(not for the first time, Jackie Earle Hayley’s been overlooked)

Shawn Michaels High? Michael Nesmith? Moe Bandy? San Antonio resident Emmanuel Casasola, a 2002 graduate of the city’s Robert E. Lee High School has started a petition to rename the school in honor of Spurs head coach Greg Popovich. Unlike the Confederate icon, Casaola says of the 5 time NBA champion, “I haven’t heard anyone say anything negative about Pop.”

I know this may come off as a joke, but I am being completely serious. He is loved and revered all over the country as the best coach in all of sports and one of the greatest coaches of all time. He started his NBA coaching career in San Antonio with Larry Brown and except for a few years when he went to Golden State, he has been in San Antonio ever since. He has been instrumental in creating an organizational culture in the Spurs which is the envy of the entire NBA. His capacity for leadership, personnel development, and work ethic should be something we teach our kids to strive for and should be honored. He is also a graduate of the Air Force Academy and will serve as the US national team coach for the next Olympic cycle. Therefore, I make my plea to the NEISD school board to honor the man who has been a fixture of our community. Do not name the school after someone who has no connection to our community (Cesar Chavez, George W Lee, etc).

Popovich, however, was less than thrilled, declaring, “I would hope that you would use all your muscle, whatever you have to squash that ridiculous idea as soon as humanly possible,” (“if you reach any level of celebrity, there’s gonna be somebody who’s going to take it too far…I don’t need anything named after me”).