A half empty office with a host of motivational coaching books on the shelves, loud speaker, scattered sheets of paper, photos of former players, and several paintings from his kids with one saying, “Daddy we’re your #1 fans!” awaits Robert Tucker. It’s what you expect from a coach who was hired June 16 for the impending season that may or may not kick off because of the pandemic.
Tucker arrived in Pasadena five days after being named the head of football operations. He’s been assigned with the daunting task of building PCC’s football team into a successful program, the same team that has finished with merely two wins thrice within the past 10 years.
Tucker, a northern California native, is eerily reminiscent of the Apple+ streaming television show, Ted Lasso. The only difference is that he’s bald and bearded, but he still has all the idioms that you’d expect out of a football coach who has traveled the United States in search of winning football games. PTG, CTC, and ABT may sound like stock ticker symbols, but to Tucker they are the foundational elements of a winning football program.
“One is PTG, which is play the game,” Tucker said. “That’s just understanding the rules that are out there. You know, understanding what the rules are, and being able to follow the rules whether that’s in class or it’s on the field or it’s with COVID.”
CTC stands for “control the controllables.” In other words, focus on what you can control and don’t lose focus because of the unknown. What Tucker calls CTC is one of the more common idioms in all of sports. It’s a very glass half full or optimistic way of looking at things.
“ABT — always better together,” Tucker said. “I feel like we have a great family environment and family atmosphere. To me, families do stuff together. We just went to the Rose Bowl on Saturday to watch UCLA play Hawaii. We went to the Dallas Cowboys training camp, and we did a fundraiser together.”
Tucker credits the former head coach of PCC and now offensive coordinator, Steven Mojarro, with building a program with really good people.
“He’s a great person who truly loves the players and truly loves PCC,” Tucker said. “And he’s a really good offensive line coach. He’s been very generous to me and the information that he’s given me to hit the ground running. So I’m very thankful for that.”
The last time PCC’s football team walked off the field, coach Mojarro had just completed their first winning season since 2008. A few familiar faces still remain from that 2019 football season. Most notably, the dual quarterbacks in Edward Norton and Kade Wentz, Jeremiah Hartfield, Jabari Kindle, and a few others.
Although Tucker doesn’t plan on making any drastic changes to the offense or defense in the near future, it is clear that he has a growth mindset and that he wants to be 1 and 0 each week.
According to the PCC sports website, they will not be allowing spectators into Robinson stadium, a pending decision that is marked until Sept. 5. That decision can change, but Tucker doesn’t want that to affect his football team.
“I told our team that we just have to be aware of what’s going on in the world and with the pandemic,” Tucker said. “And whatever is thrown at us, we have to be able to accept it. Of course we would love to see fans, but we have to do what’s best for everyone.”
Good luck coach Tucker. We’ll be watching.
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