Girls' Former Coach Made Commitment To The Team


It's no secret that recently resigned Lady Longhorn basketball coach Grant Coley had his share of parental detractors, just as every coach in every sport at Payson High School has had.

He wasn't immune from the barrage of complaints that have long frustrated PHS coaches.

Only school administrators and the coach himself know what role parental pressure played in Coley stepping down.

In Coley's resignation, at least one of his unselfish, personal attributes should be recognized. As head coach, he put a tremendous amount of time, commitment and dedication into the program.

Just last summer, Coley took his players to California where they played in the annual San Diego Classic.

Spending four days on the beaches of Southern California looking after 10 wound-up teenage girls is not the stuff of which great summer getaways are made.

In fact, there are some prep coaches who would have refused such a demanding undertaking.

Coley also chaperoned the team to Spokane, Washington, where it participated in the Gonzaga Basketball Camp. His off-season program included participation in various summer tournaments around the state, including the Blue Ridge Invitational. Two years ago, he took the team to a summer camp at Arizona State University in Tempe.

During the summer months of both years he headed the program, Coley hosted evening open gym sessions.

Those travels, camps and tournaments took up a good deal of what could have been his own personal and family time.

He should be praised for his willingness to spearhead an off-season program.

A lot of wannabes claim their aspirations are to become a high school coaches. But when they learn of the year-round time commitments and the baby sitter-type pay, they quickly shy away from the profession.

Coley wasn't one of those.

His first thoughts and obligations were always with the girls he coached.

Youth mat camp

Payson Parks and Recreation coordinator Joe Harris is putting the finishing touches on the upcoming Little Longhorn Wrestling Camp.

Unique to the camp is that several of the Longhorn varsity team wrestlers will work as guest instructors. Harris, also a PHS assistant wrestling coach, will also be on hand to oversee the clinic.

PHS head coach Dave LaMotte could also participate.

The camp, which is open to youths in third through sixth grades, will be held 4 to 5:30 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday, from Feb. 12 to March 8 in the Wilson Dome wrestling room.

At the conclusion of the camp, a final wrestling tournament will be held.

"It (the camp) will be a great way for the younger kids to prepare for high school (wrestling)," Harris said.

The registration fee of $20 must be paid by the Feb. 1 at P&R offices located at Green Valley Park. The fee includes a Little Longhorn camp T-shirt.

For more information, call Harris at (928) 978-4250.

Gridiron words of wisdom

Football coaches at all levels, junior high through D-1, have been known to sputter thought-provoking, and often witty, perceptions about the game and life itself.

As a former lineman, and line coach, who was tutored by a high school coach who daily ranted, "Anyone can carry a football, it's not heavy," I find an observation from the legendary Knute Rockne to be particularly meaningful.

The ex-Notre Dame coach once said, "The only qualifications for a lineman are to be big and dumb. To be a back, you only have to be dumb."

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