Let’s just say that Gabriele D’Annunzio doesn’t keep up with the new fashion trends for college basketball coaches.
Coaches across the country have shied away from traditional match day attire of overcoats, ties and dress trousers that prefer a plain, quarter-zippered, and warm-up pants. Notre Dame’s Mike Brey went one step further by practicing the game in shorts.
76-year-old D’Annunzio is a private tailor for the best dressed man in the game, Jay Wright of Villanova. It almost broke D’Annunzio’s heart when Wright informed him of the vote by Big East coaches to be casual this season.
“The coaches shouldn’t look exactly the same as the players and all the people affiliated with basketball – a pair of warm-up pants and all,” said D’Annunzio. “For a match, you have to look at that part and respect the position. It’s a little disappointing but I understand. It’s just a hard time. “
NBA coaches take it easy as the league restarts its season during the summer at Walt Disney World in Florida and college coaches follow in their footsteps. The idea is taking serious momentum for the general public during the pandemic’s closure as well.
Dressing up is not a new concept in college athletics. Bob Knight and his red sweater were inseparable. George Raveling wore tracksuits on game days in Iowa in the 1980s, long before Bob Huggins was cool.
“Bob Huggins is way ahead of us all,” said Brey. “Maybe we should keep looking like Huggins.”
Greg McDermott of Creighton says he doesn’t plan on dressing up to play games again.
“I think it makes a lot more sense,” he said. “We move a lot, we bend over when we are in huddle. Bankers no longer wear suits. Everything has changed. I think it should be. “
On the women’s side, Tara VanDerveer from Stanford and Geno Auriemma from UConn swapped their blazers for a quarter-zipper while Adia Barnes of Arizona, known for her trendy wardrobes and Gucci shoes, practiced the game in long-sleeved T-shirts.
Tennessee’s Rick Barnes says he’s emerging in an era when a coach is deemed disrespectful of the game if he doesn’t do what his predecessors have done, and that includes the way he dresses. That’s not the case anymore.
“The way we are now is basically the way we train every day,” said Barnes, “so I like it. I really like it.”
Likewise with Greg Gard from Wisconsin, who said that Raveling had the right idea with the tracksuits.
“I’m not going to go as far as Mike Brey did at Notre Dame and start wearing shorts on the sidelines,” said Gard, “but I like casual ones.”
Brey said he took the idea of acceptable coaching clothing to a “very new level” last Saturday. He felt his team was tight for a match in North Carolina on January 2, and he wanted to let them go, so he wore gray shorts along with a blue polo.
“I understand. Hey, the suit looks classy,” said Brey. “I’m majoring in physical education. I like to dress like a sports major for match day. I do it for training every day.”
“Brey is like most coaches,” said D’Annunzio.
“Look, most of the coaches have no sense of style,” he said. “For them, they are athletes, and they really don’t like wearing a suit because they don’t have the sense of style like Jay …. I can appreciate that they wanted to not wear a suit because they weren’t comfortable with it.”
D’Annunzio, who owns D&B Tailors in suburban Philadelphia since 1966, has made tuxedos for Frank Sinatra and suits for the late comedian George Burns and also has the great Mike Schmidt of the Phillies and other pro athletes as clients.
D’Annunzio estimates he made 40-50 suits for Wright, who goes by the nickname “GQ Jay”. That’s between three and five suits a year, and the tailor admits the coaches’ agreement to dress casually is to get money out of his pocket.
D’Annunzio said Wright told him he would wear the suit again next season, which contradicts what Wright made at a press conference at Zoom last month.
“Yes, I hope this continues into the future,” he told reporters. “I’ve been adamant for a long time that this is how we dress for the game.”
All is not lost for D’Annunzio. Wright had her make some changes to the polyester blend heating pants she wears for games.
“We created a side gap and I created a pair with a curved gap, which was very difficult,” said D’Annunzio. “It takes a lot of time to do that. She wants to have a little bit of style to it, and that’s the only way we can make something a little different for her, so she doesn’t look like anyone else. “
This story has been published from wire agent bait without modification to the text. Only the title has been changed.