Learning the craft: the La Cumbre years 1969 to 1973

My first four years of coaching were at La Cumbre Junior High School in Santa Barbara California, in the neighborhood where I grew up. I taught Physical Education and over the four years there I coached track and cross country each year as one season each of football and basketball.

It was a real learning experience, learning the craft of coaching with boys aged 12 to 15 in seventh, eighth and ninth grade. I taught four or five periods of PE and then coached after school at the same time I was training for the decathlon. Time management and attention management were crucial. Looking back on the experience fifty years later I would not trade the experience for anything. I am still in contact with many of the “kids”. Even though they are all grown up now in their sixties I still call them kids. Been great to see their life journeys and how what we did in sport influenced them and reflect on how much they taught me about life and coaching. It was a great foundation the next 50 years and continues to be today.

The photo is collage that a friend one of mine put together the year I was coaching football. Yes, we did wear ties when we coached back then – an influence of my mentor.