Short re­mem­bered by many

For­mer Lackey Prin­ci­pal, CCPS coach Short dies, re­mem­bered by many

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

Fa­ther fig­ure, coach, role model, men­tor, friend and all-around great guy with a pow­er­ful and car­ing de­meanor.

Those are just a few words and de­scrip­tions that come to mind when peo­ple think about Dr. James Short Sr.

The for­mer Lackey High School Prin­ci­pal and coach for Charles County Pub­lic Schools died March 21 at the Univer­sity of Mary­land Charles Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter in La Plata.

Short, who im­pacted so many lives in the county over the years was 58 years old, was memo­ri­al­ized at Lackey on March 25.

“First and fore­most he was a fa­ther and he was an ex­am­ple of what a fa­ther should be,” said Short’s son, James II, a 1999 McDonough High School grad­u­ate. “What a lot of peo­ple didn’t know is that he worked three jobs, coach, teach and still made time to be there for the fam­ily and help get me through school or get to prac­tices. He be­lieved in hard work and be­ing a stu­dent of the game. He had a blue­print of help­ing stu­dent-ath­letes reach their goals and he was very di­rect and had no cut cards.”

Though Short’s de­meanor and gen­uine per­son­al­ity was well known, the 1977 Lackey grad­u­ate once was a stand­out three-sport ath­lete in bas­ket­ball, foot­ball and ten­nis. He went on to play quar­ter­back and wide re­ceiver at the

Univer­sity of Rich­mond.

Dur­ing his se­nior year of high school, Short was an All-South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence first-team se­lec­tion for bas­ket­ball and foot­ball and was named SMAC Most Out­stand­ing Player for bas­ket­ball. lead­ing the bas­ket­ball team to backto-back SMAC cham­pi­onships in his ju­nior and se­nior years with the Charg­ers.

Short started his teach­ing ca­reer at Thomas Stone in 1987 and dur­ing his time there was the school’s ath­letic di­rec­tor, head foot­ball and track and field and ju­nior var­sity boys, girls bas­ket­ball coach be­fore work­ing as an ad­min­is­tra­tor for 13 years at Blair High School in Mont­gomery County where he was also a head foot­ball coach from 1995 to 2003.

Short’s pass­ing hit home for many, in­clud­ing his for­mer play­ers and stu­dents.

Scott Ste­wart, a 1988 Stone grad­u­ate, played var­sity bas­ket­ball for the Cougars for two sea­sons be­fore head­ing to play at NCAA Di­vi­sion II’s North Carolina Cen­tral.

“He was a life saver for me be­cause I re­ally didn’t have a fa­ther fig­ure like him,” Ste­wart said. “He showed me so much love and took it to an­other level. He stayed on my back, which was some­thing I needed. He saw the po­ten­tial I had be­cause he saw the im­pact I had on oth­ers. As I got older, I re­al­ized how the im­pact he had on other peo­ple. He taught me the four keys of suc­cess, which are hard work, com­mit­ment, love and re­spect. I al­ways fol­low those keys to help the youth today.”

Mark Dunn, a 1994 Stone grad­u­ate, was a three-sport ath­lete who played on the var­sity foot­ball team for Short and went on to play at North Carolina as a safety and linebacker.

“Coach Short was the first per­son to tell me that I could play col­lege foot­ball,” Dunn said. “He was a role model and a pro­fes­sional. He showed us prepa­ra­tion to be men­tally and physically strong on and off the field. He al­ways cared and took us to foot­ball camps and called col­lege coaches on his be­half. Go­ing into my se­nior year I had over 30 col­lege of­fers.”

Nate Collins, one of Short’s for­mer as­sis­tants for sev­eral sea­sons at Stone and Blair, noted that his long­time friend for over 30 years will be sorely missed.

“He was such an hon­est per­son and he put a lot of kids in school,” Collins said. “We trav­eled to schools all over the coun­try to take kids to col­lege vis­its. His for­mer play­ers in Charles and Mont­gomery County still model them­selves af­ter him and use all the life lessons that he taught them.”

Short took over as Lackey’s Prin­ci­pal from 2008 to 2015 where he worked with staff and the school com­mu­nity in ef­forts to up­hold high ex­pec­ta­tions set forth at the school and to pre­pare stu­dents to be in col­lege and ca­reer ready.

Short’s re­la­tion­ship with stu­dent-ath­letes over the years was the real deal. In other words, the kids loved Short, and he loved them. Stu­dent-ath­letes would wan­der to Short’s of­fice at times to sim­ply shoot the breeze or seek ad­vice and he was al­ways there and will­ing, to lend an open ear for those in need, and was quite ca­pa­ble of bal­anc­ing the dayto-day pres­sures of be­ing a coach, ath­letic di­rec­tor or Prin­ci­pal with the “peo­ple” side of life.

In early Jan­uary 2017, Short was in­ducted into the Lackey Ath­letic Hall of Fame and was cur­rently work­ing as the di­rec­tor of hear­ings of­fi­cer and court li­ai­son at the Charles County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion.

“Ev­ery­one I know loved work­ing for Mr. Short. He was a vi­sion­ary with ideas and plans on how to im­prove the school ev­ery day,” Lackey ath­letic di­rec­tor Tony Mast said. “He never stood still, al­ways push­ing to move the school and the kids for­ward each and ev­ery day. He made com­ing to work ev­ery day fun and ex­cit­ing. His pas­sion for the kids be­came con­ta­gious.”

Short is sur­vived by his wife, Bev­erly, and chil­dren, James, Jennifer, Jen­nell, along with grand­son Gabriel, and a host of other rel­a­tives and friends.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

For­mer Lackey High School Prin­ci­pal Dr. James Short Sr. died March 21 at the Univer­sity of Mary­land Charles Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter in La Plata. Short im­pacted nu­mer­ous stu­dent-ath­letes over the years in Charles County County Pub­lic Schools.

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