Coach Ron Mayberry epitomized all things good in a Texas coach who never had a losing season. He coached at over 30 schools. His coaching path included little schools such as Wellman-Union (K-12 enrollment 117) to stints at junior college perennial powers such as Odessa College, Midland College, and South Plains College. Always in demand as a coach, he proved his methods through winning seasons, playoff appearances and having nearly a dozen junior college students go professional.
Here’s a brief list of Coach Ron’s achievements: One thousand wins. Head coach at thirteen high schools and six colleges. Inducted into three Halls of Fame. He was selected by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches as the “State Coach of the Year” three times and was runner-up once, making him the only coach to be selected three times in four years. Named by various organizations as “Coach of the Year”, including acclaim as “National Junior College Coach of the Year” by Basketball Times Magazine.
What Coach Ron Mayberry accomplished in fifty plus years is remarkable. Yet, none of these accomplishments happened by accident. He had a purpose that matched his passion: his players – both male and female! Mayberry says, “The common coach in schools has more influence on our youth today than anyone except parents.”
Although born in Los Angeles, California, Ronald Mayberry was raised in Texas – in Kent, Odessa and Amarillo. He was a basketball in high school and at Texas Christian University. His coaching career at the high school level began in 1962; he began coaching at the collegiate level in 1976 at Midland College and secured his first head coach position at Odessa College in 1977.
According to him, the one singular factor that sets him apart from other coaches is his love for his athletes. Mayberry states, “My style is simple and easy for me to do. I love my players just like I love my children. When you do that, all decisions are simple and easy to do. If there is any question, I always ask myself, ‘What would I do if that was my child?’”
Here are some lessons from his most recent release, “Successful Coaching Lessons from an Old School Coach”.
Coaching Lesson #1: Putting labels on a student is a no-win deal for the student. Negative labels will undo any positive coaching or teaching.
Coaching Lesson #2: Grace. As a child, Coach Ron tried to cheat at family games and his grandmother would have none of that! She delivered love, compassion, caring and truth. With her, he never felt inferior.
Coaching Lesson #3: The first coach I had in Amarillo taught me that you lead by being an example. Walk the walk. They’ll follow.
Coaching Lesson #4: Never judge a book by its cover. “I believed I was dumb because of a label my second-grade teacher put on me. A good coach carries an attitude that help under achieving players reach their best.
Coaching Lesson #5: Seek different ways to reach out to your players. No one person is the same in abilities. As a coach, they must commit to learning ways to meet the needs of the players.
Coaching Lesson #6: Real coaching is unselfish in actions. Coach Ron’s high school coach knew Ron’s abilities, and when it came to choosing football or basketball, his coach directed him to basketball, even if it meant one less body on the football team.
Today, Coach Mayberry is retired, lives in the Lubbock area, writes, and is still in contact with many of his past colleagues and players.