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Obsession to Coach PART I So, you’re a young basketball coach and YOU want a NEW job. First of all, Good Luck!!! I mean that sincerely, because the opportunities for a coach to move up the ladder as opposed to sideways are slim to none. My advice to you is to work your ass off where you are, and be OBSESSED with networking. (Networking is a MUST!) Finding and being hired at a new position has become “an art form” in itself within the coaching profession. Remember this, “It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know”. And, if you are unfortunate enough to be associated with the wrong coaches, you will be forever stuck where you are or even worse, your coaching career will enter the “insurance salesman” phase. I started out at 23 years old. I was fresh out of college and knew absolutely nobody, but I was obsessed with becoming a college coach. Webster’s defines obsession as, “a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling”, but when you are young and dumb, none of that seems to matter.

Spring semester of my senior year (1982) I sent out 362 hand written notes to every college I could. THREE HUNDRED and SIXTY-TWO HANDWRITTEN NOTES… I received ONE response back. HERE IS THE ACTUAL LETTER June 1982 That ONE response was a hand written note from the Head Basketball Coach at DII San Francisco State, Coach Kevin Wilson. (I still have the note framed in my office.) He explained that the school had no money to hire me, but would be open to having me help out on a voluntary basis. I was thrilled. I couldn’t believe it. I packed my bag and drove all night from San Diego to San Francisco. Thirteen hours later, broke and in a rundown Honda Prelude, I managed to arrive at 5:30am the day after I received Coach Wilson’s note. I stood for 2 hours and then sat for an hour waiting outside his office for Coach Wilson to arrive. I heard steps coming down the hallway and sprung up, straightened my suit and stuck out my hand, “Coach Wilson, I am Gary Trousdale, I got your note yesterday and wanted to show you how bad I want this job.” He replied, “Sorry Gary, I’m Andy Reid, the assistant football coach, Kevin won’t be in for another hour or so.” I was embarrassed beyond belief and wanted to run out of there as quick as I could but sucked it up and waited. Andy is now the Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Another hour later I heard steps again, but this time I waited……

Obsession to Coach Part I  
Obsession to Coach Part I  

Obsession to Coach is an ongoing series of blogs describing my journey in the coaching profession. Obsessed and willing to do anything to mo...