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Title: Oral History Interview with Anson Dorrance, June 11, 1991. Interview L-0054. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Dorrance, Anson, interviewee
Interview conducted by Festle, Mary Jo
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2008
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Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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2008-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
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Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Anson Dorrance, June 11, 1991. Interview L-0054. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0054)
Author: Mary Jo Festle
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Anson Dorrance, June 11, 1991. Interview L-0054. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0054)
Author: Anson Dorrance
Description: 175 Mb
Description: 54 p.
Note: Interview conducted on June 11, 1991, by Mary Jo Festle; recorded in Unknown.
Note: Transcribed by Jovita Flynn.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series L. University of North Carolina, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with Anson Dorrance, June 11, 1991.
Interview L-0054. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Dorrance, Anson, interviewee

Interview Participants

    ANSON DORRANCE, interviewee
    MARY JO FESTLE, interviewer


Page 1
I guess where I'd like to start is with you telling me a little bit about your background; how you got into soccer.
Okay. I was raised overseas. I was born in Bombay, India and every three years we moved; from Bombay to Calcutta to Nairobi to Adis Abu to Singapore to Brussels. Then I went to a boarding school in Switzerland before I came to college. And of course, being raised internationally, I was exposed to the game. But frankly, I learned how to play it here in Chapel Hill. It's funny. When I was a young coach, that pedigree of having lived all over the world gave me a kind of credibility that's necessary, since I don't think I was that secure as a coach. But we were in Haiti recently and the press asked me basically, the same kind of question. What was my background? And I went through that litany of places that I've lived, and the team that we had down there, the national team, was so extraordinary, they all nodded knowingly assuming that was where I learned how to play. And then I finished that review of where I'd lived with, "And I learned to play soccer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina." It sort of stunned them, but it's true. When I went to school here I played for Marvin Allen. I really learned a lot about the game, just by playing it here collegiately and through him. And then, since college, from coaching courses in the United States I guess the development of my soccer aptitude was purely American. Or my appreciation for its international impact was certainly from being raised abroad.

Page 2
How did you end up in Chapel Hill?
This is my home state. Every three years the company that my father worked for would give him a three month home leave and we'd spend it in Lewisburg, North Carolina, on a farm that my grandparents ran; a tobacco farm. They also had some cotton and hogs and so every three years we'd go back there and dry and [unclear] and hang tobacco.
But your dad was in the oil business?
Yes. He worked originally for Standard Oil in New Jersey and then when that split into Exxon and Mobile, he went with Mobile. And then he worked for [unclear] Natural Resources and various petroleum companies. Actually, he was in the process of setting up his own oil company, a refinery on the coast of North Carolina in Morehead City when he died. So my background was obviously following him around. His North Carolina background was sort of bizarre. Both my parents were born in mainland China and both sets of grandparents divorced. And in one of those incredible quirks, my mother's father married my father's mother and bought that farm in Lewisburg and settled there. So it was actually my mother's side of the family that's North Carolinian. And because my father's side of the family knew my mother's side in China, they got acquainted. When I was young, it was very confusing to be visiting both sets of grandparents in a way, you know, living in one farm house. And I didn't really sort that out until fifteen or sixteen. It was sort of confusing for a while. But that was why North Carolina and why I came to school here.

Page 3
Were you here all four years?
No. My first semester I went to St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas. The high school I went to in Switzerland was a [unclear] international school. It was outstanding and so my assumption was that I'd like to follow that educational side of the Catholic Church because they did such a good job in high school. But the school was kind of small and sort of isolated and I felt maybe a larger school would be better. I didn't really know that much about UNC-Chapel Hill because when you're raised abroad, you really don't have a real keen understanding of anything except Harvard and Yale. But once I got here, I absolutely fell in love with the school and the area and that's why I'm still here.
Did playing soccer have anything to do with your decision to go to school here?
No. I came to school here because I was returning home, basically, and because it was a school where the sons of my father's lawyers went and they recommended it. The Blackburns were in school here. Basically, they were my best friends through undergraduate life and I still see George Blackburn pretty regularly. It was through their recommendation that I applied to this school. And it was actually through their assistance that I was admitted mid-year, because that's an unlikely scenario for an out-of-state student to be admitted mid-year.
But you did end up playing here?

Page 4
Yes. I came here and I played all sports. The prep school I went to, only twenty people graduated and it was the sort of school where if you were the least bit athletic you played all the sports. So, when I came here, actually, I played a lot of intramurals for Teague and loved it; played every sport there was. And actually, we started an intramural dynasty with Teague. It lasted, I think, about fifteen or twenty years. That was the first year they won. They won every year I was there and I think they've won almost every year since, the campus intramural championship. And then I tried out for the soccer team the following fall because I had transferred here as a mid-semester freshman, so I was here in the spring semester. Couldn't compete because the NCAA rules prevented a transfer from playing immediately. So I spent that year practicing with the soccer team, but also playing on the rugby club here following the soccer practice, and then every other intramural sport I could. And so my education here certainly was to a degree academic, but it was to a large degree athletic.
Was your experience here something that you want your current players to have something like it?
Yes. It's really funny because of the success our teams have had I get to do a lot of speaking engagements and I guess people are always surprised at the way I treat athletics, because I really don't think it's anything particularly earth shattering or viable to any great degree. And I try to sell my athletes on that because if we lose, no one dies and if we win, we're not any closer to world peace. And so we try to put it in

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perspective. But I think the thing we try to communicate with them is that it's certainly important to do the best you can. And the best we could has been pretty good because we've had some great success. But also I think putting it in that perspective takes a kind of pressure off. And I think we should take it off because I just don't think tremendous success in athletics really dictates too many other kinds of successes. I think it's a coincidence that occurs. So we try to convince our athletes not to have any illusions of grandeur over success and certainly not to have a sort of cathartic withdrawal if we happen to fail. I think that's a healthy perspective and I think the kids have enjoyed competing here. And I enjoyed playing sports just because I really enjoyed running around. I enjoyed competition tremendously. It excited me. I had developed my self-esteem enough to know that just by trying real hard at something, I could be successful. I was never a real gifted athlete, but I just tried real hard and as a result I was successful. And I think that translates into something positive; a feeling that, you know, if you really put yourself into something that positive things will occur. So those are sort of the messages we try to share with the athletes we recruit here.
How did you end up becoming the men's soccer coach?
Well, it was a sort of bizarre scenario. I played here from 1971 through '73. I played three seasons here; the fall of '71, '72 and '73. And the teams I've played for were regionally competitive teams. We weren't national powerhouses. And one reason we weren't is the coach I played for followed a philosophy

Page 6
that scholarship recruiting wasn't the way that he wanted to develop his soccer team here. And so I was one of the many people who came to school here because I wanted to come to school and wasn't actively recruited. And I did very well for them and when I graduated, he was retiring a year later. What he did was he recommended me to the athletic director as a candidate for the coaching position that he was vacating. And it was funny. The athletic director called me in. It was Bill Coby and I thought he was calling me in to ask me to sort of review a list of candidates that he was considering for the job. And without even applying, he asked if I wanted to take the position. I was attending law school at the time and it was sort of a shock because for someone as inexperienced as I was to be offered a position with a school with the athletic reputation of the University of North Carolina was unheard of. And I knew the candidates who were applying for the position, so I sort of was overwhelmed by his gesture and offer and I told him I certainly would review it with my wife since taking a coaching position here would certainly change my lifestyle. And I thought it wouldn't change it to a positive degree. I thought you know, I'd never really make any money. My wife would certainly have to support this if we were going to go in this direction. And she said, "By all means." And it was a part time position at first so I was able to continue to pursue my law degree. And then, I was taking a course shy each semester to get the degree and in my fourth year I was finishing my degree and they gave me the women's team. I was trying to coach two teams and get a law

