Coaches have gone from GQ to batting practice PDF Print E-mail
Written by George Browning   
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 08:18

There is an old saying, dress for the position you want, not the position you have.

That’s hard for people who are forced to wear uniforms because what they wear is dictated by what their boss says they must to wear.

I am fortunate in that I have a job that is pretty casual. When weather permits cargo shorts and a T-shirt will do.

There have been times when I’ve dressed like a slouch and found myself in a room full of important people.

The most recent time I can think of was when Presidential candidate Ted Cruz made a surprise visit to campaign in Starlight.

I was at work already when I found out about the visit and luckily it was still pretty cold out, so it was slacks and a T-shirt that day not shorts. That’s not what I would have worn, however,  had I known that morning when I left the house I was going to meet the potential future president of our country.

Cruz didn’t bat an eye at my attire that day, but truthfully, I should have been prepared for anything when I left the house.

In this job you never know who you are going to be in front of on a given day. I guess it goes back to the wisdom of my mom, “Always have on clean underwear when you leave the house in case you get in an accident.”

That seems silly until you find yourself in an emergency room with yesterday’s draws on – (I am from Kentucky, we never said underwear growing up, it was always draws).

So I guess dressing nice for work every day would be the equivalent to putting on clean draws (or underwear if you prefer).

But we get lulled into this trap where weeks and weeks go buy and we never find ourselves under dressed so we go back to cargo shorts and T-shirt until they call on a Thursday morning and say there is a ribbon cutting at such and such location.

I really do love to dress up! It wouldn’t bother me at all if we as a society went back to all men wearing suits and hats and all ladies wearing dresses.

That’s not going to happen because style has been replaced by comfort!

In fact, even the professions where people always used to dress up, have moved toward wearing more casual attire.

If you go into most mega churches on a Sunday morning it’s more than likely the pastor will be dressed in jeans. I’ve seen it time and time again.

Doctors still wear dress slacks and button downs, but growing up you never saw a doctor without a tie.

That brings me to the profession that sparked me writing this column – basketball coaches.

I love the high flying, fast paced modern game of basketball. I want to see scoring and lots of it – so much so, that if I had a vote, I have them use a shot clock in high school.

While I love innovations that speed the game up and allow for more scoring, I am also a traditionalist at heart.

One of the traditions I’ve always liked is coaches wearing a suit and tie. When Coach Rick Pitino walks into the media room after a game, you can usually tell by the way his suit looks how the game went.

If he left the shirt, tie and jacket on all game, it was probably a lopsided win! A close win or loss, the jacket is the first thing to go. If things get really tense the tie follows.

If the came is really close Pitino unbuttons the top button.

College and NBA coaches still, for the most part, wear a suit tie for games – unless they are at a pre-season tournament in Hawaii and in that case Polo or Hawaiian shirts are perfectly acceptable.

Something has happened in high school basketball in 2017 coaches are increasingly scrapping the suit and tie for this new fashion trend. At several schools I cover the coaches wear these things shirts that look like they are more appropriate for batting practice at a baseball game than strolling the sidelines in a high school gym.

Scottsburg Head Coach Brent Jameson had a suit and tie on in their sectional loss at Salem last week. It did my heart good to see a young coach going old school.

Eastern’s Head Coach Scott Newcomb is at least a generation before Jameson, but he and his staff always don shirts and ties, as well.

Sean Smith at West Washington, for big games usually puts a suit on.

I am sure there are plenty of others who dress up that I am leaving out, but the ones who do are becoming less and less.

And at the end of the day, how a coach dresses doesn’t determine a teams winning or losing, but I do think there is something to this dressing for success.

I mean it’s why we want our sports teams to have nice, neat hair cuts, with matching shoes and matching uniforms, because uniformity is pleasing to the eyes.

I know this will fall on deaf ears, mainly because if there was a coach who submitted a letter to the editor asking newspapers to ban cargo shorts and T-shirts, I probably wouldn’t pay much attention to it either!

For any coaches who read this, I will issue a challenge, if you start dressing up for games next year, so will I!

If you don’t, I’ll see you in the gym, I’ll be the guy with clean underwear, in cargo shorts and a T-shirt!

What do you think? Does it matter what the coach wears when they patrol the sidelines. How about preachers and doctors. E-mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .