Only the closest friends of legendary college basketball coach Lefty Driesell ever called his son “Righty.”
“There’s only one ‘Lefty,’” said Chuck Driesell. “I don’t need to be ‘Righty.’”
Chuck Driesell, 54 and unlike his dad, right-handed, has made his own career as a college and high school basketball coach.
On Friday afternoon, Driesell’s Washington (D.C.) Maret High School basketball team fell to Jersey City (New Jersey) Hudson Catholic 65-51 in the first game and in the first round of the 44th Annual Culligan City of Palms Classic.
Maret is scheduled to play Weston Sagemont at 12:15 p.m. Saturday in the consolation bracket at FSW’s Suncoast Credit Union Arena.
Lefty Drisell, 84, retired and living in Virginia Beach, Va., has provided a valuable resource for his son, first as a father, then as a coach, then as a boss, having guided Chuck Driesell as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland prior to Chuck Driesell forging his own career as a head coach in college and high school.
“Any time your parents are successful at what they do, you take a look at it,” Chuck Driesell said. “That was a big draw.”
Only eight men have won more Division I college basketball games than Lefty Driesell’s 786: Mike Krzyzewski (1,053), Jim Boeheim (989), Bobby Knight (899), Dean Smith (879), Jim Calhoun (877), Adolph Rupp (876), Eddie Sutton (806) and Roy Williams (793).
Lefty Driesell remains the only Division I coach to have won at least 100 games at four different programs: Davidson (176-65), Maryland (348-159), James Madison (159-111) and Georgia State (103-59).
The father said he was grateful for his son to stick with his profession.
“Well, because he’s a good coach,” Lefty Driesell said in a phone interview. He did not plan on traveling to Fort Myers for the tournament.
“He grew up with me. He grew up with basketball. So he knows basketball. He saw how hard I worked.”
“I wasn’t really actively looking to coach,” said Driesell, who graduated from Maryland with a degree in business. “After my season, I decided, ‘I like this. I want to make a career out of it.’”
Chuck Driesell later worked for his dad as an assistant coach at Maryland.
“Being competitive like he is, I was excited to give it a shot,” Chuck Driesell said.
Chuck Driesell has coached at James Madison, six seasons at Division III Marymount and five seasons at The Citadel. He had a 42-113 record there before deciding to return to high school.
“Private school, 650 kids, in the heart of D.C.,” Chuck Driesell said of Maret. “It’s a wonderful place. It’s been around a long time.”
Founded in 1911, Maret’s mission statement says: “We develop the mind, nurture curiosity, welcome challenge, embrace joy, and build community that is equitable and inclusive.”
“You have more time for quality of life and personal relationships,” said Driesell, who has been married for 27 years. “I have more time for my wife and my family. There are some jobs when that becomes secondary whether you intend for that to happen or not.
“Now, my life is more balanced.”