THEY CALL HIM COACH

I’m sure by now you have heard and seen the mess at Rutgers University with their men’s basketball team.  As a boys varsity high school basketball coach, I get upset by stuff like this. As I watched the Rutgers basketball coach on video, I thought back to my coaches at Holy Name.

Growing up in the neighborhood, I played all sports for Holy Name.

Baseball, basketball, track & field and cross-country. Sure I developed lasting friendships with my teammates but what stuck out this morning were the guys that coached me.

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When I was in the third grade playing Bantam ‘B’ basketball my first coach was Georgie Rauthier. I recall the practices at P.S. 10 and us not winning many games all season.  I recall jumping in someone’s car and driving to and from games where we would get crushed by the likes of Regina Pacis and St. Finbar.

But Georgie made it fun.

It wasn’t about who played more minutes or who was the star. Didn’t matter the leading scorer either. We shared the ball.

Georgie was a joy to be around. I remember one night at P.S. 10 after practice he let us go wild and I recall him climbing the ropes that hung from the ceiling in the gym and he was flying around like spider man.

In the fourth grade it was time to play Bantam ‘A’ basketball for Danny Piselli. Danny was the best coach I have ever had. He taught us the game. Sure there were times I fought his philosophy/discipline, but deep down I was soaking it all up.

To this day Danny has been a great friend and I credit him with giving me a shot in the coaching profession too.  I also credit him for the small amount of success I have achieved and the path I have taken. He made me believe in myself and love the game of basketball. (I still use a few of his practice drills with my players)

The late Joe Farrell and Tom Brady were two others who coached me in baseball and basketball.

‘Fonz’, as he was affectionately known taught me how to pitch while a sixth grader and helped shaped my love for the game of baseball. At times he had me feeling like Dennis Leonard of the Kansas City Royals.

Mr. Gruschow was my track and cross-country coach – those days will never be lost. I could still see everyone meeting at the 10th avenue entrance of the park and walking over together to practice when Mr. Gruschow arrived.

I’ll never forget the day at Midwood field when I won the 100 yard dash. As I crossed the finish line I looked up into the stands and saw Mr. Gruschow; he was applauding and telling me, “WAY TO GO STEVE!”

Sometimes as kids we have no idea where we’ll end up in the game of life; I never thought I’d coach, really. But I love it and I enjoy helping kids.

This is a special shout out to my coaches at Holy name – truly unforgettable. You guys helped teach me how to play the game, how to act in public and most of all, how to treat people.

Did you have a favorite coach from Holy Name?

Respectfully,

Red

HOOPS135@HOTMAIL.COM

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9 Responses to THEY CALL HIM COACH

  1. jiimyvac says:

    One of my regrets is not playing for Holy Name as a kid. When I played in the summer league, Mr. McNally would give me some tips. My high school coach, Vincent Ciraullo, was great. Demanding, paitent,, good listenerm and had a sense of humor… which is what all coaches should have… he was kind and patient to me as a young strugging player, and as I progressed , he became more demanding. One of the things, I picked up from him wothout
    even realizing it, was after a loss, just say to the kids, pack it up, practice tommorrow at 3:00 PM.. I often saw coaches berating players after a tough loss, which is riduculous… the players feel bad and are still reeling form the game.. our coach waited until practice and then emphatically go over each
    thing ewe did wrong and how it should not happen again…. I always thought
    he was a good coach but as years progressed, and watching my kids’ coaches, I now realize he was a great coach….

  2. mike slavin says:

    WE HAD A LOT OF GREAT COACHES IN H.N DANNY & FORTE WERE 2 OF THE BEST. I HAD THEM ALSO PLAYING UP IN FORD DURING FRESHMEN YEAR. FORTE WAS THE GOOD COP AND DANNY ACTED LIKE THE BAD COP. ALL IN ALL THEY TAUGHT US THE GAME WELL.

  3. TonyF16th St says:

    Its so sad when incidents like Rutgers and Penn State over shadow all the good coaches that are out there( on all levels) and the lives they helped.
    It trully is a thankless job and they never really get the accolades they so well deserve.

  4. jiimyvac says:

    I have been teaching driver’s ed part time for the past 17 years and had a number of jocks and the stuff about the coaches is ridiculous..one kid had a baseball tryout with the Brewers and his football coach did not want him to miss summer camp… the dad had to plead with the coach to get one day off to fly the kid to Milwaukee and back the same day..another coach threatened the kid’s starting spot if he played another sport.. another coach sneers at the kids when they take water breaks….the best coaches look out for the kids first. Lombardi may have said winning is the only thing but he meant at the pro level where your job depends on it ….

  5. Eddie Matula says:

    Jimmy Maloney Sr. -RIP- My first basketball coach back around 1982, 1983. Little Jimmy was 3 years younger than me but I remember his dad having him play with us and I remember being proud when I saw him playing in the NCAA tournament. He also played at Xaverian while I was there—I never tried out there for hoops—went on to ice hockey and swimming. Bart and Paul were my first swimming coaches at Holy Name where we used to swim in the CYO, always Friday nights at James Madison against the likes of St.Thomas or Good Sheperd. For baseball, Mr. Galvin from Windsor Place was always a great guy to be around . Best and toughest though was my dad who managed our team for a bunch of years at Holy Name. PS- I knew the Rauthier family pretty well since I grew up two doors over from them on 10th avenue—–remember their dog Bishop barking at me when I was a kid….lol

  6. Chris Bullock says:

    Red…I stop by and read everynow and then. I miss the neighborhood and all that went along with it. Your pen is as good as your jumper and I’ll be in line to buy your book!

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