"Average is not good enough". That's one of the lessons from Coach Ken Carter.
He inspired a Hollywood movie and on Thursday night he spoke to hundreds of people at Radford University.
"You do not get paid by the hour, you get paid by the value you bring to the hour," says Coach Carter.
He was the guest speaker at the McGlothlin Celebration of Teaching which awards teachers for their excellence in the classroom.
The winners of the 2012 McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence were Katherine Lear who teaches first grade at Penn Forest Elementary School in Roanoke County and Thomas Foster who teaches science at Paul L. Dunbar Middle School for Innovation in Lynchburg.
Coach Carter considers himself a teacher, a profession he says is one of the most important in the world.
"I didn't consider it a job I considered it a career and it was about changing people's lives and when you're able to do that you get rewarded for it," says Coach Carter.
Coach Carter's story is told in the 2005 movie starringSamuel L. Jackson.
He made headlines in 1999 when he locked his basketball players out of the gym and forbid them to play until their grades improved. The coach lost his job but in the end he and the team won. His players got serious about their studies and six of them went to college.
"I was a real parent with real problems and we were looking for real solutions," says Coach Carter, "The lockout did this: not only did our team win our community won most of all because those boys have now graduated from college."
Coach Carter says his goal is to inspire not matter how tough it looks. It's a job many teachers do every day.