After All These Years: Grandpa Coach Still Has His Groove


De'Enlas Head

Spin Doctor: After 20 years of coaching, Gary Teasley says he still has his love for the game.

Charda Williams

Gary Teasley has been coaching basketball for 20 years – long enough to earn himself the title of Grandpa Teasley around Southfield High School.
Though he is not yet a grandfather in real life, at 58 years old, Teasley is the oldest coach on staff at the school.
Teasley, who stands a towering 6 feet 9 inches tall, spent the first seven out of those 20 years of coaching at Detroit Country Day High School and Southfield Christian High School. During that time, he says he had the pleasure of coaching his daughter Eleisha Teasley’s Varsity Basketball Team at Country Day High School. She has since graduated and is now a substitute teacher.
Ever since 2001, he has been coaching the Blue Jays – the Boys Varsity Basketball Team for Southfield High.
He and his Blue Jays have made it to two final four appearances in Class A – the biggest and baddest of them all.
Though Teasley has been a part of the game for more than five decades, he isn’t slowing down now. With the season starting soon, Teasley is ready to get things moving.
Says Teasley, “I will always find a way to be involved with this great sport even if that means teaching third and second graders.”
Southfield alumnus Carlton Brundidge, who now plays for the University of Detroit Mercy, says Teasley taught him never to give up. He told me even if I miss a shot, always believe I can hit the next one.”
Brundidge says Teasley was more than a basketball coach. 

He was a life coach, too, because he gave many motivational speeches during basketball practice that were peppered with life lessons and advice about the real world.”

— Carlton Brundidge

Brundidge recalls that Teasley would always yell out, “Come on, big fella. You gotta go hard to the basket. Don’t throw that crap up to the rim.”
Brundidge is one of many players Teasley coached to the next level.
With genuine respect for his former coach, Brundidge said of Teasley, “He’s definitely a coach that will stick with me throughout having a lot of coaches in my life.”
Looking back, Teasley says he’s had a wonderful career: “I will never retire from the game, if that’s working at rec centers or at public courts, but I will retire from coaching.”
Teasley’s eyes widen when he talks about the game. He used to play basketball himself at Mackenzie High School, in Detroit, where he earned a full ride to play college ball at Southern University, in Louisiana.
After that, he even made it into professional basketball, playing overseas in European leagues.
Says Teasley, “The game is the star, not the players, coaches or anything else; it’s the game. There’s so many dimensions to the game. I’m extremely passionate about this sport.”
Sophomore point guard Michael Flowers says he has had the chance to play under Teasley for the last two years and has learned a lot from his coach during that time.
Flowers says that while they are at practice, Coach Teasley always says, “Now is our time.” Flowers says he has thought a lot about that quote and has decided it means “It’s our turn to be the best.”
Flowers says he hopes to join the ranks of Brundidge and others who have made Teasley proud over the years.`