Page 7
degree at the same time. It was a nightmare. So, I finally came home one night and said to my wife, "This is absurd. I've got to drop one of the three things." And she was very clear as to which one of the three I enjoyed the least. So law school went out the window. And now to look back, even though people have advised me to finish the degree, I just can't see it. And I've enjoyed the coaching position here so much that it was a great decision.
Can you tell me a little bit about the circumstances leading up to the women's varsity team being formed?
I had nothing to do with the formation of the varsity club on campus. There was a group of very aggressive and ambitious young women who wanted to play collegiate varsity soccer and what they did is, without my assistance, they approached the athletic director on their own and basically petitioned for varsity status. And they did a great job because the athletic director said, "Well, you know, we'll certainly consider it, but there are certain things you have to do to sort of get your ducks in a row." And one was to make sure all the players who were competing in the club were eligible undergraduates. So, we wanted them to try and follow the NCAA regulations to any degree they could in preparation for the game varsity status. He asked them to play a competitive schedule and they did all these things and put it all together. And the coach at the time was a gentleman named Mike Byers. I think originally, the girls were interested in petitioning to have a varsity, but also to ask him to be the head coach, which is

Page 8
certainly logical. And my athletic director asked me one day to go by the astroturf to watch them play so I could assess their level and their potential as a team. And I went over there with them and I remember watching the game. And he asked me following the game, "Well, Anson, what do you think? Do you think this team could be competitive collegiately?" And I said I thought we could certainly be competitive and I thought they were pretty well organized. And I think with that as sort of a review of where there were and with the professionalism with which they approached their petitioning, he took a big gamble and decided that he was going to establish a women's varsity here. And he did it in 1979, and he did it when there were no more varsities in the South. So the UNC women's team was the first soccer varsity here in the whole region. And he decided to also change my status as a part-time men's coach and make me a full-time soccer coach who was coaching both teams. And I asked Mike Byers, who was the head coach of the club, to become my assistant and he graciously accepted. And for that first season, he helped me as my assistant women's coach and he quit the following year because the salary he was getting to be the assistant certainly didn't sustain him. And I think he pursued other things to make ends meet financially. And that following year, I hired Bill Paladino who is my current assistant. He's been with me from 1980 on.
It sounds so unlikely to me that this group of students could just become a varsity team; easy almost. Did it have to do with the timing of it?

Page 9
I don't understand either. I mean, the credit that I give Bill Coby is consistent because I really think he had a great vision because there was no reason for him to start a women's varsity here. Women's soccer wasn't that popular in the state. It really wasn't that popular in the region. I mean the region is still catching up with the rest of the country. And I give him great credit because he put us in a position where we haven't looked back. And the analogy I use is by having a varsity here before anyone else did in the region; it was like a sprinter in a 100-yard-dash being given a twenty-yard head start. Basically, we've been in that position ever since. I think my function as a coach has been, "Let no one catch us." And he just put us in a remarkable position because whenever a young soccer player in our region or even in the Northeast was considering schools, ours had to be one to consider. The recruiting class of 1981, I think, was an incredible class. We had two recruiting classes before that. The one in 1979 was a very thin class because we established the varsity in the late spring, so I was able to recruit only a couple of players, one from North Carolina and one from Dallas, Texas, who became a four-year captain for me by the name of Janet Raeford. And one named Emily Scruggs from Rochester, New York. So, with those three players, and Heinz. I don't remember her first name off hand. But those three were outstanding collegiate players and we had a great first season, but most of our victories were against clubs and the competition wasn't that high. We used to play a high school age select team from northern Virginia to supplement our schedule. And almost

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all of them beat us. What we would do is play these teams and then recruit their top players. And so, within two years, by 1981, we brought in an absolutely incredible freshman class. And it was the freshman class that ended up displacing nine starters from the previous year's team. And those were basically players that came in as club players that had played for me for two years on a club and then were almost entirely replaced by this onslaught of the top youth talent in the country. I remember it was interesting. There was an athletic faculty banquet and I was asked to be one of the keynote speakers and it was really funny. I had absolutely nothing to lose and so I got up there and started a review of this recruiting class. And I basically told everyone that this class was going to win the national championship for us the following season, 1981, which is absolutely a blasphemy for a coach to stand up there before the season even begins and predict the national championship. It was a ridiculous sort of position to take, but I was really convinced that we were going to and I was young enough and naive enough to feel that by making these sorts of statements, we could draw some attention to our team and maybe that would be positive. But I was also convinced we were going to win. I was one of the few coaches out there that was aggressively recruiting in the entire country. I had sorted out the top two soccer areas in the United States as Dallas, Texas, and the Washington, D.C., area; at least the two top areas east of the Mississippi or within striking reach of our recruitment area. And sure enough, we got the best players out of those areas, plus some great players off of Long

Page 11
Island. And we did. We won that first year. I remember I came down off that podium and I was walking with Bill Lamb who is still our wrestling coach and he said, "Anson, you're a young coach, but that was the most insane thing I've ever heard anyone do in my life. Now it doesn't matter what happens. You can have a great year, but if you don't win the national championship it's going to be considered a failure." And I basically told him, I said, "Bill, if we don't win the national championship, I'll consider it a failure." And so we started with that sort of very aggressive mentality from day one. And our philosophy has been to aggressively pursue the highest level we could every year since. With the exception of one year, I think we've done a pretty good job.
What happened when these new players came in and displaced the old ones?
Very traumatic. The chemistry on those first several teams was very bad. It was very bad for a thousand reasons. First of all, recruiting a group like that and bringing them in displacing the group that had started would be cathartic anyway. But then you've got a group that was displaced that basically started the club and lobbied to establish it here. And basically the reason they did all these things even though we all have a kind of pioneer spirit, they basically did it so they could play and get full University support and all this sort of thing. So when these new kids came on it was very clear they were better. It wasn't an issue of "I'm better than this player." No, these players were clearly national caliber players. But it was a

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feeling like, you know, "We've worked very hard to establish this at the school and you've gone off and recruited the sun, the moon, the stars and now we're reserved players." It was very disappointing for them. And so there was that chemical nightmare to deal with. Then, to be honest, the first couple of groups of recruiting classes we brought in were brought in with one thought in mind and that was basically to clean house. These weren't the sort of ladies that would do well at finishing schools in a delicate social function and they weren't the sort of players that I think were the best players to recruit to represent a University. But they were very powerful, strong willed women and they were used to cleaning house athletically. They came in here and cleaned out a starting position for themselves and proceeded for four straight years to just destroy everyone we played. And that freshman class, basically, walked through here with four straight national championships. They won the first year and we won every year since. And after they won the first year, their goal was to win every year. And this is a group that was accustomed to being successful and they had a real hardness to them as a result. There's a positive and a negative side to that, I think. I look back on those first couple of years and as a coach, they were very difficult teams for me to coach. But I look back with the perspective of coaching the current teams which are incredible easy and you know, from this perspective, you know, we could self-righteously say things like, "Well, it wasn't really a good thing that we brought them in and these weren't the nicest girls in the world to represent the

Page 13
University," but I don't have that attitude. I liked all these girls. They had some incredibly colorful qualities. They were great and aggressive leaders in the respect that I think maybe some of the modern girls wouldn't appreciate because these girls fought for everything they had done. These were the true pioneers. They were given nothing. They were accustomed to taking things and so they weren't as genteel as the sort of young ladies we can recruit now. But they had some great qualities. It was funny. They were the sort of girls who would go downtown, burn it to the ground, you know, getting wasted. Basically, sort of irresponsible socially. But then, they were on time for every single practice and in practice they worked themselves until they were bleeding and throwing up. They had a tremendous commitment to victory and to personal athletic excellence. And for that I admired them because they were a tremendous group. And even though, off the field, I think they all hated each other. But once the game began, there was a collective fury that just intimidated everyone they played against. And I really look back on a lot of those players with tremendous admiration because of the qualities that they gave us. Because those qualities are still in place. Now, I guess we have the luxury of recruiting players with those qualities that represent the University better since; better students, better representative of the school. But the legacy those first teams gave us is a collective fury, you know, "never say die" training mentality and their legacy lives on. And all we've done really is polish it and made it more socially acceptable and obviously following an image that I think

