10 questions With Oscar Giles
May 24, 2007
When did you first know you wanted to become a football coach? I knew I wanted to be a football coach when I started playing in eighth grade. My high school coach, Pat Walker, who was also my junior high coach, at Palacios High School, just took me in with open arms. He was such a big inspiration for me. That was kind of when I knew that's what I wanted to do. I loved playing, but coaching is a chance to actually touch a young man's heart and his mind. My high school coach was a father figure in my life, and I thought I could be a father figure in kids' lives.
Who has been the biggest influence on your coaching career? Pat Walker has been a big influence, but you go back to people that have touched your life. Mack Brown has been a big influence to me, because I actually got my start as a graduate assistant here. A big influence also is the kids. The biggest compliment to me is to get calls from guys that played for me who say, 'Coach, I'm a coach now, because of you.' I feel that, because that's why I became a coach, because of my coaches.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life? The biggest influence on my life is my mother. My mother has done one heck of a job of raising four boys who are big and country and who like to eat and like to work hard. She raised all four of us, and I'm the oldest of the four, to be grown men. She did it on her own. She's a big inspiration to me.
What is your favorite part of being a football coach? It's just the biggest compliment you can receive to have kids come back and say, 'Thanks coach, thanks for what you did.' I get calls from Tim Crowder and Brian Robison, and it touches you. That's worth more than any check. When a kid calls and says, 'Hey coach, thanks, I might not have liked it when you told me when I was a kid, but I appreciate it, because it's had an effect on me now.' To me, to see a kid be successful tells me I'm doing something right. I affected a kid in the right way, and I hope I can continue to do that.
What is your favorite part about coaching at The University of Texas? Coaching anywhere is great because I have a passion for it, but to coach at your alma mater where you went to school, and to relive some of the experiences you dealt with while you were here, is unbelievable. I go back to the dorms and I see my room. I go to the team meeting room where I sat. I get to walk on the field, and it's not the same because it was turf then, but I can remember that spot on the 20-yard line where I made the sack, or I can remember a certain tackle where I made a play. It also gives me a chance to help the kids appreciate it. I can walk around with my T-ring and show them they can do it. I can say, 'I got my degree, I enjoyed my experience here and I've come back to be a part of it again.'
What has been your proudest moment in coaching? There have been a lot of great moments being able to put that whistle around your neck and go out and really coach. The proudest moment is the confidence you get from the kids. You can go back to the National Championship Game and a bunch of big games here at Texas, but the biggest moment is seeing those kids at the White House walk up those steps with different backgrounds, but they earned it together. They worked for it, and it's emotional for me, because the greatest thing is seeing kids get the reward for hard work.
What player(s) that you've coached do you believe got the most out of their ability? We've got kids like that, and you can't really pick one guy. My job description is to be a great motivator and be an inspiration to kids to make them play better than they think they can. There isn't just one kid. I try to get them all to play to the best of their ability.
Players are often asked about their pre-game routines. Do you have anything special you regularly do just before a game? Pre-game is pretty routine. You say a prayer and just try to get the kids focused. It's all about the kids. As coaches, we don't play. It's about the players executing the game plan.
What do you think you would be doing if you had never gotten into coaching? I have a passion for coaching, and I don't know what else I could be doing. I love what I do, and I've been asked that question before, but I can't think about it, because I love coaching. If I were coaching junior high or pee wee football, that's what I would be doing.
Do you have any special talents outside of football or what is your favorite thing to do away from football? I'm a country boy, and I love to fish. That's my deal. I do play other sports like basketball.