Don’t Call Me Coach presents plainspoken Phil Martelli at his compelling and captivating best, as he finally puts into print the mantra of his memorable speeches. One of America’s most colorful, outspoken, and successful coaches, Martelli compresses his three decades of experience into a ten-point “lesson plan for life” that will benefit anyone, no matter what the challenges may be. “We are all coaches,” he insists, and each of us represents a book of unique experiences others can learn from. And so, even though he was named college basketball’s Coach of the Year in 2004, this quintessentially regular Philly guy prefers not to be addressed as Coach Martelli. “If you will, just call me Phil. ... This book is my conversation with you.”
This unpretentious tone pervades Don’t Call Me Coach––as distinctively different from most life-lessons books as Phil Martelli’s spontaneous HawkTalk is from other coaches’ tightly scripted TV shows. Martelli’s experiences within his own extended family—often funny, sometimes poignant, and always instructive—form a warmly personal background to everything he spells out in his book. Entering his thirteenth season at the helm of the storied men’s basketball program at Philadelphia’s Saint Joseph’s University, Martelli has turned down far more lucrative offers to coach at mega-universities. As he puts it, “You have to know where your heart is.”
These expressions of his heart and mind will resonate in yours, no matter where you went to school, and whether you’re an avid sports fan or not. As Phil concludes, “The Hawk will never die!” is more than the slogan of one specific university. It represents the will to excel, to never give up, and to be who we are. Still, we should not take ourselves seriously—an approach to life we can all share.
About the Authors
Phil Martelli, a graduate of Saint Joseph’s Prep and Widener University, has been head men’s basketball coach at Philadelphia’s Saint Joseph’s University since 1995. Acclaimed as Division I consensus coach of the year after his team’s 2003–04 season, Martelli is one of the nation’s most visible, colorful, and outspoken sports figures and is the recipient of two honorary doctorates.
Harold Gullan, Ph.D., a noted historian and sports fan, is also the author of The Upset That Wasn’t, Faith of Our Mothers, First Fathers and Jumping Through Hoops.