Retired Granbury girls basketball coach Leta Andrews is living the life of a woman who loved growing up in the country.
After 52 years of coaching and teaching, her husband David in 2014 bought her a retirement present of a tractor and shredder to use on their land.
“It doesn’t have power steering or a radio or air conditioning, but I love it,” said Andrews, 78. “It was what I worked on when I was a little girl. I went back in time and it’s brought back a lot of good memories.”
This new lifestyle hasn’t kept Andrews, who won 1,416 games, from continuing work with her true passion: telling stories and inspiring others.
Friday, Andrews brought her game plan for life to the Rotary Club of Fort Worth at The Fort Worth Club.
She said her inspiration will be carried to a much larger audience because a documentary about her career as the winningest coach in boys or girls high school basketball, is in production. She also said she’s fielded calls inquiring her interest in her story becoming a movie.
“I’ll talk to the people,” said Andrews, whose teams made 16 state semifinals appearances with one state championship. “I’m not going to put a ‘No’ stamp on it because I feel like I have a good story to tell, being able to do it that long and taste the fruits of success.”
Meanwhile, Andrews travels across the country, relaying her six-point system to leading a successful life.
It all begins with being true to yourself and making each day a masterpiece, which is something she said she saw from her girls on the basketball court every day. Second is helping others, which she said she accomplishes by as a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels once a week.
As a former English teacher, she believes investing in good books can create a better future for people of any age. She also said she plans on writing a book of her own in the future.
She emphasized being a good friend, the fifth point, which includes putting down the cellphone to have genuine conversations. She put this preaching into practice with her basketball teams, she said.
“When we got on a yellow school bus, I always took the cellphones up,” she said. “I wanted them to interact with each other. I wanted them to talk when we were getting ready to play Mansfield Summit. I wanted them to know we were getting ready to play Fort Worth Trimble Tech.”
Finally, she urged those in attendance at The Fort Worth Club, to pray for the United States and its leaders.
Andrews said she has a family that all lives close to her in Granbury and told the story of one of her grandsons asking her why she looked down one day.
“Are you aware I’m in the fourth quarter of my life?” she said she asked him.
His response, “Don’t’ worry, you’ll go into overtime.”
After a career full of accolades and relationships with basketball coaching stars such as John Wooden, Adolph Rupp and Pat Summitt, Andrews is putting in overtime to pass on the legacy of those coaches as well as her own.
“I’ve had the best life of anyone on the face of the earth. I count all my blessings every, every day,” she said.
Travis L. Brown can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @Travis_L_Brown.