It can be more difficult to put a legacy of one-quarter century into words than into one room.
This was largely true Saturday night, when Newport Harbor High football coach Jeff Brinkley was celebrated by colleagues, former players, parents and community members for his momentous 25 seasons as the Sailors head coach.
Nearly 250 came to the Balboa Pavilion to share memories and their appreciation for a special coach whose historic impact goes beyond his 208-90-3 record that includes the program's only three CIF Southern Section championships (1994, 1999 and 2005).
Laughter, camaraderie, respect, reflection and music extended well into the evening and a handful of players and coaching colleagues shared their thoughts about Brinkley from the microphone on stage.
Mike White, a former head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Cal and Illinois, who was also an assistant for the 1999 Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams, spoke of working with Brinkley as an assistant coach in 1989, when White's son was an all-league receiver for the Tars.