Ever notice that Doug Cosbie is reserved?
Ever wonder where he got it from?
Well, it might be his natural personality. But, as a football coach, he certainly learned a bit of it from two of the NFL’s greatest coaches ever.
Figuratively speaking, think of Cosbie donning the late Tom Landry‘s fedora and things may get a little clearer.
Huh? Right? Right. That explains it all. Cosbie played 10 seasons under the unflappable Landry, so it’s obvious that more than a few things rubbed off on the tight end who is still seventh in receptions in Dallas Cowboys history.
Cosbie was also an assistant coach under the legendary and late Bill Walsh at Stanford in the early 1990s
In his own words, Cosbie explained it like this: “Bill had more of a personality than Tom, but they were both the same kind of calculated decision-makers. Bill taught me to approach it without emotion and that that’s how you make your decisions. You can’t get emotional about it. Landry didn’t say that, but you could tell that’s the way he was. A lot of coaches coach with emotion and it works for them. The best of the best taught me to keep my composure.
“They were both alike in their approach to teach players to focus on what you can control and that attitude and effort are the only things you have direct control over. Indirectly, you can control other things if you’re good. It was their frame of mind to find out from players how much they wanted to improve and how much effort they were willing to put in. Bill was a big influence on me as a coach; it’s a different when you’re playing (for Landry). I was fortunate to have great high school and college coaches too.”
On Wednesday, Cosbie resigned from his position as Kamehameha’s football coach after three seasons. He went 19-9.
On Christmas Eve, he spoke with Hawaii Prep World and got into detail about the reasons he’s leaving.
Don’t let his unemotional, stoic appearance fool you. He loved coaching Kamehameha and he will miss it.
“It was a really, really hard decision and the basis of it was family things (in California),” he said. “It is not like anyone is dying, but it’s something that needs attention. It would be too hard to work through if we (Cosbie and his wife Sherry) stayed here.”
Cosbie is also going to give some attention to two of his businesses that he has been putting on hold. One is in the clothing industry and the other is in food.
In addition, one of his five children is getting married on the mainland in October, smack in the middle of football season, and that also contributed to his decision.
Football is not the only reason it’s going to be tough for Cosbie to leave.
His oldest son, daughter-in-law and their children ages 2 and 4 live in Hawaii. They won’t have Sherry Cosbie around to watch her grandchildren.
Interestingly, it was three years ago when a college kid who used to play for Kamehameha who Cosbie was coaching suggested in an email to Cosbie that he apply for the Warriors job left vacant by the outgoing David Stant.
“He knew how much we loved Hawaii,” Cosbie said. “I thought they probably wouldn’t even interview me, a haole from the mainland, at a school for Hawaiians.
“It has been a great experience coaching at Kamehameha. God is a big part of it here. We go to chapel to pray before every game and we have strong Christian leaders. A bunch of really great kids.”
Cosbie recalls a potluck celebration after a scrimmage against Farrington in the preseason.
“There are not a lot of high schools in a lot of states where two teams can get together like that,” he said.
A story that involves Warriors running back Kaulana Apelu will stick with Cosbie, said Apelu exemplifies what Kamehameha football players are all about.
“It was the first game of the season against Castle (in 2013),” Cosbie said. “He had an ACL tear previously and there he was laying on the ground with another ACL tear. I remember being with him and seeing the agony he was in, not just physical agony, but mental agony as well. Here he was, his stepfather had died in the spring, and it’s two and a half quarters into the season, and he’s such an awesome kid. To have to go through all of that at age 17 or 18. That will be a vivid and one of the most lasting memories for me at Kamehameha. He was being recruited and people were wondering how he was going to do in his senior year. Now, he’s a freshman walk-on at Oregon, starting on special teams and playing linebacker.
“There were a lot of great moments, too, and there were a lot of players just like Kaulana.”