Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os.


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National Team Head Basketball Coach Dear Dunph, Thank you. You gave a very inexperienced, young coach who was at best an average Division 3 player the opportunity of a lifetime when you asked me to join your staff at the University of Pennsylvania. Your impact on my career and, quite frankly, my life cannot be overstated. I appreciated how you allowed me to grow as a coach. You never micro-managed. You instilled confidence by allowing me to have an impact on the practices and games. Most head coaches' egos would prevent them from allowing an assistant to have this much to say.

It was never about you and always about the team. Most coaches say this, but few live it. You live it. Your ability to lead, teach, and coach was amazing. What separates you from many others, though, is how you treat everyone that you come in contact with. This is where, for the 10 years that I worked with you, I learned the most. Your humility is genuine.

Your selflessness is incredible.


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You are the most competitive person I have ever met, yet your principles are never compromised. You are a true leader. Everyone who has played for you may not have comprehended this during the four years they played for you-"we can be friends after your four years! Congratulations on your remarkable career and your positive impact on so many lives.

And thank you, again, for your impact on my life. Dunph, I am pleased and grateful to Temple University to be able to salute a great friend, Dunph. You have the most extraordinary of talents in that all you touch is better because of your uncanny ability to be present. My family considers you a treasure. My program and school consider you a fierce competitor. Our profession considers you the ultimate role model and servant to the game.

I consider you to be my "brother. Dunph, may God bless you as He has blessed all of us whom you have impacted. In I became an assistant coach at the Abington Friends School and now Coach Dunphy started showing up in our gym as he was interested in one of our players; not the other, but another Michael Jordan.

After one meeting he knew my name.

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Seeing him as this iconic college coach, I quickly realized he was really just another guy, one fortunate enough to get paid to coach basketball. He called me 'Shifty', my nickname in many circles. In I began working at Comcast SportsNet and whenever possible had him as guest on the network.

No matter what the circumstances or how big the upcoming game he never refused. Anything to help me look good. As my coaching career progressed I saw him at many clinics and went to numerous practices and there's not enough room here to explain all the things I learned from him and still use. But what I admired most was the side most people don't see. Where his outside demeanor is so calm, there is no one I ever witnessed more intense and focused in practice.

His charge was to get his players better as players and as people. He was unwavering. That, to me, is his greatest success. He is a true Philadelphia treasure and I am proud to call him a friend and mentor. He is simply the greatest.

“X’s and O’s or Jimmies and Joes?” -

Dear Dunph, I have read every letter and watched every video more than a few times, hoping my own words could reflect what has already been expressed. I feel honored to join so many others who can call you "friend. Your loving friend, Bud. I know that your humility will not allow all these accolades to change you one iota. We go back to the flat jump shots in St. Dot's gym to avoid hitting the ceiling in No wonder we all learned to drive to the basket. But, that's where it all began. Why would a college basketball star, getting ready for the tryout of his lifetime the U.

Army Hoop team , take the time to help a 5'8" high school sophomore learn how to come off a screen for an open jump shot or beat his man to the hoop? Why, because that's who you were then and still are today. Too young to appreciate you back then, I started to realize things as I aged. I'm pretty sure my wife Ann of 37 years is still grateful for your heroics that night.

You are always there for anyone who asks of you, be it family, friends or anyone else for that matter.

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Others have said it before, but I've never met a person on this earth who takes the time to make perfect strangers feel important more than you do. It's a trait that I try to imitate as much as possible, and teach to my kids as well. The number of smiles you have brought to peoples faces for just giving them less than a minute of your time is endless. But, my description of you will forever be — Fran is one of the greatest coaches in College Basketball, but a way better person than he is a coach.

I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I will miss watching your teams play, but I wish you all the happiness and peace for many, many years to come. Thank you, my friend. God Bless You. Paul M. Dear Dunph, My life changed dramatically and for the better when I started playing basketball at Malvern Prep as a sophomore, in , under Coach Dunphy. The lessons he taught me and my teammates have impacted me for 43 years. My most lasting memories of playing for and being around Dunph are as follows: He was the most intense and demanding coach I have ever been around - he did not accept or allow his players to make excuses.

