Moving Up and On

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By: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director

As sports information director, my day sort of revolves around our athletes, past and present, and their successes, contributions, etc.  The fact is that these athletes have a four-year lifespan and then they are off to make their mark in society.  They are never forgotten, but there is always someone else to fill their position once they are gone.

The same is also true for the assistant coaches here.  The head coaches at W&L have remained fairly constant over the years.  We’ve got some extremely talented coaches and almost all of them love Washington and Lee as much as the students.  They are here for the long haul.

The assistant coaches are a different story.  Their passion for the job is almost always on par with their senior counterparts, but as is true at nearly every school in the country, they are temporary.  There has been a lot of turnover in assistant coaches because the goal is always to become a head coach and given the stability among our head coaches, the assistants are forced to look elsewhere to climb the coaching ladder.

I’m always sad to see a good coach or good friend go, but you always know it is for an opportunity to further their career.  Over the years I’ve seen a lot of friends move on both in my office and throughout the department.  Just in my office I’ve had 11 different assistants and two different secretaries over 12 years.

Just in the last year, assistants Jamie Snyder-Fair, Bois Farrar, David Hanna, Mollie Robertson, Casey Dale and Rachel Barr have all moved on.  Jamie is now an assistant basketball coach at Yale, Bois tied the knot and is pursuing a business career in Charlotte, David is an assistant football coach at Notre Dame, Mollie is the assistant commissioner of the ODAC, Casey in the head volleyball coach at Transylvania and Rachel is now a research assistant at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire.  In one way or another, we miss them all but wish them well.

I often check on some of our former assistant coaches and friends in order to see how they are doing and yesterday that led to me catch up on former assistant men’s basketball coach and old friend Doug Stewart (Google is a wonderful tool).  Known by some as Coach Pretzels (a story for another time) and by others as the only dude ever to be dissed by a female in a beer commercial (Doug starred in a MGD commercial set at the famous Venice Courts in California and he still has the grainy VHS tape as proof), Doug made quite an impression in just one year with the Generals.

He is a great guy, he even helped me move nearly every piece of furniture when I decided to switch apartments in May of 2002.  He is the guy you want at your party because he’ll keep your guests entertained with a bevy of useless (or useful depending on who you talk to) facts and he may be the only person alive that has out-talked Coach Lyles in a single sitting.

After a four-year playing career at Brown, Doug spent five years as the player-coach of the Washington Generals – the team better known as the whipping boys for the Halem Globetrotters. That opportunity led him to W&L for one year before he moved on to Columbia, Casper Junior College and eventually Brown, where he linked up with Head Coach Craig Robinson. After the pair enjoyed success at Brown, they left for the west coast and Oregon State where they engineered one of the top turnarounds in Pac-10 history during their first season en route to an 18-18 campaign last winter.

As the team’s recruiting coordinator, Doug has helped bring in one of the top recruiting classes in the nation this year and he’s even talked to the U.S. President about OSU Basketball.  You see, Doug’s boss Craig is actually Barack Obama’s brother in law.  There’s been no account of whether they’ve performed Saved by the Bell trivia with a few cold drinks, which was the norm in Lexington, but it’s pretty cool that Doug is doing so well and has friends in such high places.  So while it’s tough to see so many friends leave for what may become greener pastures, it has always made me proud to see how well they are doing.  Perhaps we’ll have some more former assistant coach updates on the blog throughout the year.  For now, everyone enjoy homecoming and catch up with your friends who have been out of touch, but not out of mind.

If you’d like to read a little more about Doug, feel free to read any of the links below.

Stewart Has High Hoops Connections

Stewart is Robinson’s Right-Hand Man

Stewart Making a Name for Himself

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2 Responses to “Moving Up and On”

  1. Andy Krauss Says:

    Doug’s a great dude…just don’t ask him “what was the name of the high school they attended” in the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” It gets him every time!

  2. An Update « From the Sidelines Says:

    […] may recall that I wrote an entry a little while back about a former W&L men’s basketball coach named Doug Stewart, who is now an assistant […]

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