Another Year Coaching


This week begins my 38th year of coaching. The longer it gets the more it seems like just yesterday that walked out of the field house in January 1969 at Santa Barbara High School to be greeted by 85 eager 10th, 11th and 12th graders all identically dressed in gym uniforms (boy is it different now). This was still first semester, but under CIF rules you could begin track practice during the athletic period. There were 85 boys out there that first day. When second semester started and basketball was over the number swelled to 130. Santa Barbara High had a great tradition in Track & Field, over the year it had produced numerous California State Champions and place winners. Little did I know that cool January day that in June I would be privileged to coach their next state champion. The head coach was Bill Crow. There are not enough superlatives to describe this man and the opportunity he gave me. By the end of career Bill had won over a 160 meets while losing only 24 – an incredible record. Bill was one of the toughest most demanding individuals I have known, but in a very quiet way. He was a man small in stature, maybe 5’6” but did he command respect. He would stand on the judges stand with a megaphone and you better be ready when he called you. He did not write articles or speak at clinics, he just coached. In 1975 when Bill retired I was chosen to be the next coach at Santa Barbara High school. Needless to say it was a privilege and an honor to try to fill Bill’s shoes. There was no way I was going to replace him. It was like taking over from John Wooden. My goal throughout my career has been to be half as good a coach as Bill. Basically for those three weeks before the second semester stated he turned the team over to me to condition them. He told I would be coaching the shot putters and the jumpers, except the pole vault. The coach of the vaulters was a man named Gates Foss, he was another coaching legend. It seemed that every year Gates had a fourteen foot vaulter, no matter if they were big or small, fast or slow Gates seemed to turn them out.
As I reflect on that experience and the tremendous start it gave me in coaching I am excited to move forward and begin the next year coaching. Unfortunately I will not be coaching Track & Field, my first love, but I will be getting the opportunity to work with some great coaches and kids who are eager to improve. I will be working with Venice High School girl’s volleyball team. They have a tremendous tradition in Volleyball with great coaches, Brian Wheatley is the head coach and Gary Halbert is his assistant. I will also be working with Eckerd College Rugby team and their coach Mike Lane. He is helping me to learn a new sport. I will keep you updated as I work with these teams, needless to say I am excited to get started.
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Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
RT @GreatestQuotes: Your aspirations are your possibilities. - Samuel Johnson - 4 years ago
Vern Gambetta

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