The "Hated" Coach That Made Him

NORMAN, Okla. -- Former OU defensive tackle Gerald McCoy didn't like coach Jackie Shipp.

He'll be the first to tell you that.

"I didn't like him," McCoy said. "He knows that. We talked about it. He would tell me to my face, ‘I know you don't like me,' and I said, ‘Yeah, you're right I don't.'"

But why he didn't like his position coach also happens to be a major reason why McCoy's advanced to the level he has today as a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and recent No. 3 overall draft pick.

"He played a huge role in me getting to where I'm at," McCoy said. "Coach Shipp doesn't just develop football players. He develops men. I had a father for that, but Coach Shipp took it upon himself."

In fact, he took one of the toughest tasks upon himself.

When Gerald's mother, Patricia, passed away back in 2007 due to a brain aneurysm, Shipp shouldered the load of continuing to develop him while helping him through the tragedy, something Gerald credits him for.

"He made a promise to my mother that he would do that, and he stuck to it," McCoy said. "And one thing I can say is he is a man at his word. And he stayed on me, never let me get lax."

Because of that, McCoy excelled into the National Football League.

"I mean, in the long run it helped," McCoy said. "And now we actually are pretty close. And, you know, I tell him I appreciate all he did for me."

So, for a player that respectfully despised his coach, when did things change?

"After I got drafted, yeah, after I left, and we talked about that," McCoy said. "He knows that."

As for their rocky relationship during his college years, maybe it can be best described as many times with people, where they're so similar that it causes conflict.

"He just was--he's like the way I am when it comes to football," McCoy said. "I don't know how to take a break, and neither does he."

McCoy tells of a story to illustrate that.

"During the summertime when football season's not in, you'd think he's the nicest person ever," McCoy said. "He invites you over. You get to have dinner at his house, and, you know [he] loves to play all his video games. You're like, dang, Coach Shipp is better than I thought. [Then], two weeks before that season's about to start, I mean, he turns into the most evil person ever. But it's just, I mean, that's his job. That's what he does, and he has a passion for football and coaching just the way I have a passion for playing."

And it's paid off for both of them

McCoy's success is the proof.

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