A reader just sent me this article by Richard Justice that was written during Billy Clyde’s time at Texas A&M. In it, the writer talks about Billy’s dealings with the media and his tendency to smirk and act as if reporters were asking stupid questions. After one rather smug answer in which Gillispie said his team would be just fine after a tough loss:
Let’s hope so. Let’s hope your team reacts to relentless defensive pressure better than it did Friday. Let’s hope it doesn’t give the other team’s best player such an easy shot at the end of a game. Otherwise, you might get snarky with us. In addition to a seminar on defense, you might want to attend one on media relations. You need to be reminded that news conference are as much for your fans as all those fat guys with holes in their shoes and donut crumbs on their free golf shirts. This is your forum for speaking to the people who really care about your program. You should be more careful about the impression you leave.
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Footnote: This guy is a teriffic coach. Criticizing his personality isn’t the same as criticizing his competence. A former coach attended one of his practices recently and came away raving at how Gillispie can be tough on players in practice and then wrap an arm around them when it’s over. Gillispie’s practices are as tough as any. One guy told me that his game day practices are tougher than some coaches run at any point in a season.
So let see….media problems, attitude issues and gameday practices that are tougher than what most teams do all season…..hmmm, guess we should have seen at least some of this coming.