He treated everyone on the team equally and fairly. He cared about you much more passionately as a person than as a player. He had a tremendous rapport with other coaches and many, many Philadelphia basketball icons. I learned very quickly that Coach Dunph wasn't about wins and losses, nor was he a brilliant hoop strategist. At Malvern Prep were not revolutionizing the game of basketball.

He simply challenged us every day, in every drill, in every practice, to get better. Often times, he pushed us harder than we wanted to be pushed but that didn't bother him at all. He was overly demanding and did not miss anything we did, right or wrong, on the court. Some of his most blistering post-game commentaries occurred after wins attained only due to a talent discrepancy. The outcome wasn't the issue, the effort was. It didn't matter if you were the best players on the team, the manager or the mediocre point guard in between, Dunph treated you the same way.

Danny Flynn was our manager and I was the mediocre point guard. It didn't matter to the coach, as he treated us all in the exact same manner. By the way, the only one who ever got away with giving Dunph any crap was the manager. He had an incredible capacity to care about and for the people he was coaching. I believe this was a trait that he picked up from his high school coach, Dan Dougherty. I am one of 9 children, 5 brothers and 3 sisters. On many game days, I was very fortunate to have all 8 of my siblings and both of my parents in attendance.

By December of my sophomore year, my coach not only knew a lot about my parents but he also took the time to learn every one of my brothers' and sisters' names, plus a bit about their station in life. It mattered greatly to Dunph what our teachers said about us in the classroom and how we interacted with our parents and family members away from basketball. Finally, one of the most impressive things to me about Dunph was how many good friends he had who were opposing high school coaches.

You could see how highly regarded he was through their exchanges both before and after games. When the Markward Basketball Club deservedly honored my talented teammates, Dunph made sure all of the players on our team attended those luncheons.

"It's Not About the X's and the O's It's All About the Jimmy's and the Joe's"

The directors of the Markward Club at that time were Andy Dougherty and Tex Flannery, two great men who knew everyone on the basketball landscape of Philadelphia. The way that Dunph shook hand with these men and the countless other hoop icons in the room was testimony to his respect for them and in turn, their respect for him. My teammates and I were an important part of the fabric of Philadelphia basketball because our coach was Fran Dunphy.

I graduated from Malvern in '79 with a high school diploma, plus a PhD in basketball and in life thanks to Dunph.


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For the past 43 years my high school coach has continued to be the second most influential and inspirational man in my life, next to my father. Coach Steve Donohue said it more eloquently than I can so I'll paraphrase his words here; since I was 15 years old, I've been able to use Coach Dunph as a moral compass when dealing with difficult decisions. I am honored and privileged to call him a role model and a friend. He has chosen to make a profound difference in my life and for that I am eternally grateful.

Now if he could only chip and putt Then you would proceed to explain how we all had no choice and should feel that way because we were so fortunate and lucky to be playing and coaching college basketball!


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  4. Football coaches are notorious for their often obsessive focus on game planning, film breakdown, and the technical aspects of the game. Older fans will remember stories of Eagles coach Dick Vermeil sleeping in his office and the commitment of coaches like Bill Belichick and Nick Saban have reached l. So, is it all worth it? At the high school level, does increased hours in the film room and at the white board lead to more success on the field?

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    Offenses and defenses are more sophisticated, and the availability of technology has been both a blessing and a curse for those coaches hoping to get home for supper. Good coaching involves far more than drawing up formations on the board, particularly at the high school level. Unfortunately, it is often easy for coaches to lose themselves in game planning, sometimes to the detriment of on the field instruction. High school football coaches meetings can become long, as the staff becomes swept up in the endless discussion. At the high school level, athletes can only retain so much information, given their cognitive development and non football responsibilities.

    Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os. Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os.
    Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os. Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os.
    Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os. Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os.
    Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os. Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os.
    Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os. Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os.
    Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os. Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os.
    Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os. Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os.
    Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os. Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os.
    Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os. Coaching Kids: It Aint all Xs and Os.

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