June 12, 2014 at 1:00 am

Father's Day tribute: Detroit-area coaches showed path to success by dads

Lions coach Jim Caldwell, left, with father Willie Caldwell, son James Caldwell II and grandkids Trey and Joshua. (Special to Detroit News)

Jake Boss Jr., Jim Caldwell and Brady Hoke did not have to search far to find their heroes, their role models.

They were right there in their homes.

Since Fatherís Day is a day we commemorate fathers, these three men, all coaches, are sharing with Detroit News readers why their fathers were such enormous influences on their lives and careers.

Boss Jr. and his father have been forever connected by their love of baseball. The son has played for his father, coached against him and, after reaching the pinnacle of his career as Michigan Stateís coach, had his father join his staff as a volunteer assistant. Hereís their story.

For Caldwell, discipline and hard work are at the core of his coaching. He learned that from his father, Willie, who began working in Mississippi when he was nine years old. Now 80, Willie Caldwell worked 35 years for General Motors and never missed a day. Hereís their story.

And, Hoke, Michiganís football coach, lost his father, John, to cancer just more than two years ago. Because of the demands of his job and wanting to be strong and supportive for his mother, Patricia, he never has really had an opportunity to grieve. Hereís their story.

All three men credit their fathers for the foundation of their goals and expectations for themselves and their teams.

And for that, they are forever grateful.