Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 1 year ago

John Mosley | Average To Savage EP120

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the one hundred and twentieth episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring Netflix's Last Chance U star Coach John Mosley Jr. of East Los Angeles College. Paul Guarino talked with John Mosley discussing his time on Last Chance U, his 20 years of basketball coaching experience, and his best moments as a coach.

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This podcast interview with Coach John Mosley was originally recorded on March 25, 2021

This is the average to savage podcast with Paul Guerrino. Everyone in anyone, athletes, celebs and much more. What's up, everybody? I'm back for another episode of the average savage podcast. Our special guest today is Coach John Mosley. John. How's it going? It's going well, man. Everything's good. Um, you know, just busy. Couple of weeks, man. Overwhelming response from the show. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Let's go back in time. A little bit. Um, like, take me through how you know Netflix or last chance you, Greg, um, like how they reach out to for in the first place. You know what it was? It was a cold call, man, and I kind of barely had heard of the show, and I kind of saw glimpses of it on Netflix. But, you know, when your basketball coach, uh, you don't have much time. So I didn't I watched a few of those episodes of the previous show, and they reached out to me, and I'm like, there's no way I'm doing that, You know? I'm not exposing myself like that and putting myself out there. Uh, but then when they explain what the show was going to be, about and it said It's just really a mirror of you And I said, Well, I don't know if I want a mirror of me out there. Uh, you know, a few people, there's a couple of people, So my athletic director says, Man, you got to do it would be great for the school, uh, and everything. You know, he's a football coach as well. And then once we decided to do it, he says, Oh, I would have never done it. No, but, uh but, uh, he he said, So I thought it would be good. And then good friend of mine, another junior college coach reached out. I was chatting with him and I said, Hey, man, I think this is maybe a possibility to do He said, Oh, man, you got to do it You know, he was a believer, like myself, uh, coaches. His name is, uh, Coach Brewer. And so he says, Yeah, man, you got to do it. Uh, I'm like, uh, you got to show them how we mentor these young men and how you live out your faith through the show. And I'm like, I don't know if they don't allow that to happen, And then finally. So I called my pastor up, and I said, Hey, uh, what do you think of this? I'm just I just know he's gonna say, Oh, no, we don't want to do anything like that. Kind of put ourselves out there like that or expose ourselves. And to my surprise, he says, No, you gotta do it. You've got to share what you do and how you impact live. So I think that's how it came about. I kinda agreed to it and kind of shaking in my boots a little bit through the whole process. But the last chance you people, man, they phenomenal production how they put it together. So the content, uh, was exactly what it was. It was authentic, man. Uh, and so we were glad that that was able to That story was able to be told. Yeah, yeah. I mean, it was awesome was definitely one of my favorite seasons. Um, And then what about, like, just when they first got there and things like that? Like, what was it like to just have cameras around you all the time? You know what, uh, share with others? I just feel like, uh, you know, in terms of my faith that I got cameras on me the whole time, So I want to live out who we are, and I live out who I am, not only when people are around, you know, trying to be authentic, but when people aren't around just being authentic. So I just figured I might just be myself the same as I am if the doors are closed or the doors are open. And I think I led the charge with that and our players kind of followed suit. They saw a coach. Most is not any different. He still turned up. He's still got a lot of energy. Uh, you know the way that I am. I just lived it out and try to stage anything in terms of family at church or anything like that. So I think that's what made it resonated with a lot of people that it was authentic. And I think the players follow the same. They just said, Hey, it's the same. And you know what, man? Social media man, it's It's crazy how we got Everybody's on the camera now, so everybody's got themselves out there. Everybody's got a YouTube channel or Instagram live or all that stuff. Uh, Twitter. Uh, so it became normal after one or two shoots, you know? Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I mean, so I've been watching the series since the beginning, and it's crazy how? Because I remember at...

