As I continue to mature and grow in wisdom I will continue to use these phrases and concepts to not only meet every challenge head on, but to ATTACK it with reckless abandonment, being mindful of a “little me” so that I may help the BIG team, and I will do it FAITHFULLY so that I may win the battles, that will win the war. Travis Sproat USMC
When Tanner came into your Leaders program he was quite shy w/ just enough self-esteem to join & workout!
I was (am) overcoming my fears & I did not want Tanner to struggle with fears as I had because they can be debilitating.
I could see Tanner's fears in our home as he related to his friends & in his communication with them.
Tanner had been in the Leaders program for several months when Terry gave me encouraging words:" He said Tanner now looks Terry in the eye when he's talking to him and he stands with his shoulders back & chin in an upward position." I could see what Terry had shared & was so thankful. I was actually very nervous about Tanner joining the Leaders program. I was not referred to the program by anyone yet I sensed I could trust Terry with Tanner & to do what was best for this young man. He was giving him something I could not give him yet I felt he needed it. My personal opinion is the world we live in today is out to diminish men & make them feel weak & powerless. I pray this never happens in our land. Men and women need to know their strengths physically! Yet I know this is one opinion & there are always others viewpoints.
Today Tanner has less fear & because of this he is beginning to take leadership positions with some friends & he is doing this with confidence. YAY!!!! I am thankful he is experiencing this now in his life because his life, his body, his academics is changing in big ways & the new confidence will help him face new challenges. I know we will grow in healthy ways as the we slay the fear demons. I thank the Lord for the environment & attitudes of Terry & his son Steve as they approach the boys. They are firm & kind! Paula Roberts