OK, I really don’t know which final four coach is going to guide his team to victory, but I know who I’m rooting for.

The guy in the sweater. 

 He’s the only one who knows what to wear to a basketball game.

How many male fans wear suits to a basketball game?  Most guys don’t even wear a suit to regular religious services.  Likely they’ll just wear a nice dress shirt and some  casual or dress slacks to church.  It’s out of the realm of anyone’s mind that they would look to their wardrobe before a basketball game – even a bigtime college game – and think, “You know, I think this is an occasion for my Armani.”

So, what is it with these coaches?  Of course, they can all afford the finest tailored threads.  After all, their salary packages are stratospheric.  Maybe all the money went to their heads, or they just want to look nice (read, be noticed) for the TV cameras.  Maybe they just want to stand out as “a very important guy” in the gym.  Or maybe, they’re just nuts. 

There are other guys on game day that also wear suits – the assistant coaches and all the other guys in the coaching entourage that so much as carry a clipboard.  I’m sure that they have their marching orders.  Surely it’s bad sartorial etiquette for the head coach to wear a suit and the head recruiter wear khaki.

Funny thing, though – I have never ever seen a picture of a basketball coach wearing a suit at practice.  Maybe that’s because, “We’re talkin’ ’bout practice, man. Not da game.  We’re talkin’ practice. Practice.  We’re not talkin’ ’bout da game.  We’re talkin’ ’bout practice.  Practice.”  (Thank you, AE for the best narrative ever heard in the history of sport – and also the truest)

I’ve always liked Bob Knight.  Sure, he’s got his foibles but the man always wore a sweater to coach a basketball game.  Of course, it wasn’t always a perfect fit, but you could count on him to walk out on the court sweatered in the bright color of his team.  Now, that’s a coach who knows damn well what he’s doing.  It wasn’t  about GQ with Bob Knight.  It was about his  coaching the game. 

Unfortunately, the suit-wearing basketball coach pandemic has spread to the junior college, high school and, even, elementary school ranks.  Will the YMCA, Boys and Girls clubs, and pick-up games be next?  You keep watching with me, will you?

Go, Mountaineers, with one caveat.  Every once in a while, Huggins shows up at a game looking like . . .  oh, no!!


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. My high school coach required the team and everyone associated with the team to wear a coatr and tie to games. He said it was about respect. They rarely show the arrivals on TV, but I bet when Izzo’s team climbs off the bus at the arena they’re wearing jackets and ties, too… not warm up suits or saggy pants.

  2. Thanks for your comments. I think being well dressed in public is a good thing, and I applaud it. However, my opinion about coaches wearing suits at games still stands.

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