Ralph Willard rarely says anything publicly about the current University of Louisville basketball team. He also doesn’t seem to get overly involved in the huddle during timeouts, letting Rick Pitino do the talking.
Keeping silent has to be a monumental challenge for the Louisville assistant, formerly a head coach for almost 20 years, at Western Kentucky, Pittsburgh and Holy Cross. Especially challenging with the lack of comprehension and consistency he has been privy to this season.
Keeping all the frustration under control has to be a personal struggle. Coaches are supposed to yell, get angry, get in people’s faces, demand results. That’s what coaches do, especially people who have been head coaches.
One would hope for his sake that Willard is much more vocal during practice sessions. Possibly he shares his thoughts with his longtime friend. Maybe they argue about team issues long into the night after games and practice sessions.
If so, does Willard ever win any arguments with a boss who seems to have all the answers, if not the talent, to implement the solutions? How much influence does Willard really wield anyway?
Willard is not saying. One can only wonder what’s going on behind that permanent deadpan expression.