...first they didn't even have social media for the actual show. And now it's like a whole Brandon. And like with your season, you know, they came out with the soundtrack with all all the famous rappers and stuff like that. So that's why it's, like crazy, just like the evolution of the whole show. Absolutely. And then I think that I mean, I think it looks like the basketball ones, and I don't know it might be bigger than the football because, like, it's got a lot of buzz. You know what the beauty of basketball is? You have the expressions you have the you can see all the emotions that they're going through. Uh, and the basketball has been endeared, as you know, a kind of a Hollywood sport. Anyway, you know, it's a little more flashy. Um, so it has its advantages, you know? I love the rawness of football. But basketball has its advantages as well. In terms of you can see everything that's going on. You can see the disappointment. You can see all that with with with with the basketball program, you can hear it's a little bit more intimate. When because it's closer, everybody's there. Everybody is closer to the court. Uh, so there's a lot of interaction that's going on, which it showed it made, made it compelling. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Now, going into into your coaching career, how long have you been coaching? And then I know you've been at, um, East Los Angeles for eight years, right? Yeah. So this is in my ninth year. Uh, but yeah. So, a little over 20 years, maybe 21. 22 can't count since 19. Yeah. Shoot, man. Time flies. I guess 1998 has started. Uh, coaching. Wow. I'm getting old. Okay. Yeah, like I didn't I don't know if it's I don't know if I miss it in the show. I didn't realize you were there that long at the college. Um so, like, what was it been like? Just like just the past eight years of like the growth or or anything there. Yeah, well, you know, everyone was I kind of took a break from the 40 year level, and I was like, You know, I'll do this just to be a head coach, because previously I had been an assistant coach at the Universities. I said, I'll be a head coach. Let me try it out. It wasn't really paying much at the time. And, uh, you know, I'm competitive and I wanted to win. The only way you can really help these kids move on is if you show them how to win in life and kind of win in every aspect. Get them to the four year level, the best way to get them to the four year level. That was my sole purpose. The first year everybody was saying, Hey, just have a respectable program, you know, traditionally, it wasn't a superpower house, So I, uh, you know, I said Okay, I just want to get these guys to the next level. And because of that, that compassion of wanting to see him do so well and make it to the next level and get that for your, uh, scholarship. Um, it kind of drove the individuals, and then it built some momentum because, you know, and I just think if you care, that's where the momentum comes. And then we attract, you know, players. And now the thing is built up to we, you know, not just the power in Southern California or the state, but now in the country, you know, our players assault off, sought after all over the country and, uh, were, you know, now Netflix put us on a not just national but worldwide, uh, spotlight. So the evolution has been amazing, Not short of giving God all the glory for for for how we've gotten here about just going into the, like, coaching, like, how is recruiting process like, just changed over the years to Yeah. So we are from the beginning. Uh, it was a little tough and really selling and marketing the program, letting them know that we really care. I think that's the biggest thing when students know that you really invested in their lives and you understand what's going in their lives and they know you care. Um and then to see the results were able to share with new student athletes like, Hey, look at the results of what we've done and we care about you. And I think that's drawn a lot of student athletes here. Some of the best players all over the country. Uh, not just in in Southern California. And now with the show, Uh, it's kind of blowing up out of proportion. I mean, thousands of emails...

