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His hard-driving approach had a lot to do with that, but so did his care for the players he was coaching. As his adult children attested, there’s a softer side to the man most people only see yelling on the sideline on TV.

“If you steer off the wrong path, he’ll let you know, just like his players. But if you’re doing good,” Corri Zimmer said, then he’ll be their biggest fan.

Zimmer’s biggest fan wasn’t there to watch his moment on the stage, but she was in spirit. His wife, Vikki, died unexpectedly in 2009.

“She would be real proud today,” Zimmer said. “She would be real proud.”



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