you're going to be demanding and get those kids to die for you out there, you'd
better hug 'em off the floor, you'd better be concerned about their lives, and
you'd better give 'em love."
of affection and abuse has worked beautifully over the years. His teams have
won 517 of 726 games over 28 seasons. Last year at Menlo he became the first
coach to win the Charles B. Emerick Teaching Prize.
naturally arises: If this Presley guy is such-a genius, such a great motivator
and such a defensive wizard that pro coaches call him in to teach their
players—which they do—how come he's not working at a major college?
Age is one
reason. Not many schools are willing to hire a man 56. An even more likely
reason is Presley's habit of raving about gutless administrators and
More than 10
years ago, practically on the eve of his being named the coach at College of
San Mateo, a good junior college job, Presley got into a brawl with two
hecklers at a Cubberley High game. Avina got the job instead, built a good
record and moved on to Portland. In 1966 Presley did get an assistant's
position at Gonzaga, with a good chance of taking over as head man in a few
years, but he had a dispute with his boss and left.
If he had his
life to live over, Presley would do many things differently, but he would still
be a coach. He speaks about his calling with revival-tent fervor.
be discouraging at times," he told a clinic recently, "but far more
often it is deeply satisfying and rewarding. Youngsters are naive, they are
variable, they are sometimes obstinate and incomprehensible, but they are also
warm, flexible, loyal and incurably optimistic. They lift us up when we are
down, they deify us when we and all our peers know that we have feet of clay,
and they constantly reaffirm our faith in the innate goodness of man.
how much we give of ourselves to our kids, we can never match by half what they
give us in return. We tend to bellyache and despair at times. Some of us are
petty and belittle our fellow coaches, and all of us by necessity are a little
insane. But we should count our blessings because we in the coaching profession
are the most fortunate people on the face of the earth."