...of Hey, I want to come to L. I can play. Hey, Coach, you know, you know what's tough man is I'm reading through emails and I really try to read through. I probably have reading read through every email Me. I'm talking about thousands. Even if I just skim through them and a lot of them, it feels like, you know, I guess they feel like they know me the way that, uh, are communicating through email. It's not just a random email. I used to get random emails like, Hey, here's my profile. I would love to connect with you about basketball, uh, and playing there now it's like, Hey, coach, what's up? Hey, I remember in this episode you said this. That's me all day long. Hey, I'll see you next week. I want to come down and visit, you know, or something. I want to be there. I'll be there next year, you know? So that's kind of how it is now, which is a good thing, which I can talk to each and every one of them. But it's just thousands. I wish there was a way I can do it. Yeah, for sure. That's what I was going to ask. How would your emails looking like recruiting? Loaded, Loaded. So, um, we have people that are helping me a little bit get through some of it. But for the most part, I don't I think they asked me. They said, Hey, you might want to take down your email address and I'm thinking like I'm used to attend of emails like, Oh, I get tons of emails all the time, but I didn't realize it was gonna be, like, 10 times the amount of emails. You know, usually I'm getting several emails from the school, several emails from the district, and then my boss And then, you know, people from the outside. And but this is, you know, I'm usually 30 to 40 emails a day on a normal, so I'm like, Hey, I'm used to that. But now it's up to, you know, several 100 a day. Uh, and I initially was like, No, I'll be fine. I'm good to go. I'm coach. Mostly I can handle it. And now it's just like, you know what? I kind of opened up the can of worm, but I got it up there now, so I guess I'll leave it. Um, it hasn't died down yet, but I'll figure it out. I got a plan. Now I say okay. At 10. 30 to 11. At 10. 30 or 11 o'clock at night. That's when I say Okay, let me go through all and try to respond to what I can respond to and forward emails. So that's my plan. I figure out a schedule how to handle that? Yeah, And then going into just like the last season and then obviously ending because of the coronavirus. And that's why I like just, um, watching it to like, because there wasn't really because I kind of felt like it was coming, but I didn't know. But I think there wasn't no dates on the on the screen, so I was, like, kinda confused. Like when did they film this and things like that? So, uh, like, what were you? I know you. You guys got shut down, like, pretty late, right after, like, all the big conferences got shut down. So, like you were anticipating the player, Well, the whole country got shut down. I don't I don't want to spoil what happened, but we we all got shut down. Everybody had some level of disappointment. Every single, uh, sport that was playing in the spring has some level of disappointment, man. And we were no short of that. So, uh, yeah, I mean, just getting through that and still trying to get through that right now. I mean, they haven't opened the doors here in Southern California. Southern California is the toughest. Uh, so that that may be the only thing I'm enjoying. Everything else. But that may be the most frustrating part of my life right now is the impact that I've normally had on all of these young men's life. And there are able to get through and kind of have control over helping dictate direct them. I have no, uh, engagement with them at all. And it's been a year, so that that part has been tough. And, you know, it's been a little disappointing that we're looking for leadership to help us engage the students. And it's been tough with leadership. Whatever level of leadership is is, you know, uh, that that has the decision making power to say, Hey, let's at least let them engage. I mean, I haven't been able to see him in a year, so that's that's pretty frustrating. Now it's over a year. It was March 11th when I last seen him. Yeah, yeah. So you you guys didn't have a season right this year? So right now, we still haven't gotten in. There's talks of still putting something together, but right now, we still haven't been able to kind of put it together. Uh, so it's a little little disappointing, but at this point...

...for sure, is it so, like, what are those do do like the students, like the players now like, do they have, like, what are their options for, like, eligibility and things like that? Well, uh, there are several rules that are in place. All that's still up in the air, rather the you know, the N C. Double A will honor. Given that students at the community college a year back we have that at the N C. Double A. But they well, they honor the years of the community college students. So all that stuff is still in the air. Uh, there's a lot of things that we got to filter through. I really none of that stuff really matters. I'm just trying to see them. If I could just see them to kind of help them with their mental health, uh, and motivation and that that would be good enough for me right now. Uh, we're not trying to not be safe. I understand there's parameters about being safe. I just want to see him, and I want to engage them, so, you know, they're at home. So the young man you've seen on on screen on the last chance you show, you know, we bring in new young men just like that. They're all have issues and and they're they're at a loss right now, not being able to engage with them. So that's what I'm looking forward to. That's first. And then we'll figure everything else after that. Yeah, Yeah, for sure. Now I got to ask. I know. Probably a lot of people are asking, Um, like, have you gotten any, like offers to to go to, like, a D one program? Well, you know what? That that's always been on the table. Uh, it has, you know, it has to be the right fit, but I'd have to go somewhere where I can do exactly what I'm doing here in terms of having an impact. And sometimes it's just a little different. Uh, you know, I'm able to have a little bit more freedom to be with my family as well. I'm able to be for me a little more authentic. Not that you can't do it at those levels. Those guys have figured it out. But for me, I could do it a little bit better at this level. Have a little bit more control where I can I have time to actually sit with young men more time than you may get. Uh, you know that I had when I was at the next level, uh, to really sit and spend time. So, uh, those guys do a great job, But for me, uh, I would have to They didn't have to be laid out. I'm not going to really pursue it like that, but it really has to be laid out that Hey, you could really you know, of course, more income. And you can really do exactly what you've done at the next level. And it's not compromising my family as well. So, uh, I love what I'm doing. I don't, uh I love I'm flattered by opportunities and offers and all that, but it really has to fit. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And then, like, how does it How does it make you feel? Just seeing, you know, your players going d one just for example, Just like, you know, Joe went a long beach and Sean that, uh, Sacramento C yeah. Yeah. And then, uh, but just in general, though, Like, how is it to see your players? Let's go D one. Well, you know what? In the show, a lot of the commentary everything was focused on us trying to win and get to the state championship. But you know what, man? What's most important me, I get the most satisfaction of seeing those guys where I could just, you know, this is the first year that I'm not coaching and I'm able to watch games of my former players. You know, sometimes if they're out of state there, there are these games at these weird hours that I can't catch. You know they'll be like at three o'clock in the afternoon because they're playing on, you know, some channel ESPN three or something, and I can't see it on the app, and I was able to watch a little bit. Man, that just warms my heart to see those guys. And I'm not talking about the guys just this year, but years in the past, to be able to see that to me, that's what that's what gets me most fired up and excited. That's what I'm pressing for. That's what I'm urging these guys to do. And in the midst of that, you want to win games, uh, to put them on a better platform to say, Hey, this guy helped us win this amount of games. He's a winner. This is why you should take them and that's the Gold Man is to get these guys out. And I love that that, uh, that that happened, and even down to the end, forget the show, man. It was a fighter struggle, battling, getting these guys through academically, Uh, you know, things that...

