Editor’s Note: Augie Miceli died at age 86 June 29, less than a month after he had completed 60 years of service to Calvert Hall College High School in Towson. He was a math teacher and football coach, leading the Cardinals to a record seven straight wins over Loyola Blakefield in the Turkey Bowl from 1978 to 1984. The following appreciation was submitted by Jason Smith, a Georgetown University graduate who was raised in St. Isaac Jogues Parish in Carney, and lived alongside Miceli. Smith works for the Federal government.
Our most important and precious asset in life is time. What we do with this asset is what defines our life and its impact. One would be hard to say few spent their time more wisely and effectively than Augustine Miceli. Graduate of the Citadel, military veteran, married 59 years, father of three and grandfather of five. He was an All-Metro Coach of the Year who led his football teams to six conference titles. He educated approximately 7,500 boys. However, it wasn’t how long he taught or how many he taught, but the way he taught, why he taught and the lives he forever affected that make his legacy more special and notable. Growing up, I was fortunate to live next door to Miceli. I had direct access to an excellent math teacher if I was struggling with my homework, and, more importantly, an example of what is required to become a great leader throughout life.
To be a great teacher, you must first be a great leader. I am unsure where Mr. Augie learned about leadership – from his parents, a mentor, the Citadel? Paul Brooks, one of his former players and now president of Brooks Financial Group, said, “Mr. Augie’s ability to motivate and teach his students and players about the importance of discipline and accountability as you move through life provided his pupils the recipe for success both personally and professionally.”
As an adolescent, I could never comprehend why Mr. Augie continued to work long after he could retire. His kids were grown and healthy. He was financially stable. Every academic year, Mr. Augie knew he was provided with an opportunity to teach young men how to both grow in intellect and lead in life. His actions, however, went far beyond affecting the lives he was tasked with teaching each school year.
At my college graduation ceremony, the commencement speaker said that accomplishments in one’s professional career will never compensate for inadequacies at home. At the time, I interpreted this to mean if you choose to work as opposed to being with family you have made the wrong decision. It’s why I could not understand why Mr. Augie continued to teach, especially knowing that nothing meant more to him than his family. I came to understand, however, the reason he continued to educate young men for so long was because of his family. The best thing you can do in life is be a consistent, positive example to your family. Teach them to be punctual. Teach them to be a good influence on their community. And, most essential, teach them how to provide care and love to other people, especially those in your family.
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