In his first media availability of the season on Thursday, Gonzaga men’s basketball coach Mark Few said he is “incredibly remorseful” about his actions that led to a DUI in September and hopes to turn the mistake into something positive.
“It’s been 10 weeks now and all of us – myself, family, players, coaches, school, fans – we’ve moved on,” Few said. “Now it’s about getting ready for Texas.”
Few was suspended for Gonzaga’s two exhibition games and Tuesday’s nonconference season opener after he pleaded guilty to driving drunk on Labor Day near Coeur d’Alene. He was sentenced to 24 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine in lieu of spending four days in jail, according to court documents.
Gonzaga forward Drew Timme and guard Andrew Nembhard lead the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs on the basketball court, but both upperclassmen said they look forward to having their leader, Few, back at courtside for Saturday’s home matchup against the fifth-ranked Texas Longhorns.
“We’ve missed him,” Timme said. “(Assistant coach Brian Michaelson) did a great job of holding down the fort, though. It was fun seeing B-Mike up in charge and all that, but coach (Few) is our leader. He’s our guy and we weren’t complete without him, so we’re glad to have him back and we couldn’t be more excited about it.”
Nembhard said it felt “pretty regular” to have Few back at practice Thursday.
“Obviously, coach Michaelson did a great job for us, but it will be nice to have coach Few back for sure,” he said.
Michaelson took the head coaching reins during Few’s absence and racked up two exhibition wins and one regular-season win.
Few noted the support he has received from his players and fans the past two months.
“They’ve reached out by, it feels like the millions or whatever, and not just locally but all my coaching colleagues,” Few said. “It shows you the great group of people I’m around and associated with. That’s been great – not surprising, but great nonetheless.”
He said it’s been easy to tune out those who have been critical of the longtime coach because he doesn’t have social media accounts and doesn’t really watch news or sports broadcasts.
“I just kind of do my own deal,” Few said. “So I hear about it once in a while from other people, but I’m not really dialed into that … I’ve tried to use it as kind of a huge jump-off point for positive action and positive change, and make myself better and then try to help as many other people as I can so they don’t have to go through (it).”
Few can expect to hear boos and taunts from opposing fans when the Zags hit the road, but he did not appear to be worried about it. Instead, he’ll focus on his coaching duties during games.
“I just kind of block everything else out,” he said. “People are welcome to do whatever they need to do. Good by me.”
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