CBS 60 Minutes did a fabulous piece on Hall of Fame Coach Bob Hurley, from "Miracle on St Anthony" fame. Coaches that are a little "rough around the edges" (to borrow a good friends phrase) can be very polarizing in circles that evaluate their, performance, effectiveness, and quality of the players' experience.
Some quotes from the story really caught my attention. First, Coach Hurley doesn't sugar coach anything and players. They absolutely know what they're getting into. Coach Hurley says,
"I'm still one of the most demanding people that the kids are gonna come across"
But at the same time, that demanding nature comes form a great place.
" I think everybody can be better than they think they can be."
And being a former Parole Officer in New Jersey, he's used to working with a tough crowd.
"I'm dealing with adolescent males," Hurley said. "And in order to get them to perform on a regular basis, this group of people, I have to drive them. There's no question I have to drive them. Even the best teams I've had, there has to be times when you know you have to really push the pedal."
To ensure they live up to his expectations Hurley makes the kids sign a contract when they join his program.
"Don't know that it's legally binding, but you know, when I have to mete out justice, it's as far as I'm concerned, it's a legal document."
Asked what some of the items on the contract are, Hurley said,
"Alcohol, cigarettes, narcotics is one.... Some of them are haircuts, short haircut. No tattoos. Jewelry has to be basic. You know, a ring, a watch."
As with all coaches, he has had some players buck the system.
"Yeah, that's why I think that's why there are hinges on doors. You know? This is not meant for everybody,"
Clearly, Hurley get's results. Not only in the form of wins and championships, but off the court as well.
"I've only had two kids in 39 years that have not gone to college. And we're extremely proud of that, because we think that we've opened up doors in kids' lives that they didn't know that they could do. Their families certainly didn't know that they could do it. And it's because of education, it changes the direction of their life,"