...that the cameras, uh, they don't catch the fight all the way to the end, and then it will reward. And it's not, uh, if I'm selfish, I tell when I recruit people. Hey, if I'm selfish, the selfish part of me needs to see you playing at the next level. Then I can say, Hey, look and how I help this young man. So that would be yourself. It's not. I think I want enough man coach of the year five times in a row like you know what? It's it's it's seeing those guys move to the next level. That that's what gives them the most satisfying, the most satisfaction. Yeah, yeah, give me some stats. How many? How many players have you had? Got D one and then, like any NBA players, so no NBA players? I have several guys that are playing professionally in other countries. Uh, as a head coach, you're talking about my 20 year span. I mean, yeah, there's there's tons of guys, Uh, but, you know, several guys playing overseas professionally. Um, but I don't know, man. I don't have that number of my hip. My assistant coach, you know, Coach Hunter. He keeps those stats because he has a list. He shows the guys when we recruited. But for me, man, I don't keep that. I just want to see him go and get their degrees and, you know, have families and and have great lives And having a career like me, you know, I got a career in basketball. It's not that I wanted you to have a career in basketball, but just have a career. And to be able to see you come from from a place where you didn't think you were going to you know where? You didn't think you were gonna make it out or or I want. I tell the guys I want you to be in a better place than you thought you ever would be. And what does that look like for you? I don't know. And when I see that and the guys are excited, they're like Coach, I got this career. I got my family, I got married. I'm going to guys weddings that that that's what I get most excited about. Gotcha. And what about what advice do you have for, like, a young coach trying to trying to make it? You know what I would say, man? Really Find someone that's some good pedigree to get under and learn, man. That's what I had. My mentor, unfortunately, just passed last, Uh, so that was Yeah, January 2020. And, you know, hey, he was in the hospital and nobody knew what was going on, so we know what that was. But he was in the seventies, and he he was on a respirator, so I won't mention what that was, but we didn't know what was going on, but he he passed. And that was my mentor. Uh, and I think I learned a lot. He had his mentor was John Wooden. And so he was under John Wooden. I learned so much because with my little wisdom, uh, I learned so much about what's important and what it takes to win and have success, and then learn about loyalty and being under good coaches and good people. So be under good people and then also be under, uh, if you've got a chance to just learn, you're not gonna get paid, you know, book you money right away. Just go learn under some great people and great men. And I think that's important. And I had the opportunity to have that, and I think that's where it comes from. The success I'm having is because I was under, uh, some good man and what's crazy as I learned how to how to run a program and have good people. I learned about staffing and and so the guys that are with me on my staff. Phenomenal man. If you see the coaching staff, how we click and we get along, all that stuff is important. What it means when you learn from successful coaches, they learned it's not just the like. I keep saying it's not just the Xs and OS. It's, you know, apart is easy. It's it's, uh, you know, the relationships you have with administration, the support staff you have. All those things are important. Those are things that I learned. It's not just jumping out there and saying I got this great play to run. Um, there's this stuff off the court that matters. Probably 90% of having a successful program versus the 10% on the court. So I got you. And then, um I know the last last chance u football was in, uh, Lainey in Oakland. Did you get to connect with the coach beam out there? Oh, man, I was man. I was, like, trying to figure out Hey, man, please give me advice. Uh, man,...

