Coaching 101

A reader sent in an excerpt from legendary USC coach John McKay’s 1966 book, “Football Coaching.” This page offers how a coach should deal with the public.

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  • John McKay: Professional, EARNED his jobs, never threw players under the bus, never wore a headset or carried a play card, hired the BEST assistants he could get, could change his defense or offense the week of the game to outwit his opponent and could make halftime adjustments. Was glib, funny and could be a total ass with his players but they had his respect.

    Lanie Kiffin: Unprofessional, NEVER earned his jobs, constantly throws players under the bus, wears a headset and hides his face ( and black eye ) behind monstrous play card ( but he only seems to run 4 plays for this huge card ), hires dimwits for assistants because no one will work for him, can’t or will not change his offense or defense the week of a game to outwit his opponent and can’t make halftime adjustments. Is dull, unfunny and his players don’t respect him at all.

    • Ted

      Who ever said that Kiffin was Mckay?

      • Kiffin = Hackett Is that better ?

        • Ted

          I’d say Kiffin= Larry Smith…Kiffin is suited for coaching a mediocre program like Missouri at best

    • Kidd sounds like JK McKay

    • Well if you’re going to go ahead and compare them…

      McKay had bad seasons too. Maybe(?) Kiffin will pick it up next year? McKay was 4-6 his first year, 4-5-1 his second, and undefeated his third. I guess the question is was USC freaking out after his second season?

  • Rigged4fun

    The previous poster summed it up pretty well. The problem is, that unless enough pressure on the athletic dept. to fire Kiffin, it all a moot point.

  • disqus_NI2FR4qoAK

    And you hang at Julie’s…after practice….

  • betomas

    Kiffin would LHAO if he read that excerpt and just say that it’s outdated and that you need to cheat to win. But he SHOULD take a page from John McKay’s book.

  • Spedjones

    I think there’s been a misunderstanding. Did ANYONE think Kiffin was McKay? Ever? He’s merely keeping SC’s coaching seat warm while the school works through snactions. The shame is that he’s not even doing that job well. Well, I guess it’s a shame if you actually like SUC.

    • TrojanFan

      Mora is keeping the ruin seat warm, until the NFL comes knocking

      • nard dog

        Mora to Chargers. Done deal.

        • Greg

          You Toejams are so delirious and obviously not very bright…..but then again are we surprised?

        • No way. Mora is a turd. Chargers want mora than that!

          • TrojanFan

            Turner or Mora what’s the difference?

          • The Bucket!

    • 1Emmit

      True. McKay in 15 seasons at USC coach won four national championships, nine conference championships and five of eight Rose Bowls. Not bad. He certainly deserved to write a book on coaching.

  • dtksr1

    Listen, if this football coaching philosophy was held today as a guideline, maybe half the coaches out there would be in default of deserving their jobs. Lets not forget, even though I loved Coach McKay, he had issues he was responsible for and the press did not lean on him as they would have today.

  • WEB_Dupree

    Here’s an excerpt I found from “Lane Kiffin’s Guide to Failing Upward”:

    When a person accepts a coaching job, he becomes a public figure, so the wise coach will often wear a disguise (such as a hood and sunglasses) while in public. If a coach must speak, it is best to hide one’s lips behind something large, flat, and laminated. It does not matter what is on the flat laminated item; tell your graduate assistants to Photoshop you onto a Wheaties box and laminate it (you will feel extra awesome that way). A coach’s actions are of public interest, so if you’re going to engage in any shenanigans, make sure you have a graduate assistant ready to take the fall. You cannot count on local beat reporters and bloggers to have your back!!

    Unfortunately, a coach will be expected to associate with big-time donors and give speeches before audiences full of rich old boosters, so make sure you tell one of your flunkies to put together a speech full of cliches and the best quotations from great coaches and athletes of the past. Also, throw in some Winston Churchill, Abe Lincoln, that Asian dude who wrote The Art of War, whatever. Just don’t quote any nazis, communists, or TJ Simers.

    In theory, the coach owes the fans an obligation to do his honest best in all aspects of coaching. In practice, you have no way of knowing whether doing your honest best will do you any good (see Neuheisel, Rick), so it is wiser to get the fans on your side early by either naming one of your kids after the town where you’re coaching, or hiring one or two of their favorite former assistant coaches. This should keep you employed just long enough for you to find a bigger sucker down the road, and there is always a bigger sucker out there — at least so far!

    By the way, while some old coot might have said that coaches have a duty to stamp out commercial exploitation, like, seriously, what does that even mean? Sounds like something a Marxist would say.

    • Nobody will waste their time reading this crap

    • TrojanFan

      Tell your mom she needs to keep it short and sweet

    • tl;dr

      was it worth your time to write that?

  • steveg

    Did anyone ever write a book like this about sports reporting?

  • RememberTheFreedomBowl

    A sacred trust to stamp out crookedness, bribery and commercial exploitation??? Didn’t realize coaches are responsible for stamping out the NCAA and ESPN……