Welcome to Asshole Coach Digest, where we regale you Deadspin folk with stories of the meanest, cruelest, most batshit insane coaches you ever had. Email me your asshole coach story here.
Before we get to this week's batch of asshole coach stories, how about that Urban Meyer? That quote from his daughter – "I got my daddy back" – just about killed me. How the fuck did Meyer explain his reversal to her? "Well sweetie, you don't actually get your daddy back. It's really more like Daddy is being temporarily loaned to you, not unlike a rental car or a moving van. But honey, I promise you that if hanging out with my family provides the same level of exhilaration as winning national titles in front of adoring crowds of 80,000 people year in and year out, Daddy might just extend his leave of absence an extra week or two."
Now, onto the stories.
And give a courtesy flush next time, too!
It was the night of my first game as a JV basketball player. We had an away game against a large school so the gym was packed and I was extremely nervous like everyone else. Our JV coach was giving us talk a few minutes before we went on the floor and the entire time the Varsity coach is sitting on the shitter, in a stall, a few feet behind him. As our coach is wrapping up, the Varsity coach flushes and exits.
Now this guy was a very decorated coach. So that coupled with being at a small school in a small town made him a legend of sorts. The Varsity coach sensing our coach was wrapping it up walks to the middle of the locker room and asks to talk to us for a second. Thinking he was going to give us a nice little speech or some pointers we all kind of perked up and waited for him to inspire. Instead he gives us this:
"Listen up JV. I know this is your first game but you assholes need to get one thing straight. You take a piss in this or any other locker room you sure as hell better lift the goddamn seat. I sit in anyone else's piss rest of this year I'll come to your practices and run you into the ground. Lift the fucking seat." And with that he left.
Buddy Ryan Approves
Our head coach was about 40, an excellent athlete when in high school and college. He's about 5'10, 180 and in excellent shape. Two stories with this ass clown:
1. We have no pads on, only helmets. He calls every one into a large circle and announces, "When I call your number - come to the middle of the circle. When I blow the whistle, I want you to fight." We're all best friends and we're looking out the corners of our eyes at each other wondering what is going on. "15 and 68", he yells. #15 is an all-state defensive back, and at 5'8, 160 is the hardest hitter I've ever seen in high school or college - and he's the craziest kid I knew. #68 is 6'4, about 270 and one of our better offensive lineman. They walk to the middle of the circle, #15 is going to smoke this kid even though they're good friends and he's giving up 8 inches and more than 100 pounds. The whistle blows, #15 gets #68 on the ground in half a second and goes right to work - this goes on for about 30 seconds until there is blood flying everywhere.
They blow the whistle and drag #15 off of #68 to find that the metal chin strap clip of #68 caused an enormous gash in #68's neck. Two coaches drag him off to the lockerroom. #15 is covered in #68's blood. Head coach yells, "34 and 54!" They come to the center, whistle blows and one of the best fights I've ever witnessed takes place. Assistant coach returns to field in the middle of this war, whisper's in head coach's ear - Whistle blows and he yells, "Take a lap, practice is over." We run our lap, head back down the hill to the gym to find an ambulance hauling away #68. He takes 50 stitches to his neck and needed a blood transfusion. Brushed off by everyone as an accident during a drill.
2. Fast forward a week, we're in pads leading up to our first game. Some of us are going through angle of pursuit drills - ball carrier streaks down the sideline, defensive player has to take the angle - maybe a 30 yard sprint - and make the tackle. One kid whiffs on the angle and Head Coach goes ballistic. He tells the next ball carrier to run on the whistle - he blows the whistle, ball carrier runs - head coach takes off on the angle, running like Usain Bolt with nothing on but a t-shirt, shorts and whistle. He lights up the ball carrier in one of the biggest collisions ever recorded on a football field. Head coach loses two teeth and takes 15 stitches to the forehead. Living the dream for the $4500 he was paid to coach us. We wound up 6-2-1, underachieved and missed the state playoffs. This guy is now the athletic director.
Commitment To Dismemberment
The summer between 6th and 7th grade my dad enrolled me in a football camp in Northern California. I had never played organized tackle football before, and he thought this would be a good introduction to the game. How wrong he was.
