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Catching Up With: Tandy Gillis

July 22, 2001

Steve Virgen

Times in basketball have changed, but not for Tandy Gillis. He's

from the old school and he won't back down from putting his mentality

into today's game.

Gillis, 62, who coached men's basketball at Orange Coast College and

boys hoops at Corona del Mar High, still believes in teamwork, but the

modern era promotes the opposite, Gillis says.

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His promotion of teamwork is a reason he's still coaching as an

assistant at Irvine Valley College, though he's actually retired.

Yet, the team concept, or the lack thereof, is what factored into his

decision into recently turning down the OCC men's head coaching job or

any other head coaching position, for that matter.

"I didn't want to be the head coach (at OCC)," Gillis said. "There's

too many problems with players (in college basketball). I've been there

and done that. The way the game has gone, it's not the way it used to be.

The players are all into themselves. It's not as good as it used to be."

Gillis is at IVC to destroy that mentality. He's been an assistant's

role for the past five years working with head coach Jerry Hernandez.

"To be honest with you, I didn't start winning until Tandy got here,"

Hernandez said. "He's one of my best friends. My thinking when I asked

him to be my assistant was, if I'm going to have success, why not get the

guy who won a state championship. Now that he's retired, I get him all

the time. I get so excited."

The teamwork concept also comes into play with Gillis and Hernandez.

When Gillis first came to IVC five years ago he worked with Bill

Mulligan. When Mulligan left he asked Gillis to take over, but for the

same reasons of today Gillis turned that down. Then he developed a

relationship with Hernandez.

"I wouldn't be working if I didn't like working with (Hernandez),"

Gillis said. "He does a good job and doesn't bring in international kids.

I just like the way he does things. He's very professional. He won't put

up with (lazy) guys."

The teamwork mentality is very important to Gillis, yet there's

another reason, the main reason, he still coaches.

"I'm a basketball coach," Gillis said. "I like to coach. I love

basketball. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't coach."

He plays tennis, golf and lifts weights two to three times a week, but

at the end of the day his love always comes back to the squeaks of the

wooden floor, a crisp chest pass or the timeout huddle.

He owes most of that love, especially the love for coaching, to his

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