By Joe Torosian
“When all else fails there’s always delusion.”—Conan O’Brien
Right off the Top: I guess I wrote a column last week calling for the end of Temple City football…I can’t find it on my computer but if you run across it can you forward it to me? Thanks.
I’ve had some nice things said to me after last week’s columns, but I keep getting asked why I want Temple City to drop its football program.
…And I don’t believe I wrote any such thing.
What I wrote was that another walk-on, who doesn’t work out, will likely put the program’s lights out.
I gave suggestions on how the parents and administration should approach the process of hiring a new head coach. I slammed the community (of Temple City), not necessarily the school, for its failure to recognize the history of it local treasure…The treasure being the great legacy of its football team.
But dropping the program? If it means a low-tier walk-on where safety becomes an issue, then they need to consider it.
My wish, however, is that Temple City football would live long and prosper.
My advice to any school looking to hire a football coach is to reach out to the writers covering the sport locally. The sportswriter doesn’t need the authority of hiring and firing, but their input can probably spare a school administration/boosters/parents/program a lot of pain.
The reason for this is that we will see anywhere from 20 to 30 different football teams in a given year. That means we will have seen head coaches, assistant coaches and booster programs in action.
(This doesn’t even take into account the fifty other teams we will see in passing leagues and summer workouts)
I’ve been contacted before and given input. I know others have as well. Anybody hiring in the community would do well to get a sounding from the staff at Mid Valley Sports and/or the staff (Aram Tolegian, Fred Robledo, Steve Ramirez) at the Star-News/Tribune. If headed west, seek out Jeff Tully, Charles Rich or Andrew Campa who work for the Times newspapers in Burbank and Glendale.
Again, not for a final decision but just for some insight. You will be glad you did.
Since I’m all about making the world a better place these days, I’ll keep going.
Retired coaches—meaning coaches that still love the game and players but hate the politics involved—should go into business scheduling seminars and “Schools of Coaching.”
They could teach young coaches/potential coaches everything from offensive and defensive philosophy to their philosophy on interacting with parents and administrations.
There could be/should be a class on handling finances. There should be Q & A session where a panel of coaches could answer questions.
Heck, these coaches don’t even have to be retired they could just come together for one or two Saturdays in the early spring.
Imagine a questions and answers panel featuring Lou Farrar (Charter Oak), Mike Maggiore (West Covina), Keith Knoop (Burroughs), Steve Bogan (Maranatha) and a Jim Singiser (Arroyo)—among others.
The wealth of information they have is staggering. Imagine these seminars including presentations from assistance like Chris MacMillan, Greg Vaniman, Brian Tabatabai, Mike Minter, Chris Williams, Brian Zavala and a Jude Oliva?
At the conclusion, give the coaches/potential coaches attending a certificate to say they went through the program.
Imagine a school having the ability to ask a candidate for a coaching job to include this certificate in his resume? Imagine the help this kind of accountability would be to a Principal in presenting his/her selection for the head coaching job to a school board/parents/booster club?
I think I’ve got something here…I’ll even do a seminar on press relations provided everybody in attendance buys my book…twice.
What do you think?
Here’s another thought…Something an administrator or a parent should ask a potential head coach…Ask them why they want to do it? Why do they want to coach even when in the best of places the climate is toxic: Lawyers, lawsuits, whiners, complainers…etc. etc…. Why do they want to do this?
If their first response is; “Hey, I’m just here for the kids.” …Don’t bother with a second question. My experience is that when someone says that they are, “…just here for the kids” that generally means they are here/there for themselves.
What you want to hear a coaching candidate say is, “I love coaching! I love the challenge! I love seeing teenagers grow into young men!”
It has to be something more than a job or good deeds—because you can always find a job and do good deeds. The head coach of a football program is like the captain of a starship…They just don’t let anybody captain a starship…They have to have energy, competence and a desire to be something more than just a good guy that everybody likes.
Football—all sports, but especially football—has the ability to be a life changer…Not in terms of fame and fortune but in the metamorphosis of going from a taker to a giver…Football requires you to give your glory to others…It requires you to give the best of yourself…To give blood, sweat and tears (love the band by the way)…And only the best of coaches—and their programs—can coax that transformation out of a teenager.
All sports play a part in growth and character prosperity…I’m just focusing on football because it requires guys to wear number “59” and number “78” and assimilate themselves into a larger plan…It requires them to give knowing little more than pride will be the returning dividend.
Football is a great tool in getting us from being excited about what we are opening under the tree on Christmas morning…to being excited about what others are opening under the tree on Christmas morning.
We can go from being a taker…to a giver…and doesn’t that make our community a better place?
Midbits (same as ‘Tidbits’)
Midbits: How the mighty have fallen. Two years ago the Kansas City Royals had baseball’s model bullpen. Now, heading into Spring Training, they’ve invited Brandon League, Bobby Parnell and Al Alburquerque to camp.
Midbits: I’m going to go out on a limb and take the New York Mets in the National League this year.
Midbits: Honestly, did anyone really sit down and watch the Pro Bowl on Sunday night?
Midbits: Did you know I used to write the XFL weekly preview for a national website? …I’m just asking because I’d forgotten myself.
Midbits: Go Patriots!
The Dude abides…
Contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” available through amazon.com …and “The Dead Bug Tales” available this February.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b