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we should try to represent the University with, which I think we have. It is one of good scholars, very articulate spokesmen and I think, very positive role models. And I couldn't have said all those things in the early eighties about the girls I was training.
That's interesting. Was this the first time you'd coached females?
Yes. And it was an absolute nightmare. I think the first couple of years I was coaching the women's team, it wasn't just a question of the new players coming in displacing the old ones. It caused our problems. Or that these girls were very headstrong. I think I was part of the problem as well, because I was coaching under the early eighties assumption that women wanted to be treated like men and I followed all the dictates of the feminist literature and it was an absolute disaster. I guess in theory, at least, the avant garde theory of feminism is men and women are the same and they should be treated the same. But I've learned since that men and women are completely different and should be treated completely differently. I'm certainly in favor of equality, but to stand up and say, "We're different. We should be treated the same as a result," is absurd. And the nice thing about the athletic arena is I don't have to justify this with any sort of genetic review of you know, the brains of men and women or the social review of you know, how environment dictates behavior. My arena is winning and losing and I learned how to win with women and it wasn't by treating them as men.

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It was by treating them differently, by being a lot more sensitive to what you say, because they will personalize everything by developing a personal rapport with each player because that's what they were interested in in a coaching relationship. By, I guess, drawing on a very positive collective chemistry that women can have if we can get them not to personalize the competition that's occurring which is something we all bring into athletics. In fact, it's what I think we all dread about athletics. They've never been, I think, either trained or exposed to the fact that competing with someone is okay; that it shouldn't be taken personally. And to beat the absolute garbage out of someone at practice is completely acceptable. It shouldn't be taken personally and you know, we shouldn't have emotional scars as a result. I think teaching that it's okay to compete and yet still remain friends was one of the revolutionary aspects of coaching. And as a result, we've always had a tremendous collective team chemistry. And the philosophy that we have is if we have a game on Saturday, we spend Monday through Thursday just beating the crap out of each other and then on Friday, using that to play for each other. So, I guess we develop our competitive edge against each other by really trying to beat each other and develop our collective chemistry and fury by playing for each other on the last day before the game begins. So we go in there with a double edged sword. One is a tremendous cohesion to play for each other. By the same token, forged in a very competitive arena where it's okay to cut your roommate's heart out and play with that sort of

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fury. And I think we've basically figured out a system of trying to get the best of both worlds.
I'm interested in how you try to institute that in practice. You mentioned the one thing: the beginning of the week, one way and then…
Well, the way we can't do it is to, I guess, constantly review what's going on. We call it keeping score. In fact, in clinics we call keeping score training the "female psychological dimension." And the way we do it is every part of every practice, everything's recorded, but it's not reviewed because I think if we recorded it and then reviewed it immediately, there would be a lot of animosities between all the players. All we do is record it, so what the girls can sense is going on every time they do anything, every time they shoot a ball is it's recorded whether or not it goes in. And if they're playing a 5-B-5 team, whether or not their team wins or loses, we record it. Anytime we do a heading duel between two players, who wins the heading duel is recorded. We play a lot of one on one competition between the girls. All that is recorded. So what they get a sense of is we encourage the winning. We talk about it all the time, but we don't expose winners and losers. And so, even though it's constantly discussed about bearing your match up, we always talk about, you know, on this one on one match up we're going to play a series of games right here and one of you is going to crack and we want you to be the one cracking the other person. Whoever loses in these duels has been psychologically buried by their opponent. And there's a tremendous sort of fear,

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I think, initially with women when they're put in that arena because it's a very vulnerable position to be in, basically, if you match up with someone and are beaten by them. The thing that girls fear in these sorts of confrontations is that their relationship will be affected because when they were growing up most girls don't play in these head to head confrontational games. In fact, they play turns-taking games. They play hopscotch where one girl goes and the other girl goes and jacks where one girl goes and the other girl goes. And what happens in these girls' games arenas is that then they sort of argue about "You stepped on the line." "No, I didn't." They will quit playing the game rather than resolve the issue because what they have learned and what I have learned in training women is that they have the superior understanding that relationships are more important than winning. And so rather than jeopardize their relationship, what they will do is dissolve the contest and preserve the friendship. And yet when you watch young boys play, it's just the opposite. They'll play a touch football game and the whole game is a constant raging debate as to whether or not a person was touched, whether or not he was over the line, whether or not the ball was caught, whether or not this rule was broken. And it's not like just the two leaders of the boys teams arguing over this. Every little kid that's introduced to the game has an opinion and they're arguing constantly. And what's interesting about what happens with these young boys is the game is preserved at all costs because nothing is personalized. So even though a girl or any outsider watching this game between these boys, you

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would think, you know, why are they playing? All they're doing is constantly bickering at each other. How can that be any fun? Well, it's because that is fun for the boys and always bickering is a part of the game itself. It's another kind of competition. It's not personalized by them. They don't take their ball and go home. They all play and go through this constant raging debate until the game is over and then you'll see two boys on opposite teams with their arms around each other walking back home or something and it was just a great, fun experience for them. And it's really difficult for women to accept those sorts of arenas because they sense that if they really try hard at something in athletics, they will be labeled a bitch for trying. Like it's not fair to be that intense. It's not fair to treat this so importantly that you're willing to kick me or injure me or embarrass me or just beat the hell out of me. It's like a personal thing. And so the challenge for us in this arena is to let them know it's okay. And let them know that's the way we should go after each other and that there's nothing wrong with it as long as you don't make an effort to…



Page 19
… that we develop over the course of four years, is almost every freshman that comes in is incredibly intimidated by this arena. And their freshman years are almost always nightmares. Even if they're successful athletically on the field, it's an incredibly emotionally cathartic year because they're foreign to this arena and they're just not used to it. It takes them four years to really adjust to accept the fact that it's okay to bury each other and that it shouldn't jeopardize relationships, and it's going to make us stronger and more competitive and better. And so those are hard challenges in developing that quality in women.
I do a lot of reading in these areas because this is becoming very topical. Carol Gilligan treats it to a lesser degree in some of her stuff. In fact, it was really funny, when I first got married, my wife's partner gave me a book to read that she said really helped her in her relationship with her husband. It was In A Different Voice by Carol Gilligan and it was really interesting. The thing I learned from that book about relationships is males really objectify absolutely everything. If your wife comes home from a hard day at work and she basically starts complaining about her boss, what I used to do is I used to, basically, be objective and explain to M'Liss why her boss would do things in that fashion. And so, what she would feel is that I was siding with her boss and that I had absolutely no empathy for her position. It was really difficult for her to deal with me being like that. After reading that book I completely changed, because if your wife

