Jerry Sachsel Interviews


The Back Story


In September of 1978, when I was 12 years old, I walked into my 7th grade history class and saw the man that would be my teacher that year.  I sat down in my seat and looking up, I saw that he had a long metal ruler in his hand and a stern look on his face. 

With a very direct and strong voice, he started slapping his open palmed hand with one end of the ruler and launched into his rules about how to behave in his class.  I have to admit, his stern demeanor was a bit intimidating to the 12-year-old version of myself.  He went on to explain that he wouldn’t tolerate any nonsense or misbehavior in his class (I think he knew he inherited the behavior problem students from all of the six elementary schools, at least, that’s how it appeared to us).

Finally, with everyone staring up at him, he got to his most important rule; “whatever you do, don’t ever, under any circumstances, ever let me catch you taking anything off of my desk because if you do, I will” …… and with that, he stepped back and swung the metal ruler in a huge circular motion, smacking it on the top of the desk and creating an enormous cracking sound that cut through the silence and could likely be heard in all the surrounding classrooms…. “I’ll take my ruler out and chop your fingers off!!!!”. 

With that, I, together will my entire class, and my teacher, Mr. Sachsel, broke out into hysterical laughter.  It was a totally unexpected, completely unconventional, and a very effective way to break the ice while also disbanding any first day jitters.  The added effect was letting us know he meant business. 

Yeah, it was fair to say from day 1, I knew this guy was different.  Jerry Sachsel went on to become one of my favorite teachers.

Fast forward about 40 years.  A client of mine was throwing a big 50th anniversary party for he and his wife and I was honored to have been invited.  Years earlier, I remembered discovering that one of his good friends was Jerry Sachsel, my 7th grade history teacher and legendary Millburn high school wrestling coach, but I hadn’t thought about it much after that.  When I arrived at the party, my client had an excited look on his face.  He greeted me at the door saying, “I’ve been waiting for you, there’s someone I want you to see”.  He ushered me down a corridor where, I saw standing there, my 7th grade history teacher, Jerry Sachsel.

Jerry had an amused grin on his face and as I approached him, he reached into his pocket and pulled out an envelope.  I couldn’t image what it was.  He looked up at me and said, “go ahead, open it”.  I thought to myself, what could this possibly be?  I opened the envelope and pulled out the paper where I saw a roster of my entire 7th grade class listed.  My name was circled, and below my name I noticed all of my grades for each marking period, as well as my final grade for the year.  D, B, B, B…  and then the final grade... B.  Further down on the paper he had included a few of my class assignments, and below that, a notation identifying the “class leaders”.  My name was listed together there with a girl (note:  I have no memory what-so-ever of being a class leader let alone what that might have entailed).  Jerry went on to explain that every year he taught he saved “stuff” from at least one or two of his students.  That year, I was one of the kids.  He told me that in all his years teaching, I was the only student he’d taught that started off with a D and ended up with a B, and that he thought maybe I was somehow different. 

We both laughed as I recalled how angry I was that I got that D and that I wasn’t ok with that.

That night we kindled a friendship that I feel truly blessed to have, and since then, Jerry Sachsel and I have remained good friends.

Fast forward again to 2018. 

I was bouncing around Facebook when saw a post in a Millburn-Short Hills group that I’m a member of talking about how Jerry was turning 80 years old and offering him congratulations.  I couldn’t help but notice how many people responded with an outpouring of gratitude, affection and appreciation for the impact my friend had on so many of their lives.  Students, parents, athletes and others all jumped in to talk about the difference this one man had made.  It really moved me.

Inspired, I immediately reached out to Jerry and asked him if he wouldn’t mind spending some time allowing me to interview him and memorializing his stories.  I knew that there would be a lot of people who would really appreciate the opportunity to share in Jerry’s wisdom.  Jerry agreed, and with that, towards then end of 2018 I spent several days with coach/teacher/mentor Jerry Sachsel where he generously shared some of his great life stories centered around three key topics; Wisdom, Success, and Coaching.

Our stories are so special.  Inside of them we can re-live our past life experiences.  If we pay attention, within those experiences we can reflect on our life lessons.  Embedded within our life lessons exists our wisdom.  If we follow that wisdom, we can often live happier, more fulfilling and less challenging lives.

In these challenging times that sometimes feel overwhelming, perhaps some of the wisdom and life lessons from Jerry’s life can help us all navigate our own challenges.

We hope you enjoy some of the wisdom and life lessons Jerry has generously shared.


Please feel free to download any of the Jerry Sachsel interviews for free by clicking on the links provided


Recording #1 – “Wisdom” – This interview centers around the theme of “wisdom”.  Hear Jerry provide wisdom on topics such as;

  • What makes someone wise
  • Wise decision making
  • Pivotal decisions
  • How to listen
  • The importance of following your passions
  • Who we look up to and how that influences us


Recording #2 – “Success” part 1 – In this recording, Jerry shares his observations on topics such as;

  • The impact of emulating someone great
  • Carrying lessons forward
  • Surrounding yourself with the best
  • Checking your ego
  • The importance of preparation
  • Attitude is everything
  • How to achieve respect


Recording #3 – “Success” part 2 – Hear Jerry’s reflections on how to succeed on topics such as;

  • Success in picking the right life partner
  • Success in being a spouse
  • Successful parenting
  • Worry free communication
  • How to settle differences


Recording #4 – “My years as a coach” – In this recording, Jerry expands on topics such as;

  • The 5 characteristics you need to be the best athlete
  • The people who inspired Jerry to coach
  • Sacrifices required
  • The behind-the-scenes story of Paul Finn and other Millburn greats


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