Individualism and valuing one’s selfhood were the major tenets of men’s basketball Coach Mike Jarvis’ “last lecture” Wednesday at Western Presbyterian Church.
Jarvis was the second speaker this semester in a lecture series that invites University notables to deliver a lecture as if it would be their last.
In his lecture, Jarvis described the important life lessons he learned during childhood from his mother and a baseball coach he called “Stretch.”
Jarvis paused to honor his mother for raising four children by herself, and for giving him the opportunity to “play” when other kids his age were forced to get jobs.
Jarvis said “Stretch” implanted in him the value of hard work, practice, competition, winning and losing, in addition to teaching him the importance of being a team player.
“Each and every one of us can make a difference and positively affect somebody . everyone is created by God for a special purpose,” Jarvis said.
Jarvis earned his undergraduate degree from Northeastern University and his master’s degree in education at Boston University.
Jarvis said his job as a basketball coach is to “try to get each and every player to be the best at each and every thing they do.”
Jarvis said he hopes he has been able to accomplish that goal in his eight years at GW.
“Whether I do or not, I’d be the last to know,” he said. “My team realizes that it is very special and everyone has a great opportunity to get a great education at one of the best universities in the world.
“Coaches are teachers,” Jarvis said. “If you emphasize the fundamentals of math, science or sport, then you’ve probably taught them fundamentals for life skills.”
Jarvis offered one final piece of advice to the crowd of students, faculty and community members. “Try to find work that you don’t look at as work. Try to find a profession that is your lifestyle. If you don’t, you won’t be truly happy.”