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Texas A&M Women's Basketball

Gary Blair provides an update on retirement and life after basketball

July 11, 2022
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Legendary Texas A&M women's basketball coach Gary Blair retired at the end of the 2021-22 season, but he is still a fixture in and around Aggieland. Blair joined TexAgs Radio on Monday morning to discuss life after basketball and so much more.



Key notes from Gary Blair interview

  • It's good to be back. The heat doesn't bother me as long as I can play golf early in the morning. You have to get outside. Whether you're walking for exercise or playing pickleball like my wife does on Monday nights. You have to get outside. You can't stay inside the whole day. I play golf in the mornings and try to walk all the time.
     
  • People ask me how retirement is every day. This is a reflection year more than anything, and I'm trying to get organized. We're trying to redo my study and our game room. I'm going back and reading everything, whether it be older 12th Man Magazines or responding to letters. Reflection is a good time instead of procrastination, which I've done for a long time.
     
  • I play golf about four days a week in the mornings. We have a little travel in our plans, and I have a busy month of September coming up.
     
  • I'm a sports fan. I can tell you everything about Wimbledon because I got to watch a lot of it. The British Open is coming up. I even watch WWE. I love competition. You want to see people compete. Sport makes us better.
     
  • I played ping pong and basketball with Dennis Rodman when he was a kid. He was in my third-period PE class. Early in his high school career, he was the most average guy that you had ever seen. He was only 5-foot-11. His two sisters were over six foot. He got the nickname "The Worm" from playing pinball back in the day. He was a good kid, and he grew eight inches after high school. He didn't get drafted by the Detroit Pistons until he was 24. Sometimes you have to wait for things. Sometimes you grow up, and sometimes you grow. Rodman is a sports fan. He had to be a sports fan. He didn't play high school sports because South Oak Cliff was so hard to make teams back in those days. Dennis stayed and became the best he could be.
     
  • I ended up coaching women's basketball because there wasn't a coaching job when I took the PE job at South Oak Cliff. I got the girls involved in an intramural program, and that's when Title IX was passed. The girls asked me if I'd coach them. I got the girl's coaching job by default because nobody else wanted it. The next year, it became a paid thing. I am a product of Title IX and young ladies standing up for me and saying they wanted to be coached by somebody who cared.
     
  • We kept winning in every sport, and I was the head coach of all four women's sports at South Oak Cliff. In women’s basketball, we went to state the first year we could go to state in 1976. We won state the next year in 1977. They offered me the head baseball job and a football coordinator job, but I turned them down to stay with the women. We won state again. During my last year at South Oak Cliff, we went 40-0 with perhaps one of the best teams ever. In November of that year, I made the decision to take the Louisiana Tech assistant job.
     
  • What's tough right now is that Tuesday was the first day on the road for all my coaches. My friends sent me pictures. Right now, it's a mess in college athletics. I do not miss that, but I miss the evaluations. I miss going out and talking shop with your colleagues and then getting up and doing it again. I lived for that. I was used to that for 50 years, but now, it's a little bit different. I'm trying to adjust. I am missing work, and I am missing relationships. I miss talking about the game I watched the other night. I miss all that, but it's time for the next chapter.
     
  • Joni Taylor is doing very well. She coached a gold medal team for USA Basketball, and that always helps in recruiting. When you work with the top players in the country, they get to see why you're one of the top coaches in the country.
     
  • It won't be difficult to go see the team play, but it will be difficult to realize that I have a seat. I never sat down during our games for 19 years. I was always standing and coaching. I'm going to sit down and enjoy watching. I will not be second-guessing. You get to appreciate what coaching is.
Discussion from...

Gary Blair provides an update on retirement and life after basketball

4,261 Views | 9 Replies | Last: 3 days ago by BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
stuffandstufflikedat
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AG
Thanks David… it's great to hear from Coach Blair… Aggie Legend! Thanks Coach. Wishing you all the best in your retirement.
taylorswift13
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jigsaw87
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Rudybryan
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AggieSports
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AG
Great interview!!
Wrecking crew21
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aggiedad55
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AG
Good Bull!!
BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
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