Former UCLA coach John Wooden famously said, “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.” Coach Steve Gutlove is the definition of a great coach. Coach Gutlove has been coaching RYNJ basketball for the past 12 years. Over most of those 12 years he has been working with three different levels, the sixth, seventh and eighth grade teams. Anyone who has coached knows the enormous level of commitment it takes to coach one team for a single season, let alone three over such a significant time.
His personal coaching philosophy doesn’t gravitate around scoreboards or wins and losses, though he has had his fair share of those, with over 175 wins to his name as head coach of the RYNJ Jaguars. Coach Gutlove is the type of coach that shows his players how lessons learned in athletics translate into their everyday lives. He is a firm believer in the benefits of athletics and how being a part of a team can positively impact a person. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from him over the last few years.
Another John Wooden gem about coaching—and life—that Coach Gutlove and I both identify with is, “Success is a peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction and knowing you made the effort. Do the best of what you are capable every day.” Coach Gutlove is the kind of person who gives 100% effort for everything he does, his team, his student-athletes and this school every single day and in that regard I hope he considers these last 12 years with RYNJ Athletics a gigantic success.
In recognition of all of his hard work and dedication to the RYNJ boys basketball program, the school had a celebration for Coach Gutlove on Monday evening, April 15, after the sixth grade basketball victory over Yeshivat He’Atid. We spoke about Coach Gutlove’s accomplishments with students both on and off the court and presented him with two items: a personalized plaque and an autographed basketball signed by each of the players on the current sixth, seventh and eighth grade teams. The ball also read “Thank You, Coach” in teal along with the Jaguars logo.
RYNJ is so proud of all that our teams have accomplished under Coach Gutlove’s leadership and the young men he has had a direct impact in molding. On behalf of the school and the hundreds of Jaguars basketball players that have had the honor and privilege of playing under your tutelage, thank you for everything, Coach.
By Dan Sanacore, CAA, AIC Director of Athletics and Physical Education RYNJ