Coach Bean was phenomenal, man. Most people would be like, Well, you're on your own. Coach Bean was phenomenal. I still text coach Beam or talk to him. I said, Hey, man, this is coming up. What should I do? He said, yeah, I was waiting for you to call me Johnny. He calls me Johnny. So, uh, yeah, Coach, be Betty calls me Johnny. How you doing, Johnny? He called me the day after it came out. I said, Oh, my goodness. He said I told you, get ready. And so he's he coached. Beam is phenomenal, man. He needs to be the last chance. You mentor of coaches, like mentoring us all on how to get through this thing. So, uh, he was great, man. And he did a great job with that, uh, with that deal, man. And and, uh, that was a great show for me leading up to me. You know, what's interesting is I I think that that show was done. And while I didn't see it while we were filming so it hadn't come out, We we did our film. It just came out. You know, in the summer, we were, you know, we were filming, so I hadn't seen it, but he helped guide me through some of that stuff. So it was good. Yeah, that's awesome. So did you. Have you gotten the chance to watch it or you don't want to watch yourself? I did. I have had a chance to watch it. I watched it earlier. I think it was important so that I can answer as many questions as I could to kind of take a look. And my family, My wife, they were, You know, I actually got a sneak peek a little bit early. So, uh, you know, I got a chance to tease a few friends, like Hey, man, March champ, when it comes out. Oh, this scene. You gotta watch it. They were like, Tell me. I'm like, Nah, you got to just watch it. So, uh, yeah, I got a chance to watch it. Uh, it's just surreal, man to kind of see himself, uh, you know, play out on television, man. And then they maybe look a lot better than than I thought I was at the person, you know, because the music man, I mean, I tell you, the music was phenomenal. That was my best part. Everybody. What's your favorite? I said, the man, the music Because the music ties into just, uh, the emotions of what's going on. And then it kind of had a little bit of my flavor. You got some oldies in there, and I'm like, and then you got California music, Southern California music. And then you've got some gospel. That's what I'm about. I mean, they're just tied into everything. And then you got the kids. What? What Their area is, You know, it's so Hey, man, Hats off to them, man. They should win or whatever. Whatever awards the top award is for the show, it should happen. Yeah, for sure. What about I saw? Um, there's a collab shoe with Steph Curry. How did how did that come about? And what did you get to meet Steph Curry so reached out, man. Apparently he gave the go ahead to to make the shoe for last chance. You It kind of embodied that underdog mentality, man. So, uh, yeah, man, the you know, because I remember talking about I think they caught it like, uh, like, hey, every this shot matters. You know what I'm saying? You know, it's not just Oh, because I can shoot it. Let me shoot it. No, it matters, man. That one shot can be the shot that changes your your whole light. So life, So every shot counts is is I think they even threw that on the shoes. So, uh so, yeah, man, it was That was great. And I was kind of humbled by that as well, Like, man, they made a shoe for the for the show. You know, I got a pair, so I think there's only three pair, I think Steph warm. I got a pair and I think they got one bear out there that somebody can get. Somebody can win that shoot. You know, I think you go to the last chance you page man, hop on that page and you can get a shoe that you can find it somewhere. You I think you can win them or something like that. So, uh, he's sweet. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. All right. You ready for some fun questions? Sure. What's your What's your favorite song right now? Who? That's tough, man. Uhh! Uh, man, I'm so old. He's driven. You got favorites. You know what? I don't really I'm like a guy. Like I hear the all the songs that are popular Now I hear them like, a year later and I'm like, Oh, that's those are great. I...

