Coaching the Craft
The exciting new Missouri head coach, the second most winning coach in the nation over the last five years, and a legendary hall of famer, they were all at Columbia College this weekend speaking to six hundred high school basketball coaches from all over the Show-Me State. They've won a total of 915 games among them, much thanks to Norm Stewart, with a combined winning percentage of 67.3%. Just to give you an idea of how good these three coaches are.
"This is how I really learned about basketball, going to clinics, going to practices. I still remember listening to Coach Wooden and Denny Crum at a clinic in Louisville and just being in awe and just being like 'man I wish I could be like them some day,'" said Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber.
Coach Stewart captivated the audience with his numerous anecdotes, Coach Weber with his intricate offense, and Coach Anderson with his suffocating defense.
"Coaches, if you look at them, are teachers, and they're people that are interested in young people. And so every time they come to a clinic like this, they're looking for one or two things that will help them in their classrooms, in this case the gymnasium," said Norm Stewart, head coach from 1967-1999.
While Anderson and Weber were there to help the high school coaches, the two certainly had one another on their minds.
"Half of the stadium is black and gold, the other half is orange, and so it will be interesting. I think they've kind of been dominating the series lately, so hopefully we'll put a team out there that's going to get after them, and we'll see what happens," said Missouri Head Coach Mike Anderson.
"Our SID people told us that every first year coach has always won it. So we're going to have to break that hex this year. We can't let Mike get one on us this year," said Weber.
The two coaches face off on December 19th in the annual MU-Illinois bragging rights game in St. Louis. Anderson takes over a Tiger team that hasn't beaten Illinois in this century.
But on this day, at least Anderson, Weber, and Stewart gave 600 lucky coaches the chance to learn the X's and O's of basketball from the very best.