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comes home from a bad day at work, all she wants you to do is empathize with her. She doesn't want you representing the rest of the world explaining why it happened. Explaining why it happened doesn't really make her feel any better. But empathizing with her does even if you think it's absolutely absurd that she's upset with what happened and a lot of the times, I am. But my perspective as a male is a lot different from hers as a woman. And that book was very, very good about clarifying that difference for me. Also, it was very good about clarifying the difference between men and women, because I had a suspicion then that men and women did think differently. This is when I was changing my philosophies of coaching from what I assumed I had learned from reading Ms. magazine and those sorts of things to what I was seeing was actually happening with the players I was coaching. And it was a transformation about understanding, that men and women don't think the same. In fact, things I've read since have been really interesting as well. Another a book that's been out maybe a couple of months is called, You Just Don't Understand. And the contention of this book, and it's a real good one, is that men and women speak a completely different language. And it's so true. The more I read this book, so many light bulbs are going off in my head that I guess the story in the intro sort of captures this book. A man and a woman are driving down the highway together and the man's driving. The woman says to the man, "Aren't you thirsty? Wouldn't you like to pull over?" The man's not thirsty and says, "No," and he keeps driving, which is exactly the way I would

Page 21
react. My assumption, is she's asking me if I'm thirsty, but that's not what she's asking. What she's asking is, "I'm thirsty. Would you mind pulling over so I can drink." And when a man keeps driving, all of a sudden there's a tremendous tension in the car. The man has no clue as to what happened and the woman now, is completely convinced that he is an absolutely insensitive asshole and, you know, why did she ever marry him. But that's just the way we think. If we're sitting next to the woman and the woman's driving and we want to pull over, what we say is "Honey, I'm thirsty. Do you mind pulling off at the next exit so I can get something to drink?" We don't appeal to the person's empathy in the way we phrase our question. We ask the question a little more directly. And the book is just fraught with those sorts of things that for me were, not revealing, because I understood them all from my ten years of coaching women, but the thing about the book that was great, I think, Gilligan introduced me to the fact that men and women think differently because I think differently. And then this book introduced me to the fact that men and women speak a different language because we do. And a lot of things I've read since that also basically confirmed all the opinions I had that I was sharing earlier and getting destroyed in the press for. There's even a Sports Illustrated article about, you know, the amount of times I'm getting attacked for saying men and women are different and they should be treated differently. And of course, the reaction that anyone has to that sort of statement is, you know, it's a form of sexism. And in a way, I guess it is if

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sexism means that men and women are different. I don't for a second think we're unequal, although I think we are unequal in certain respects. I think women have a tremendous greater capacity for empathy and sort of a collective sympathy. I mean, there are a lot of ways we are different. Does that mean we're unequal? Well, yes, but no. We're just different. And it's funny. When I started giving all these clinics, it was a very difficult position to defend, not because I'm wrong, not wrong, but because it's misinterpreted. What's been great is all this literature I've been reading for the last four or five years is confirming everything I've been saying for years. And the stuff that's coming out now is also interesting. There was a book out that I just finished a month or two ago called, Are We Winning Yet? And it's a great book because what it asks is, "Is there something unique that women can contribute in athletics?" And I think there is and I don't think the women figured out what it was yet, but it was great for her to ask the question. She implied there were areas where women can contribute to the growth of athletics. And also, areas where men might be taking women where they might not want to go on athletics, which causes me to think about my emphasis on competing and winning, because that isn't the same kind of emphasis that women would naturally bring into athletics. So, that's sort of the question, you know, how much my direction has for athletics or for women. And I'm hoping it does. I am hoping what it will do for women is give them, I guess, an appreciation for competitive excellence, because you can't really become excellent in a recreational arena. And I

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think competition promotes excellence because to beat someone that's trying to beat you, you can't hold back. So what we get is a very high level of competition, but you don't want the competition to be high level. You get a very high level of the game. I still think that maybe that's a direction we could take women in and still preserve their positive side as long as you understand the dichotomy between the two. But it's been a real education for me coaching the women.
How do you observe that the relationships are important on the team? I understand how you stress the competition on the field and that that's okay. How do you then take the other side of that? What's important to them?
Well, what we do as much as we can is I always try to share stories about different women on the team doing things for other women on the team. We try to create an atmosphere of rewarding the unique environments where it happens. And it happens enough for us to constantly talk about it. The way I guess we officially talk about it is, we talk about it during a game; not all eleven players are going to play their best. I mean, there are going to be some games where one player is going to play poorly. So it's our function as a team to make sure we carry her. And what I share with them about team athletics that I prefer to individual athletics is team athletics, in my opinion, is all about basically carrying the ones that aren't playing as well that day, because some day, they will eventually carry you. And that's a philosophy we try to carry over into sort of everything. Everyone has a function. You know, the

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worst player on the team still has a positive chemistry function. And we talk about those functions of the different players that maybe don't contribute during the game that have a genuine concern for different people on the team and we try to talk about those sources of qualities. And so what we try to nurture is a collective respect for anyone who cares about anyone does something for any of them. And we always review that every chance we can. And we try to review it in a very, very humorous, but serious way. We don't want to become maudlin about our attachments to each other, so we always try to throw in a lot of humor. But by the same token, we want them to know that that sort of behavior is very positive and that's what we'd like to see. And it makes a difference. It makes a difference.
I've heard that your teams are pretty close. Is that true?
Yes and we try to foster that, although it's a never-ending struggle because in a bizarre sort of way, I think women have a tremendous capacity for affection for each other, but by the same token, they have a tremendous sensitivity about, I guess, everyone's weaknesses. Women's weaknesses are reviewed more by women among themselves about each other than men's weaknesses are reviewed about themselves. And in a way, the more threatening the woman is, the more critical everyone is of her. And so the women that are threatening, obviously, are the ones who get the most attention, the one that's the star or something. And so being a star on a women's team is a very, very difficult position for her to be in because obviously she wants to be the

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best she can, but she knows that by becoming exceptional, in a way, she's torn apart by everyone around her, which is really bizarre. With the men, it's the opposite to a degree. I mean, if there's a great performance by a male, one of things you can do to bolster his success is to sort of talk about it in front of the group. And everyone pats him on the back and they think it's great and there's no problem. The last thing you can do with a very successful woman is to basically highlight her success in front of her peers because, first of all, she doesn't like it at all because she knows what's happening. If you highlight her success in front of everyone else, everyone just tears her apart. It's a very difficult position to put a woman in. And that's one of the lessons I learned very early in my coaching career. So now, what we do to develop self-esteem among the top players is to praise them privately and it's really bizarre. It has a tremendous effect from two points of view. One, it develops your relationship with her which is vital because your success as a coach is going to be based on how successfully you negotiate all the individual relationships you have and it has to be individual. When you coach men, it can be a collective sort of leadership and camaraderie and can be general and they can sort of respect you and be distant from you. And you can still be very successful. With the women, you can't. It's got to be very personal and your relationship with them is affected the more personal the relationship can get. And obviously, there's a boundary there you have to draw eventually. But it's a boundary you want to get very close to because the more personal your

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relationship can be with her, the more effective she's going to be by, you know, following things that we'd like her to do. And so, by praising her personally it has a more positive effect than praising her in front of the group. Whereas, it's funny, praising men personally has almost no impact because they know they were great and they're not interested in a closer relationship with you. So to praise them: water off a duck's back. They'd rather have you praise them in front of the group or in the press. And so, what will happen if you keep praising him personally, he'll think you're weak and he'll take all your praise for granted and he won't really consider you as a source for his self-esteem. But a woman will really feel very good about it and feel that she does have a unique relationship with you that's different from everyone else's which builds her self-esteem. Because then she considers herself unique and special and not threatened, which is what would occur if you praised them in front of a group. All these things make a difference when you're trying to build the chemistry of the two teams, the men and women.
At some point, a couple of years ago, you came to be just the women's coach. What went into that decision?
Two years ago. Well, coaching two teams is a nightmare. It's just too much work and it was a difficult position for me to be in. Obviously, I loved it at first because it made me a full-time coach. And initially, it was great. It was almost like a vacation because dropping out of law school and just coaching two teams was a wonderful sort of respite, but because we were very

