Written by AJ Durtschi

Success Around the Corner

Pennybacker Bridge

Since 1970, two schools in southern California – Pomona College and Pitzer College – have combined their athletic programs in order to compete in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and in the NCAA’s Division III. Over 40 years ago in the 1972-’73 season, the new head coach of the men’s Pomona-Pitzer college basketball program lead the team to a dismal 2-22 record. Surprisingly, only six years later, that same coach led his team to an NCAA Division III Tournament berth.

Following the 1987-1988 season at Pomona, that coach moved to the big leagues, joining his mentor Larry Brown as an assistant coach in the NBA for the San Antonio Spurs. Eventually, the career that started with a 2-22 record turned into five NBA titles, all for the same franchise.

Today Gregg Popovich is considered a legend and is billed as one of the greatest NBA coaches alive. It’s easy to see how failure was a springboard, leading to greater things during his career. After losing the 2013 NBA Finals, the Spurs were widely dismissed as being a team that needed to rebuild and refocus. That failure was only fuel on the fire, resulting in a decisive win in the 2014 Finals.

Personal success is relative, but all success is derived from the result of failure. Failing is just a necessary gateway to success. Success scales. Every step forward is a step taking you nearer to your goals.