YAKIMA, Wash. -- For Mark Few, his tenure as Gonzaga’s basketball coach has clearly been defined by success.
Lots and lots of it.
From Few’s own perspective, there’s something more important.
Whether it’s his own, his Gonzaga family or the family of coaches, it’s a bond that defines Few.
It’s a crucial reason why Few has stayed at Gonzaga despite a steady stream of suitors from other schools, and it was a big part of what brought the coach to Yakima on Saturday.
“I enjoy catching up with guys,” said Few, who was one of the featured speakers at the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association clinic. “In 24 years (coaching), you meet a lot of people and it’s good to reconnect with them.”
And to return the favor.
“I was a high school coach and remember how fun these clinics were. It was also nice to know someone took the time to stop and talk to us,” he said. “These are guys who have supported our (Gonzaga) camps. This is a way of giving back.”
While Few welcomed the chance to catch up with his peers, it was, of course, only after first taking care of a family commitment.
“Luckily, I was able to come in later (Saturday),” he said. “My daughter had a soccer match this morning.”
Balancing family and coaching can be a challenge, particularly with four children, currently ages 13, 11, 7 and 41/2, but he and his wife Marcy have worked hard to keep a proper perspective.
“I’m very protective. We have four kids and we’re trying to raise them right,” he said. “I’m pretty selfish when it comes to family. I say no to a lot of things.”
Protective but not isolated, at least from his job.
“The family is immersed in the Gonzaga program,” he said. “The kids come to practices. Players come over to the house.”
Being able to blend both of those families has allowed Few to gain a comfort level coaches of high-profile programs can struggle to attain. Combining that with the program’s extensive success under Few, including 15 straight NCAA Tournament berths and it’s first No. 1 ranking last season, and you can understand why he has little incentive or interest to look elsewhere.
“You still listen. You just don’t say no to everything,” he said of getting calls from other schools. “We’re very content where we are. I’ve said all along that we can win a national title at Gonzaga.
“In the end, Gonzaga is a great place for me and my family.”