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ambitious and working very hard, we wanted both teams to win national championships. So the level that both teams started to compete at was a very, very high level. And we were competing against very, very good, hard-working coaches that were coaching one team. And it was very difficult as the head coach of two teams to put in the amount of time and energy to have both teams successful at the level that I felt they should be successful at and I was just burning out. I was just doing too much work and I always felt like I was shortchanging one team or the other. The decision to coach the women rather the men was a logical one because by the time I was lobbying to my athletic director to coach one team, the women's success at that point had almost precluded any other kind of career and you couple that, the success of the team, with the fact that coaching women is so much more rewarding for me because it's so personal. It was just a very easy choice.
That's interesting. I imagine there aren't too many people that have made that same decision.
Actually, a lot of the coaches that coach both end up coaching the women out of choice. Just because it's a much more rewarding experience. And what you realize after a while is, you know, obviously, the profile of women's athletics isn't that of the men, but even to a degree, that is positive. I mean, you don't want your job constantly reviewed in the press and the pressure from that. And if you follow the athletic literature, I mean, top coaches are quitting all the time just because it's just not worth the abuse. There's very little exposure really in

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women's athletics and so if you fail, it's not so much no one cares, no one knows; so there's no real pressure there. And they just appreciate you so much more. There's so much more coaching. I mean, there were two visiting just now. The men would never come by to see if you were okay or how you were doing. They just meet here for pre-season training in the middle of August and that will be it. But the women have a genuine concern for how you are and after a while, that feels a lot better than constantly battling the egos of some of the top men that you are coaching and recruiting. So, it was an easy choice.
You were saying the pressure is different in women's sports; the expectation to win, I guess, or whether people will even notice. How have you felt the support of the community, the students has been?
It's been very good. But it's not the sort of thing that we've ever really worried about. The media likes to bring it up all the time because for a while there, no one came to watch us play. But it didn't matter. They tried to upset us with these questions. The press would say, "You know Anson, you got this team but no one comes to watch you play." And I kept telling them, "I don't care and neither do the girls." When the girls started playing soccer, no one was watching them and they're not continuing to play because someone comes to watch them. They play because they enjoy playing. And so, we're not caught up in some of the status stigma that men are, which might be another major difference between men and women's athletics. I mean, men play for all sorts of reasons, certainly because it was

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fun at first, but after a while they play for the status. So much of their personality is athletics, the status and who watches them. The sort of exposure and publicity they get is vital for them to continue to play. And I think if you took away the status and the people in the stands and the media, a lot of the men would stop playing. But if you took it away from the women, they wouldn't. They just love playing. That's why they're out there. And so the way we used to, I guess, answer those questions that the press would ask about, "Aren't you disappointed no one's here?" No. Although, obviously, if they are, everything is wonderful. I mean, it's almost like we're unspoiled enough to appreciate when people come to watch us. And I think a man and the way the press was asking it, the men would be hurt if no one came and not as excited if they were supported. So, I'm hoping one of the positive qualities in women's athletics that we can keep if we do become popular is that sort of genuine appreciation for the people who come to watch us. I would like to think that, again, one of the differences between men and women is that the women would appreciate the fact that the community comes out to watch them play and supports the team. Even if women's athletics gets to the point where it is well attended, I hope we don't become jaded or cynical about it.
Do you think it's going to get to the point where it's popular and paid attention to?
I'm not sure. Women's tennis has reached that point and I don't know why. But that's about it. Gymnastics. I don't know why either. Maybe in gymnastics it might still be sort of a

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very titillating arena because you have these young girls in these skimpy little outfits. I don't want that to be the reason people support women's athletics. And maybe women's tennis the same to a degree because they wear these little outfits. Who knows? Although people watch Martina and she's certainly wouldn't be something visual, so maybe they do like women's tennis. Maybe the fact that it's not serve and volley; there's a little more tactics involved. The ball is going over the net a few more times. Maybe that's something that interests people. They can see more of a different kind of a game, but more of a game itself in women's tennis than in men's. So, I don't know. I don't know if it's going to happen. I mean, if it happens, I don't know why it'll happen.
I guess soccer would not be a sport that one would immediately think of as feminine. And certainly you're encouraging the players to be extremely aggressive. I've seen them play and they're incredibly tough. Is that a concern for you? Is it ever a concern for the players?
I think by the time I get the players it's not a concern anymore. They went through that catharsis in high school when they were either being shunned or excoriated for being aggressive. So, by the time I get them that's not a psychological issue anymore for me. That's one of those junior high issues when, you know, puberty starts to kick in and they start to realize maybe who they are and what direction they are going in. Those are issues that maybe junior high coaches and high school coaches have to deal with. I don't, because

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obviously, women I recruit have proven themselves in this arena and it's not an issue for them. One thing I do think we have contributed towards, though, is a lot of girls we end up recruiting here obviously, are the sort of girls that I'm recruiting because I'm not only interested in winning, but also promoting the image of the school and the sport. I think we have some very attractive women. I don't think that stigma is ever going to be thrown in our direction. But by the same token, we've had some very average looking women that have competed here and succeeded and that are still involved in athletics, so I think we have a balance. Maybe it's conscious to a degree and maybe again, it's just a sacrifice I'm making to make the game more popular. I almost think it's positive for us to bring in these women that are attractive to basically, bury that old stereotype that you know, if you're a woman and you compete in athletics it's because you can't go out on a date. I mean, it fills your afternoons, where you would have basically spent them boy-chasing if you had a shot. But since you don't have a shot, you've poured yourself into athletics and that's where we want you to remain. You know, that's a very negative stigma. And I think for awhile in women athletics, that was the case. And maybe in the way I am, I guess, building this team up. It's certainly not conscious, but obviously there is some sort of subconscious influence because the teams I've had, I think, are great teams but they're attractive and we look good getting off a bus. I think it's to bury that stigma because it is still a stigma in some sports.

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And I've seen in the news recently, I think it was a woman basketball coach, sort of letting out the word that she would not recruit lesbians.
Yeah, was that at Penn or Penn State?
I think one of those.
Yes. I heard that on tour. And that's very clever recruiting because what you're recruiting, you're not really recruiting the player, you're recruiting the parents. And obviously, lesbianism isn't something we address. I mean, we understand it's a part of women's athletics and you know, the lesbians I've had on my teams have been great; great players, great for chemistry, very positive role models in my opinion, but you can never come out and make that sort of statement publicly because you would be destroyed by it. I mean, all the religious zealots out there would make mincemeat of you. I was reading in the paper today the Presbyterians, I guess, won't push through this new stance on premarital sex and bringing in gay and lesbian preachers. Now, I don't know anything about the Presbyterian sect except this didn't go through. And I'm sure the reason it didn't go through isn't that it wasn't a positive step. It's just that the public reaction would be so negative toward their church that they would suffer as a result. [unknown] people in my opinion are sort of narrow-minded and one-dimensional. I forget where I was going. Oh, the thing with Penn State. I think that's clever recruiting. Was it a woman?

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Okay. All parents of young athletes are aggressive and have this fear that their daughters are gay or are going to be. And I think this is a way to sort of let the parents know, "If you send me your daughter, I'll convert her," as if such a thing is possible, which is absurd. Everything I've read about it and my understanding now is I think your sexuality is on a continuum from rampant heterosexuality to rampant homosexuality with bisexuality being in the middle and you're dropped somewhere on the continuum. And to a degree, your environment takes you in one direction or another, but if it takes you in a direction away from your natural genetic predisposition, you're not going to be comfortable. And so, in a way, if these parents of this girl that's sort of on the border or maybe even a bit gay, is sent to this school to be converted into being a heterosexual, I think you're doing her a disservice if she spends her whole life confused and unfulfilled and you know, nervous. And so, I don't know whether or not that's necessarily a good thing. But it's great recruiting. I mean, it's clever. She's going to get a lot of good players and she's going to win over parents who have this fear watching their daughter grow up and become a lesbian, you know. "Oh, gosh, she's a lesbian because we let her play softball last summer," or something. "Oh, God, it's our fault." So I think that's clever in one perspective, but I think it's dishonest from another. I don't think that coach has an understanding about, I don't know what it's called. Gender predisposition? I don't know what the formal term is, but I think she's missing the boat.

