Hymns were sung and words of wisdom were shared at Dixie State University’s sixth annual convocation.
This years speakers were Mike and Dani Littlewood. Littlewood was the Red Storm’s head baseball coach for 16 years and holds the record for the most wins as a coach. He is now the head baseball coach at Brigham Young University and is an official referee for NCAA basketball.
Littlewood was chosen as the convocation speaker after former DSU basketball coach and BYU head coach Dave Rose had emergency surgery earlier in the week dealing with complications from cancer. When selecting someone to replace Rose, Dixie officials picked someone who had strong ties to the school, and Littlewood seemed to be the perfect candidate.
“This is where I call home,” Littlewood said. “I will never not love it here.”
Littlewood and his wife offered advice to the current students at the school they are so fond of.
Dani told students to call their moms and thank them for their support and sacrifices for their education and for their lives in general.
Littlewood focused his speech on three phases that shaped his life over the years.
The first phrase he heard while he was growing up and never put real value to it until he was older and in college himself.
“My parents, coaches and leaders would always tell me you can be whatever you want to be,” Littlewood said.
While he heard this, his whole life he always doubted it. He thought he wasn’t smart or athletic enough to achieve his dreams. He assured students he was wrong and you can in fact accomplish whatever you put your mind to.
“If you are willing to put in the sacrifice and effort, you can do it,” Littlewood said. “Truly be whatever you want to be.”
The second phrase was enjoy it while it lasts. It won’t last forever.
“Enjoy the present.” Littlewood said. “It really is gone before you realize it.”.
Littlewood is 47 now and says it feels just like he was in college just yesterday. Now his kids are grown, and he is glad he lived in the moment and enjoyed the times he had.
The last phrase he found one night while he was flipping through channels on television and started watching a documentary on an outspoken restaurant chef. The chef said he loved his job, and everyone should find their passion and pursue it with vigor.
Littlewood said sometimes people get stuck in life and can’t get out of it because they have a family to provide for. He said now is the perfect time for students to choose who they want to be and what they want to do because most just have themselves to worry about.
He said to find what you want to do in life now.
Littlewood encouraged students to choose jobs that they will be happy with 20 years from now. He said how much money you make or how famous you become should not define what job you choose.
“Don’t let society define what makes you happy,” Littlewood said. “Have no regrets and live life to the fullest.