The recent column by Pat Pickens critically evaluating the coaching ability of Fairfield Warde High School girls head basketball coach David Danko ["Warde's Danko bitten again by big-game bugaboo," Feb. 17] fails to consider the most important function of any scholastic athletic coach -- to well prepare young people for their adult life.

The lessons to be learned from sports have direct applicability to the challenges of the academic and business worlds. Proper athletic instruction can be very instrumental in young people achieving success in both of these areas. Few, if any would challenge the notion that coach Danko does exactly that in his basketball programs.

The successful life record of his former athletes is testament to the true value of his coaching, far beyond his won/lost record in small or big games. (It is necessary to win a lot of small and not-so-small games to get to play in big games).

Your article was remiss in not bringing coach Danko's entire record to the attention of your readers.

Gene Riccio

Fairfield