As a lot of you know, I've been around basketball at various levels for over 25-years. During that time I've had the pleasure of coaching kids from Junior High, High School, AAU, and even some international athletes that were in their mid-20's. I've also been involved in varying degrees with a handful of pretty successful college programs of which most of you are already aware. Because of these unique experiences I've gathered some pretty interesting anecdotes along the way, some funny, some poignant, some just plain dumb.
At one point I'd decided to write a blog and include all the stories I could think of, but since there are so many I decided to just post an occasional short story as it came to me.
Now, before anybody out there has a coronary, please know that I won't use any names, or I'll least change them to protect the not-so-innocent (relax, Wills). That breeze you feel is a collective sigh from coaches all over the midwest and Eastern Seaboard.
So, hopefully you'll enjoy these little tales from time to time. Careful though. You just may recorgnize yourself. So, without further ado . . .
I think it was the fall before my second year as a high school varsity coach, and I was interviewing guys for my varsity assistant position (the coach who was with me the previous year had left and for the life of me I can't remember why). After the formal interview I was walking the fellow around, showing him the facilities, and answering any questions he may have. It had become obvious to me earlier in the interview that he was a religious sort. Me? Not so much. Anyway, as we were walking by some of my players lifting weights in the Field House, the following conversation took place:
Interviewee: "Coach, what is your sideline and practice demeanor like?"
Me: "Oh, I can be pretty intense but no worse than most coaches."
Interviewee: "Do you berate your players or use foul language?"
Me: "Not too much. I try and be pretty positive."
Alright, so that last answer was stretching the truth a bit. OK, a lot. But the worst was yet to come. At that point I had a bit of a brain cramp and did something stupid. I looked down at one of my players who was flat on his back lifting weights, and this exchange took place:
Me: "Roman, what was the worst thing that I said to you last year?"
Roman, looking thoughtful and without missing a beat: "Well, when we played Unioto you called me a gutless pussy."
After several seconds of crickets chirping and blank stares, I said, "O . . .K . . . moving on to our locker rooms . . ."
Believe it or not, I ended up offering the guy the job, and he took it.