This camp included instruction from Pop Warner and high school coaches, as well as participation from current and former players (your friend Sean Salisbury was there). I was a pretty big kid for my age, but lacked the athletic ability required for most skill positions, and didn't have the girth to be a lineman. So when I had to declare a position at the camp's registration, linebacker seemed like the most logical choice.
At first I was a little nervous because most of the other kids at the camp seemed to have some experience, and I was still learning the basics of the game. However, as the week progressed, I felt more and more comfortable on the field. That all changed during a scrimmage in front of former Oakland Raider, and Jheri curl/Stickum abuser, Lester "The Molester" Hayes.
For some reason, mid-scrimmage, my coach decided to move me from linebacker to corner- Hayes' position- with absolutely no guidance or instruction. What could have motivated this decision, other than his demented personal amusement, or possible drug use, I will never understand. Since I barely knew what I was doing in the first place, and was moved to a position for which I clearly lacked the physical skills needed to play, I was totally lost out there. All I could think was "please do not pass it to the guy I am supposed to be covering". As it turns out, that would have been better than what actually happened.
On the first play, the opposing team ran a sweep to my side. All I could see was the fullback, lead blocking for the tailback, barreling toward me. I managed to sidestep the fullback, and clumsily arm-tackle the tailback to the ground. It wasn't pretty, but it got the job done. But that wasn't good enough for Hayes. He walked out onto the field, came right up to me and said, "Nah son, this is how you hit." After which he took a couple steps back, and throttled into me at full force, launching me clear off my feet and about 3 yards back. Stunned, I got up, dusted myself off and got ready for the next play, which I think was a pass to the other side of the field. However, two plays later, the offense ran the same sweep to my side, with the same exact result, and the same reaction from Hayes.
After that, I decided to never play football, and still can't believe that one of the most feared defenders in NFL history felt it necessary to physically (and mentally) destroy a 12 year old.
Staples: That was easy.
I swam for 4 years at a private D-1 school. I was a sprinter and thus lucky enough to work on "fine tuning" my racing skills during most practices rather than tirelessly swimming laps like the distance swimmers. This consisted of repeatedly doing starts, flipturns, one-lap sprints, etc., and being done and gone before the other suckers. During my freshman year we were working on starts and getting off the blocks as quickly as possible. Apparently myself and another freshman "were slower than the walk-on girls" and needed some scare tactic to jumpstart our reaction speed. Naturally, that inspirational tool was a staple gun.
The idea was for coach to stand right behind us in our starting position on the blocks and whistle at random moments for us to dive in. If we weren't off soon enough then we would feel the consequences. Of course, this was all just a joking reminder that we need to react quicker. As I stood focused with all of the mental and physical power I possessed, I listened..."Take your mark...." and waited for the whistle to shriek. Maybe it was because I wasted time wondering why the whistle noise was more of an air-pressured "THONK", or maybe it was because my dive wasn't even a dive at all but more of a reflex spasm induced by my gluteus maximus muscles, but I hit the water like a flailing duck and had my swimsuit attached to my ass. It hurt and wasn't fun to get out, but I realized that I would rather get a staple in my ass than actually have to train hard.
So yeah, my coach shot me in the ass with a staple gun because I was too slow. What an asshole.
Has your father not seen this ad?
I went to the same high school as my father. My father played for the only team in the school's history make it to the Final Four in the Texas playoffs in the late 60s.
One day when I was in high school, my father gets a call from one of his old teammates. The friend says he's at an Applebee's in Oklahoma staring at the team's final four trophy in one of their "flair trophy cases."
It turns out the coach I was playing for had sold all the school's trophies for new track uniforms.
My dad and my coach didn't get along after that.
I actually side with the coach on this one. It's an old trophy. No one else gives a shit but your old man.
And now, an update on THE GRIP!
I was at a Christmas party on Friday night at the home of a former classmate. He was there the day The Grip was pushed in the pool. He added that the only sound heard on the bus ride home was the whimpering of Don from the last seat.
As an aside, Don's house caught fire last week.