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I guess one advantage that you have being a male coach is that you don't have to deal with, "Is the coach a lesbian?"
Yes, but then you've got the other thing which I think is even worse. I think the greatest challenge for men coaching young women is, you know, there's a sexual line you can't cross, and it's crossed constantly because let's face it. A lot of the girls that come in, especially into a high visibility place like this have a tremendous respect for you. And you know, these mentor relationships, they're bent out of shape to a degree anyway. It would be an environment that would be easy to exploit and so if you don't have that as a stigma, you've still got the other thing that is something you've got to be very careful about. I think one of the worst things about men coaching women is that line that's crossed. It's not so much you have to be careful, but you do. And it's not one sided. It's not just coming coach to player. So, you know, there are issues you've got to deal with from that perspective that, obviously, the female coach wouldn't have to deal with.



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Well, I guess another image that I think of when I think of soccer is a fairly white image. Have you had black female players yet?
Yes. We've had more black male players, but we have had two black female players. It is basically, an upper-middle-class white game. The blacks don't play it. There are areas in the country where they do. The only area I can think of off-hand is Columbia, Maryland. There is an upper-middle-class black population there and all the kids play soccer. That's where one of the two black kids that I've coached on the women's side have come from. But that's more a demographic thing than a racial statement because as the blacks move into the suburbs they are going to be playing the game and their daughters will be playing the game. And also, I think it's sort of a demographic of what the blacks like to play because I think their prestige is still tied up in basketball and track and field. And so, if there's a great young girl athlete and she's black, her role models are going to be you know, Kersey and the black basketball players. Michael Jordan is even her role model even though Michael Jordan is male because that's her culture. And so, I think her tendency, if she is a great athlete and living in the suburbs, it's still possible to go in that direction. I think as we become more integrated in that socioeconomic classification, we're going to have more black women playing.
Is soccer internationally an upper-class sport or is that just here?

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No, actually, internationally, in some countries, it's a lower-class sport. In England it is. The upper class play rugby and cricket. Internationally, soccer for women is a cultural statement. The more liberated the country is and the more liberal it is in its attitude towards women, the more likely it is to have women soccer players. For example, the further north you go in Europe, the better the soccer gets. The Scandinavians have some of the best teams in the world; Norway, Sweden and Denmark are outstanding. Germany's very good. And then the further you go south, the teams get worse. Spain is the worst, for example. And then Africa, of course, is a nightmare. And the Middle East is a nightmare. So, based on how women are treated will dictate the level of their soccer program.
That's interesting. What happens to these top players who come here? Is there anything for them to do with their soccer ability after they've graduated?
The only thing they can really do to pursue soccer is to end up coaching. A lot of them do. It's really funny, though. Some of the really talented people had the same reaction I did at first. I didn't really take this profession that seriously at first, because I don't think it's a very serious profession. And so, someone who has a lot of talent, I think, among our women didn't really look at it first like it was a really serious profession to pursue. And yet, some of them have gotten involved in it and they love it. I mean, it's almost natural because I was thinking back to my attraction, the way I ended up in it. All my memories about soccer are so positive,

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it's logical for me to pursue it. But, even though they're real positive, I never would give it any great value. So, you're caught in this dilemma. You're caught in this dilemma of really enjoying it, but thinking that you would grow out of it eventually and it's just not the sort of thing an adult pursues. And so, you're sort of caught in that dilemma of you know, "It's time to grow up." What's that Kipling quote about, "When you're a man, you put aside childish things," or something. So when you grow up, you don't really think this is one of the things you're still going be excited about. That's why it was an incredible and wonderful surprise to realize that I still am. And some of these other girls that are pursuing it now do enjoy it. But that's all they can do really, is coach. There are some professional leagues abroad. A couple of our kids played in them; Emily Pickering and April Heinricks from some of our older teams played professionally in Italy for a year or two, but didn't enjoy it. Actually, they didn't enjoy the way women were treated in Italy by men who coached the women, which further confirms the fact that as a coach, I was getting further and further away from the way males would traditionally coach. We were hearing the horror stories of these domineering, macho coaches that just put up with no dissent and had no real rapport. And horror stories of their playing expenses in Italy and a lot of it had to do with the way they were treated by the people that ran the clubs who were men. But other than that, coaching is about the only direction they can go in.

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I guess one of the things I was disappointed to see was one of the few times you've had national publicity was about that "napalm" quote. Can you tell me a little bit about what that was about?
Yes. Marcia McDermott is actually, one of the women I was referring to as someone that could literally have done anything; very, very bright articulate woman. She sort of wrestled with soccer because just like me, she didn't really consider it a worthy profession. And she's pursuing a graduate degree in English while she's coaching at the University of Arkansas. I really liked her because she was bright and witty. We were bantering back and forth in some practice or actually, before games about the fact that we knew we were going to win. And at the time, I guess, the movie "Apocalypse Now" was popular. There was a great scene in "Apocalypse Now" about this group of men assembling on a hill and they are watching napalm being sprayed all over the jungle in front of them. And one of them turns to the other one and says, "Can you smell that napalm?" "Yeah, I can. It smells like victory." In other words, whenever the American troops in Vietnam would put napalm down on anything, it would ensure a victory. And so the analogy we used was that that was a feeling; there was a smell in the air that we knew we were going to win. The sort of teams we had then, we knew we were going to win. We were overwhelming favorites. And you know, in athletics, there's always tremendous analogy between warfare and athletics. I mean, it's gone on since the beginning of recorded time. And so, it wasn't a new analogy. I mean,

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using war cries to motivate you in athletics is actually common. And then actually, before the national championship semifinal, I think we were playing Cal-Berkeley. Because this was a sort of a running joke all season between Marcia and I, one of the managers on the team went out to see the movie because we didn't really have the quote down perfectly. So he went and saw the movie and it was great. He wrote it down while he was in the movie theater and then he typed it up. And what I did before the Cal-Berkeley game is I read the whole quote because it was very lengthy. It was a joke, you know. But a really powerful joke because, yes, we knew we were going to win. I mean, it was a great analogy between us and that quote and everyone was laughing because it's very aggressive, but in a positive way. It was aggressive for us because we knew we were going to win. I read it before the game and we won. And then they started asking the players afterwards, you know, you guys came out on that field like dynamite, using another military, aggressive analogy, and the girls said they were really pumped up. And the reporters started asking them, "What pumps you up for the game?" And they said, "Anson read this quote from "Apocalypse Now" and it was something that he and Marcia McDermott had been doing all season when they knew we were going to win before the game. And we just went out there and we just exploded all over the field." And so obviously, the press, seeing the chance to jump on something that's very human interest in a way, because you know, most people when they read sports pages want more than just the, "I thought we played great." I mean listening to most athletes talk about themselves is so

