This is a letter from Jason Nosek to Coach Bellamy on his retirement.. Jason is now and assistant coach with the football program.
I just wanted to pass on a note to you congratulating you on a successful career as an educator, coach, and a shaper of young men in your announced retirement from coaching.
I just wanted to share with you some of the personal feelings that came to my mind as I learned of your retirement. First I was saddened that the mainstay of Mount Vernon Football was retiring, somewhere in the back of my mind I thought you would go on forever and I would have the honor of you coaching my boys, (although in reality I knew was impossible as they are 4 yrs and 8 months old respectively), but the thought was still there.
So many of my memories of High School in some way have you involved in them, when I get together with classmates as they return for holidays or see them in the grocery store inevitably the conversation returns to “remember when….” Especially when I get together with Steve Salazar, recants of Mount Vernon Football, having to run in plays and follow you down the sideline through thick and thin, High School Biology, where you had to separate Salazar and I while dissecting the dreaded cat, Mount Vernon Track, running at the Drake Relays when on the way home Jon Martin fell asleep and spilled his Coke all over you and the front seat. Making bets with Jon Martin on the kick off team as to who would get to ball carrier first, which of course was an unfair bet as he could go through people and I had to go around, making mistakes in the play call and about killing Salazar in a crossing pattern (he won’t ever let me forget that) and the look on Miller face in the huddle as I called what was a combination of plays as he dutifully repeated the mangled play. The relationships and bonds that were built in your programs have so far lasted the lifetime.
I guess I would just like to say thank you. There were so many lessons I was being taught that I didn’t realize until later in life. For example on the day of the first scrimmage we ran a play from offense that went about 80 yards for a touch down and you called it back because the linemen were not hustling down field to get that one extra block, and you proceeded to berate us driving home the fact that one guy not doing his job could cost us a play and play could cost us a game. I was incredulous that this would happen but the lesson gained many years later was the relentless pursuit of perfection even though you may never achieve perfection was something worth striving for. Also that everyone had a job to do and if they did their job we would be successful as a team unselfishly. In a world that has increasingly become all about the “ME” this lesson has allowed me to separate myself from people who may be smarter, more talented but lazy and all about them. This philosophy you instilled in the program and so many young men; of toughness, grit and hard work and playing for something bigger than just yourself but for others have carried me far in my personal career. I truly believe, without this foundation that was then nurtured by my parents I know I would not have the continued success I have in both my work and family life. Another important lesson I have taken from football and sports in general is that things are not always fair and sometimes you get hit right in the mouth, how you handle this and pick yourself up and deal with such adversity has been invaluable to me. As you may or may not know our first son, Liam, was born and survived for only one day, without some of the foundation that you helped lay on how to deal with adversity and be tough and still pick yourself up and move on even when it hurts or you don’t want to…to just do you job and somehow achieve what I wanted or get to where I wanted to be. I honestly don’t know if I would have had the personal fortitude to work myself, or my wife through this… it would have been easy to fold the tent and go home, like I said sometimes you just get hit in the mouth… how you respond is the measure of true greatness. These are just a few things that I wanted to share with you at the end of your career and the impact that I know you had on me and many more.
Again I wanted to say Thank You for the tireless commitment to the community of Mount Vernon and its young men. You may not have been aware of all the lessons that were being learned during your 37 years as head coach, and at the time it may have seemed that they fell on deaf ears, but as I can attest the lessons were heard and learned will continue to last a lifetime. Thank you.
Jason Nosek ‘89