I do all the grocery shopping in my family. As I'm wondering the aisles that has a friendly smile at Hy Vee, people are still greeting me with, "How's it going, Coach?" I'm not sure if they forgot my name or it's just a habit. I still like being addressed by my former profession.
In case you haven't kept up, the coach who took my place at Northwest is Mark Kellogg. Mark and his staff have done a great job. They just got a big road win at Central Oklahoma and are only two games out of first place. With a win this week, they will double the win total from my final team last year.
After the first hello, a lot of people ask if I miss coaching. I immediately say no, but that's not entirely true. I thought I would answer that question now.
I have to admit, when I drive on campus and wave at all the students, I feel like a stranger invading their space. They give me a look like why is that old guy driving on our campus. It's only been less than a year, but it is now different trying to be friendly stopping at all those pedestrian walk-ways and trying to be friendly.
I really miss the day to day communication with my staff. I still try to buy Lori Hopkins, my assistant for eight years, coffee every week or so. Just two ex-coaches keeping up with the coaching world is usually the main topic of conversation.
I do miss the players dropping by just to say hello or if they can get a free meal by hosting a recruit for lunch. If a player came to my door, there was usually an alternative to just checking on my health, but I didn't care.
I guess I miss the in-game strategy the most. I have to admit, I was getting tired of the constant repetition of practices, but I loved the game strategy. Most of the games I watch now are Sam's games.
He plays on a seventh grade team called the Hounds.
I always sit by myself so I don't embarrass myself by blurting out the situation and all the options for the coaches. Last weekend, the team held a three point lead with only five seconds remaining. They only had four team fouls.
After the game, I tried to explain to Sam the strategy of using those fouls to melt away the final five seconds. He, of course, told me I was wrong and the car went silent for the next five minutes. I have learned my 13 year old is definitely smarter than an old, retired coach.
There is one tradition I miss. After a big win, I would bring home a pint of ice cream to celebrate. It wouldn't be the frozen yogurt or low-fat sherbet. I would always get the type with at least three fattening ingredients. I figured I just as well go all in.
Being real honest, there is a lot I don't miss about coaching... I won't go into such detail but I often think of Coach Kellogg and his team enduring some of the things I don't miss.
The Northwest team just had a seven or eight hour bus ride into Oklahoma. The country side is brown and the sky is slate gray almost all the time. That can be depressing. If it is sunny, the bus interior overheats since the driver has to stay warm and the windows and sun overheats the climate for the players. I sure don't miss that.
Those bus seats are at a 90 degree angle. Even if you lean it back it doesn't help. You can't get comfortable on a Bearcat bus. Add that to the chick-flics the players put on the DVD players and you get off the bus with a headache and a back ache.
I still set my alarm at 5 am. I think I do it just to remind myself of the early morning film break-down. Now, I smile and turn off the alarm for a couple more hours of sleep.
I don't miss the guilt of walking out of Golden Corrals knowing I had just added several pounds to my already out-of shape body. I swear I would go into those buffets swearing I would eat light. However, the sight of 25 desserts was more than my will power could take.
I guess I'm just an old has-been. Even my own son won't listen to my coaching suggestions. I guess I'll have to be satisfied showing up 10 minutes late to games and be happy I'm retired.
By Gene Steinmeyer Guest Columnist
The Maryville Daily Forum - Maryville, MO
By Gene Steinmeyer Guest Columnist
Updated Jan. 23, 2013 @ 5:35 pm
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