...really dig into gospel That gives me motivated man. I usually do praise and worship to make sure my mind is focused on what my goal is. And that's to make sure I I set a good example when I please God with all of my actions. So I'm just digging in the gospel. I can't say a song. I don't want to screw it up because I probably wouldn't get the name, the right name of the song or the right artist. I just know it's ringing in my head or something like that. So I can't say specifically, man. But I'll tell you what I dig in, I make sure I do that when I do my devotions in the morning so that I go And my approach to life is is, uh, you know, is making sure that I'm focused for today. Yeah, for sure. What about, like, who is, like, the craziest person that reach out to you? Like famous or like celebrity athletes? Man. So we've heard from just on the instagram lives the Shaquille O'Neal's, uh, so many people have in the Twitter account. I can't Even I was on with, like, we got a radio show host out here, big boy. You know, he was 92.3, so we were on the instagram. Laughed. He was like, Coach, what? Set up? Okay, I gotta stop cursing. I gotta stop cursing now. So, uh, I can't even I mean the emails that I've gotten from some college coaches that I've across the country, some private, encouraging emails. It's been a lot. Uh, but to my surprise, I really didn't. I thought it would be just like a like the last chance you culture. You know, that would hit us up. But it's beyond that, and that's been amazing. people that have reached out. Um, I think we've touched the people and the faith community. So faith is my faith is important to me in that community has reached out the NBA basketball community. We've seen tweets. I mean, it was like that. Excellent, Tobias. I was kind of tweeting back and forth with that Tobias Harris and several people in that regard. Uh, you know, I don't take the time to to spend and go through all of them, but yeah, What about? I know you're a humble guy, but is there any, like, dream interview? Have that, Like, you want to get on somebody's show? Uh, you know, a great man is Uh huh. Someone So I like like Oprah. You know what I'm saying? Like she had. It's something like that, you know? You know, just something like, I don't know, something like that. Um, Stephen a Smith. Or, you know, something like that. Just just to kind of help continue to empower the community and and the and the cause of this somebody who's for who always advocates positive, uh, reinforcement and lives of others. Um, that any show like that, I'd be happy to be beyond any of those for sure. Last one. What do you like to do in your free time? Kids? Man, My family. I invested my kids a lot. So this pandemic Although I'm frustrated and I'm kind of almost two anger that I haven't seen my students in a year is giving me a lot of time with my my my kids. I mean, my daughter I got a daughter who's man that changed. They're getting older. She just turned 13. I got another one turning 15 this weekend. I've been in one place on ball, one place, basketball there. My son been able to invest in him with basketball. And I said, You know what? My kids got a lot better. Uh, and you know, my hashtag is hashtag I am not paying for college, so it looks like they're on their way, and I think this year helped me give them some tools to help them get themselves better. They kind of learned how to how to invest in themselves and they learn how to work. You know, you got that's That's something you have to teach them to because going out and just playing or really teaching them how to develop their craft is something that I was able to teach all three of them, and I thought invested in that and then family and spending time with my wife. I mean, we she's a teacher, man. We...

...zoom in and this really got five people zooming all day, and she's like, Shut up. I'm talking to my class and I'm like, Well, I'm doing this. I'm talking to my class. And so, you know, you got one in the garage, zoom in, and I've won in the bedroom and one, you know, it's it's all over the place. So that that's been that's been great. And for the past time right now. So spending time with family, uh, I really don't have much time for anything else And how social media is taking all my time up, you know? Never. Yeah, Yeah, that's awesome. Well, I appreciate you coming on. And could you let the listeners know where they can follow you on social media? Yeah. John Moseley Jr J o h N M o s l E y. So you spell Mosley M o S L E y. A lot of people make the mistake m l s e l e y. Which is the way you can spell it too. But it's M O S L e Y Junior Seau, Jonny Moseley Jr That's my Twitter. And then Coach John Mosley underscore the lack. Alright, Again. Appreciate it. Uh, again. Sorry about that. Appreciate it, Coach. Um, yeah. I'll definitely I'll be tweeted out and sharing it, and I'll be showing you Absolutely Thanks, Paul.

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