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boring it's ridiculous and so when a reporter finally gets something more than: "How do you feel after winning?" "I feel great." "How do you think the other team played today?" "Well, I think they played great." "Well, what do you think of your team?" "Well, I think they're great." When they finally get something that's more quotable than that, they're going to use it. So there was an article that morning on the national championship final about that motivational talk. And actually, the article was good. It said we were really excited and there was this analogy that we knew we were going to win and there was the "Apocalypse Now" quote. So then what happened is our club team on campus decided this is great. They liked the quote, too, and so they made a banner. I can't remember what the banner said. Maybe it said, "Napalm, napalm, napalm." For some reason, that rings a bell. And they carried it to the game, so they're sitting there and this club team is screaming "Napalm, napalm, napalm" before the game and they're all into it and they're all excited and we're excited, but our motivational talk for that game was completely different. The napalm thing was yesterday's game. And now for the championship, we had something else. I can't even remember what we used. Well, because of that banner there, the word went out over the national championship wire that this was the way we intimidated our opponents, that we would start screaming this and you know, we went out of our way to intimidate the opponents by chanting this. And of course, we didn't. We had nothing to do with it. We had nothing to do with having it there on the field. We had nothing to do with anything

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except the fact we had used it as a joke during the season. We used it as a motivational talk before the semifinal. It had nothing to do with the final. And so then, actually, it was a woman reporter and I use the word "woman" because a man wouldn't have written the article the way she did. And she was a woman actually, that was a part of our team in a way, because we let her train with us in the off season and she was real close to a lot of players on the team and we let her work out with us and this sort of stuff in the spring. And she thought it was horrible, because she was very anti-Vietnam war, to use this quote from basically, a negative war to motivate ourselves; that it showed a tremendous disrespect for the Vietnam veterans and anyone who had to fight over there and the Vietnamese who were just, you know, fried with this napalm and stuff. I mean, what a hideous thing to trivialize in athletics. And so the article that she wrote, maybe it was even an editorial. Maybe it was a letter to the editor. I can't remember whether it was an article or an editorial. It probably wasn't an editorial because they don't [unclear] . It was either an article or a letter to the editor how she was appalled, you know, about all this. And she came to the game expecting to watch a soccer game and she saw us using this. Well, she had everything out of context because it was locker room stuff for us and it was brought out because the club team decided to use it. And you know, that we had no sensitivity towards the people that fought there. And it wasn't because of anything that happened during the two games, even the stuff that the club team did because typically, there wasn't enough coverage

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for that to really get out. You know, local papers had it, but no real big deal. But it was all sort of buried until her article or letter to the editor came out. Now that's news. The news is that people were offended by it. So the news wasn't that it was used for motivation. The news is that sensitive people were offended by this gruesome use of that phrase because of what her article said, basically. And she was offended by it and several of her friends were offended, etc., etc., etc. And so then it hit the national news. And one reason it hit the national news as well is, one of the guys that follows all of the games that still comes by… In fact, he was in my office today. He's a guy named Jim Furlong. He saw this as an opportunity to really make some money and so he sent it out all over the country. And sure enough it hit everything. It hit Sports Illustrated as one of the worst cheers of the year. That was our first exposure in Sports Illustrated. I can't remember how it went in Sports Illustrated but it was in one of those little sections early in the magazine that said something like, "The most morbid cheer of the year." And then there was even a cartoon in Sporting News and they had the grim reaper there with his scythe, you know, with skulls all over a soccer field and had the quote up there, you know, and had my name and the team's name up there. So it really got a negative run of press. And then in the bizarrest of ironies, soon after that we started getting mail from veterans. They thought it was wonderful. They thought that for every other war that's occurred, there have been positive sports analogies to it. And

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they said they've always been frustrated by the fact that for some reason their war, every time it's brought up, people have such a negative stigma about it and they don't appreciate anyone who has ever fought there and all of our veterans are treated like shit. And all the letters we got were really positive. They said, "We appreciate the fact that our war was used to help you guys win." And it was really bizarre because the way that woman originally wrote the article was that all the veterans would be hurt by it. And it was absolutely the opposite. So the bizarre irony was the national media jumped on it like they were being sensitive to our veterans and the veterans jumped on it like, "You assholes, we appreciate being remembered. I mean, one of the reasons we're having all these traumatic experiences now is we come back to this country and we're totally rejected and it's a pleasure to be back in the mainstream. What you guys were doing, we felt was really good." Even though that wasn't our intent. You know what I mean? But still the ironies of that situation just abounded. But still, it hurt our girls' feelings, really, because they just play sports. They're not into politics and it wasn't a political statement and it was nice to get that mail afterwards. But of course, by then the athletic department advised us not to rekindle it by sharing the letters from veterans. You know what I mean? I mean, once that sort of publicity comes out which is negative, they'd rather just let it die and it did. It did die. But Marcia and I laugh about it now. But back then, because they used her name several times, she was really hurt by it.

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I'm going to interview Marcia, too, for this project.
Oh, good. So how do you know Marcia?
She was in one of my classes. [Phone ringing] You talked about you got a running start on the competition in the women's program, but I don't really think that really explains your continued success.
What happened very early is we coached this team and recruited this team with a very high profile mentality. My background as a coach was coaching the men's team in the most competitive conference in the country. And when I was given the women's team I literally decided that I wasn't going to treat them any differently from the men in terms of time commitment or resources commitment to what extent I could. And so, we took the work ethic that made our men's team competitive in the Atlantic Coast Conference, which is the toughest conference to compete in in the country, and used that same work ethic to recruit the women. So what was happening, on Monday nights I would call men from all over the United States and on Wednesday nights I'd call women. Letters would go out to men on Tuesday and would go out to women on Thursday. So the women got a recruiting deluge and interest that was like the men. With a lot of people that started coaching women, their background wasn't really a high profile men's program, so they didn't bring the same kind of work ethic in.
Just a couple more questions.
No problem.

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So you think having the program treated so seriously from the beginning…
Yes, and then what happened was we had a lot of good kinds of success, not just winning on the field. The players really liked it here. And it's interesting. Again, when you're coaching women and recruiting women, what's as important as anything else is if they like it here; if they like the coach, if they like the girls. And these are things I also learned very early, that even the recruiting is different for men and women. And I applied my understanding of women and recruiting early, and so my contacts were always very personal. I had the girls recruit a lot because that made an enormous difference. I remember one year I was losing a player and I couldn't figure out why and I did a change of tactics. I started having my girls recruit her and we won her over and ever since, we've had the girls do a lot of the recruiting. And I understand how important the visit is now for women. With the men, the visit is important, but there are so many other factors; the amount of scholarship money you're giving them, the profile of your program, the sort of reputation you have. I mean, all these things are more important for them. For the women, it's how they perceive the team to get along, how they get along with people on their recruiting trip, if they can sense it and be accepted as people, if they can get a sense that "I'll be comfortable on this campus." And the nice thing about this campus is this is a wonderful campus for women. It's very social, it's very beautiful and I just think it's a great recruiting environment

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for bringing in top caliber female athletes. And I think the great testament to that obviously, is the success of all the women's teams here. So, we took our recruiting very seriously and recruiting is everything. If you get good players you're going to win. It's just not very complicated. And I think our philosophy in training them, as I mentioned earlier, was very good because we really created a competitive fury in our athletes that I think is unmatched among the teams we have to play with and against. I think sort all those things rolled into one and our reputation is a very good one; it all adds up.
But surely, everybody is gunning for you.
There are definite challenges to staying on top. But also, I think it gets back to another disparity between men and women in athletics. One is men sort of enjoy the underdog role. It motivates them. And so, if a men's team has been on top and they're playing with another bunch of men that are underdogs or considered underdogs, there's an incredible surge of adrenalin among those underdog men to beat the guy on top. In the women's arena because, I think, of differences between men and women, if your women's team can come into the game with a certain sort of intimidating aura, it doesn't motivate the opposition like it does for men's teams. The men's teams, being the underdog sort of pisses them off, you know. "I can't believe it. Yeah, they're real good. Well, I played that guy in the summer and I wrecked him up and I'm not afraid," and they go on that sort of arrogant mentality which gives the men's arena tremendous opportunity for upset because their mentality is that way. They

