When you're the winningest coach in Indiana high school football history, perks are to be expected. It's not every day a coach like Larry "Bud" Wright comes along and does what he has for the past 49 years.

Even to type that number is astonishing. And really, it should be.

49 years.

There aren't many men that would choose to commit that much time or nearly their entire professional lives to a singular pursuit for almost five decades.

But with commitment comes the rewards, and the legendary Sheridan head football coach definitely has achieved those.

392 victories. Nine state championships. Enshrinement into the Indiana High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame. The honor of coaching on a field every year that bears your name.

Forget bronze statues for Reggie Miller outside Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Peyton Manning in front Lucas Oil Stadium. The real shame would be if the town of Sheridan doesn't raise a Rocky-esque cast figure of Wright somewhere on school grounds years down the road.

He's earned that right as I'm sure the occasional free meal, pat on the back or admiring handshake around the same town he singlehandedly put on the map.

When coach Wright and this family became the focus of NFL Films this past summer and fall, the reaction was exactly as it should be.

No surprise.

His story and his family's journey, heartbreak endured from the loss of Wright's wife Jane, and the celebration of success through adversity is a tale worth sharing to the world.

From humble beginnings to modest hierarchy, the Wright family doesn't do anything to impress, they do because that's the only way they know.

Hard work. Sacrifice. Love. Family. Together.

In the short film produced about their lives, which was nominated for NBC's Together We Make Football contest, the family finally received some well-deserved recognition.

The video became a finalist in the nationwide competition that promised to send the lucky winner to Super Bowl XLIX.

Unfortunately, the Wrights didn't win the big one this time, but it seems, as he normally does, coach Wright won over his onlookers.

As reported by WTHR Channel 13 on Monday, Colts owner Jim Irsay is making it right. Contacting coach Wright by phone, the at times wildly and outlandish free spirit is giving Indiana's football king the royal Super Bowl treatment.

Irsay is sending coach Wright and one guest to the big game, personally flying them out on his private jet to watch the 49th Super Bowl for the leader of young men (and women) for 49 years.

Perhaps it was the father-son connection, having followed in Robert Irsay's shoes that promoted him to be so generous? Or maybe it was the Manning element and after seeing a tight-knit group of Archie, Peyton, Eli and Cooper for years gravitated him to Wright's story?

Or it could simply be what most of us already know. It's only right.

So though his annual trip to Florida has been ended prematurely, Bud Wright is going to the right destination this Sunday.

He deserves it ... the same can't be said for the New England Patriots, but that's for another time.



Rich Torres is the sports editor of The Noblesville Times and Hamilton County Sports Daily. You can follow him on Twitter @TheTimes_Sports and @RealRichTorres. He can be reached at rich@thetimes24-7.com