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Terry Pettit

Sometimes I am asked if I would ever return to coaching. If I were interested in a position this is what I would send in lieu of a resume.

B.S. in English, Manchester College 1968
M.F.A. in Creative Writing, the University of Arkansas 1974
3,467 hours in timeouts: 1974-2000

Previous Job Experience:
I have interviewed for jobs on the western shore of Maryland; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Eugene, Oregon; the foothills of Tennessee and Virginia, and found one in eastern Nebraska
at the edge of a salt marsh where I stayed for twenty-seven years.

Personal Tastes:
In cars I like hybrids and old Porsche roadsters.
My favorite play is “Inherit the Wind”.
Borges and Chekhov would make good bookends in fiction.
I like dark chocolate before dinner and rhubarb pie for desert.
The Buffalo River in North Central Arkansas is the wildest stream I’ve ever floated.
The night before the canoe trip we slept in the loft of an abandoned barn, our dreams, a conspiracy of anticipation.

“Deliverance” is one of the few movies I’ve watched more than once.
“The Last Tango” in Paris made sense the second time thirty years later.
The two most magical scenes in the cinema for me are when the catcher arrives in “Fields of Dreams” and the last five minutes of “Cinema Paradiso.”

Additional Experience:
Wrigley Field is where I bought my first and only tethered chameleon.
When I was three I fell out of the car and tumbled down a hill in Burbank, California before my father retrieved me, pretty much unharmed except for a blackened front tooth.

Religious Affiliation:
I am half Presbyterian and half Brethren, minus the black hats and horses.
My favorite bird is the Great Blue Heron, and whenever I see one pulling darkness over the prairie, I think we are going to win.
The first brook trout I caught was on light spinning tackle and a barbless panther martin in Jeremy’s Run near Luray, Virginia.
I love the sound of a North American river.
I believe in great horned owls and middle attackers flying in transition.

Political Bent:
I’ve marched once to end a war: down Michigan Avenue in 1968 with other students, ministers, musicians, and conscientious objectors, all of us powerless beyond our choice of shoes.

I believe that our national anthem should be “City of New Orleans,” Arlo or Willie, take your pick. I like coyotes, blues, and people who don’t ask for a menu. The bicycle is my favorite invention. The most effective serve is to pin a receiver on her right hip to the sideline.

On the road I listen to James Taylor, Van Morrison, Mellencamp, and jazz.

Personal References:
I took a class in how to end a poem from Lucinda Williams’s Dad.
Once, on a cold winter evening in Chicago, I heard Elizabeth Bishop read her poem, “The Fish”.
Twice I sat at the same table with Bob Gibson.

Coaching Philosophy:
I love timeouts. I love coaching against teams that may well beat us. I love the flare of nostrils before the big match. I love asking the players, the assistants and myself to be uncomfortable in our preparation.

I am not committed to any one specific defense, tempo or tactical decision. I am better at requiring than relating, but I’ll make the effort.

Each team is an adventure. Nothing guaranteed; what I’ve come to understand is that the monkeys always come. The first requirement for coaching is hope. The second is a setter, foolish in her passion.

The fourth of July is my least favorite Holliday, except for once flying into the Capitol at dusk and seeing the shooting stars below, with rockets coming toward the plane like telephone poles.

Recreation and Entertainment:
I am not interested in a job unless there is a stream near town with fish that need cool running water. I love a golf course that has a short par four requiring finesse, and a neighborhood diner that serves red beans and rice. Recruiting quickness is my addiction.

Warning to the Athletic Administration:
I am not good at small talk. At times I may seem distracted and aloof. I have a poor short-term memory and I need bifocals to read and fins to swim. I love to attack a weakness in the third rotation. If this is a good fit, please accept this application. I am eager to meet you. I will do my best.

– Terry Pettit