Book Review: Life Lessons And “Coaching with P.R.I.D.E.”

If you are considering a career in coaching high school or college football, read Coach Metro’s book… it could save you a lot of heartache a few years from now.  Coach Metro has always told it straight, and I am glad he did.  His book is a roadmap on how to build a program, get the most out of young men, and win.

I had the privilege of playing on his St. Peter’s HS team in 1974.  Admittedly I was more a boy playing football than a real football player, and Coach Metro knew this so hid me at center on a stacked offensive line as I had more enthusiasm than talent.  It is axiomatic that coaches must play the hand they are dealt, but Coach Metro did not subscribe to that:  he always wrung the most out of everyone who showed up, stuck to his rules, and played with heart.

Coach Metro sees football as a celebration of life, a life filled with commitment to positive risks.

Coach Metro cut his teeth as an offensive lineman at the US Naval Academy in the mid-sixties during the Staubach era.  Quite a beginning.  He has a humorous side and never appeared to take himself too seriously, a naturally self-effacing sort who was often outrageously funny; but no one ever challenged his commitment to the craft of football and his role as supreme leader, teacher, and authority on personal behavior.

Even across the abyss of almost fifty years I can hear him exhorting his high school players: “How badly do you want it?” And reminding us that when all else is equal, the more motivated team will prevail.

His best chapter is the “WHAT IF…?”  He gives several appropriate examples and stories on the ethics of being a leader, coach, and teacher.  Powerful stuff and probably painful.

I wanted more… more football, more stories, more disappointments, more amazing wins.  Coach Metro has led a life worth living.  He has made an impact on generations of young men.

One priceless anecdote for him that resonated with me.  Coach Metro, then a USNA plebe, was befriended by an upperclassman who had him up at reveille every day and dragged “The Greek” (as he was nicknamed) to mass.  There he was introduced to a Heisman Trophy winner and future NFL Hall of Famer. 

Coach Metro sat next to Roger Staubach at mass every day for a year.  That’s priceless.

Semper fi, Coach Metro.  Do write more.

By Kevin Horgan

Kevin Horgan is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative. He is an author, retired attorney, and Marine. His work can be found on his blog Our Culture Inchoate, and his books, including his most recent novel A Face on the Flag, are available at Amazon.

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