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just can't believe anyone's better than they are, so it's the male ego refusing to accept that it's possible for anyone to come in with a superior team. The women don't have that kind of arrogance. And even though publicly they state that they have a lot of confidence going to the game the next day against Carolina. "Yeah, they can beat them," and all these sorts of things. Even though they are saying all those things, way down deep, they don't believe it. And I think the aura of our team gives us an edge. And also in a men's game there is more ebb and flow. In a men's game, even against a weaker team, the weaker team will still dominate stretches of the game and the stronger team will dominate for a while and the weaker team will come back. Or if the teams are balanced, it's just constantly back and forth. In the women's game, once a team gets on top, the confidence level of the other team goes down, even my team. If another team takes a shot and almost scores or the other team dominates for a while, it's unbelievable how long it takes for my girls, you know, nine time national champions, to get back on top of things. And so, if we're that fragile, imagine how the other teams are that have to play against this tradition and aura. And so I think in the women's game, it's more important to establish dominance because it will snowball. In the men's game, there's a much better ebb and flow.
Is any of this stuff making sense?
Yes, it's making sense and I can identify with a lot of what you are saying, just from thinking of my team experiences and the different ways coaches have dealt with the team. I guess one of the things I'm just curious about is questions of the good

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of the team versus individual freedom. I went to a small school and this was always an issue on the teams.
What school did you go to?
Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois; a small school.
So how do you know Marcia?
I was a TA for one of the history classes she attended.
Oh, that she attended here?
She was a good student, wasn't she? [Phone ringing] So what were we talking about?
Individual freedom versus the good of the team. So you were mentioning earlier about your earlier teams where the girls would go downtown and get trashed. And this was always a debate on our team, to what extent does the good of the team intervene in what are usually students' personal decisions about sleep, food, diet, smoking, drinking.
All we do is we advise them on all these things. I never try to catch them at anything because I think it's more important for you to have their trust than to have their allegiance. If you have their trust I think you're going to go a lot further. And so, we've always had girls that have gotten trashed, less so now than the old teams. And Marcia will remember some of these girls I'm referring to on those first couple of teams because they were hellions. I guess there are wrong ways to win team allegiance, though. I don't think a coach can stand up there and convince a group of college age girls that they should sacrifice their lives for their team because that's

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an absurd position to take and it makes you absurd to even ask for it. So I don't even ask for it. All I try to do is I try to make each player the best she can be. Now how good she can be is going to be dictated by a lot of factors, including whether or not she goes downtown and gets trashed every night. But it also involves how intense she is in practice. And so, we all have stories about the sort of person who went downtown every night and got trashed and was stoned all weekend, but graduated with straight A's and is now a vice president for IBM. And so it doesn't matter what you do to try to convince them this form of behavior isn't positive. It's a waste of your breath. So, all you can do is make suggestions. And suggestions, not ultimatums. And then just keep reviewing with them in their goal setting meetings or when you are coaching them, "Is this the level you want to play at? Do you think you can be better? What do you think you can do to be better?" And they can sort it out on their own. They can say, "Well, this [unclear] about getting drunk every night and sleeping with every guy in town and being stoned all weekend. This is a really good program and I'm convinced this will take me to the top." That rings hollow to them eventually. I mean, even they will admit that maybe that isn't the best training regimen, but I don't think you should necessarily dictate it and demand it. And I also don't think you can demand team loyalty. I think what you do is you earn it and they give it to you. And then when you earn it and they give it to you, it's an incredible kind of loyalty. You're not going to get it to the same degree from the players that give it to you.

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And not every player is going to trust you, but I think long range [Phone ringing]
Yes. So, it's not something that you can sort of insist on. I think it's something they have to give to you. I think long range, if you set up your team rules with that sort of understanding, you'll be trusted and they will give it to you. For example, on the national team, all we have is two rules when we travel and you know, this is for international travel and everything. Basically, we want them to be on time and not get drunk. That's it. Those are the only two rules we have and I think the fewer rules we have the less rules are going to be broken. And then even those rules on curfew, I don't enforce personally. My captains, basically, enforce all the rules. They tell the team when the curfew is and they tell me if someone's out and they can choose not to. And then almost all my disciplinary sanctions are made on a case by case basis because I think all people are different. And obviously, just like in the U.S. court system, you generally want your sanctions to be similar to other sanctions. But I won't hold myself to a set of rules where I'm trapped by my own rules. I'll decide on each, you know, problem one at a time and I'll bring in the leadership to help me sort it out. Then what you've got is a collective sort of discipline. You've got them involved in it and I think it's very healthy.



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You've been here at UNC coaching almost fifteen years?
Since 1976.
Have you seen a lot of changes in how the women's programs are treated?
Yes, obviously, because of longevity, all women's programs are treated very well and because of our success our budgets have become larger and larger, our facilities better and better and the media attention greater and greater. So these are certainly very positive steps for women in athletics. I think, obviously, one factor in all this is the fact that we've been successful. But also, I think women's athletics is becoming more and more accepted and it's becoming more and more attended, the events are. I think in the old days, Title IX was one of the motivating forces in establishing women's athletics in college and maybe that's had a top down effect on girls in high school athletics. Because what's happening now is in the old days, it was so rare to find a woman that really wanted to be a successful athlete and now you find them in each sport. And the opportunities are available for them and they are encouraged by everyone. There's not as much of a negative stigma and if there is a stigma, it's a very, very understated undercurrent. And frankly, the negative stigmas really have to do with sexual orientation now and not the athletic participation itself. And I think after women's athletics clears that stigma, it will be just like the men.

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Did you give much thought to women's soccer before you became the coach?
Not at all. The only thing I had about women's athletics that was positive, I have a sister that's one year younger than I am that was an incredible athlete. So I didn't grow up with a negative stereotype about women in athletics. She was very gifted and very aggressive and I think that helped me coach the women because I knew what they were capable of. So I never coached them with any sort of condescension. I knew that they could run themselves to death and work hard and that there was no reason to pamper them because you know, we could get them to smack into each other and recover. So we never pampered them, we never condescended in training them. We basically told them they could be, you know, the best in the country and we never backed off.
I read somewhere that you said that you wouldn't have come here if it was a high powered school with a lot of scholarships. Now, you're running a program.
Yes, because coming out of high school, I wasn't a high powered athlete. And back in those days, I wasn't aware that you could make decisions based on your athletic ability. I went to a small private school in Freiburg, Switzerland, and academics was a priority. And so my reason to go to college was purely for academic reasons and I knew I was going to participate in sports, but it wasn't a real focus. It was one of those things I did in the afternoons. And I entered a program that basically had that philosophy, you know, you're a student here and the [unclear] come on

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out. And I don't think I would have easily competed in a program with high profile athletes and a scholarship base because I actually developed into a very good athlete in college. And if I had come into a program where I was competing with a lot of great high school athletes, I don't know if I would have made it. I was given a chance as a walk-on in both programs; the program at St. Mary's and the program here. And I just think through a lot of hard work, I was able to compete and I competed very successfully. I mean, I ended up with a very fine collegiate athletic career at a pretty high level. But I don't think I would have made it if I hadn't been given a chance in this kind of program because I really developed while I was in college. I was never really very big or very strong, but I always tried very hard. And I only made it because of that one quality.
The women who come here to school are pretty much people who have already made a name for themselves and they are coming here for soccer and for academics.
And I think the social life. I think a woman makes a very complete decision. In other words, I think the men go places for just the athletics. And a woman decides to come to school here because she's a high profile athlete, a major part of her decision, but also how she feels she will fit in with the team and the campus and how she feels the academics will benefit her I think are equal in her mind.
Is there anything else you'd like to add for posterity?
Certainly not for posterity.
I appreciate your taking the time to talk to me.

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