Popovich: The College Years — Gregg Popovich’s Air Force Academy Yearbook Photos
Yep, that’s Gregg Popovich with his trademark happy-go-lucky smile.
Popovich attended the Air Force Academy from 1966-1970 and played on the basketball team all four years. He was a team captain and lead the team in scoring his senior year. With that smirk on his face, I imagine Popovich was the antithesis of his coaching style as a player. A J. R. Smith type guard that would jack shots up from 30 feet two seconds into a possession.
His major was Soviet Studies and after graduating he considered a career with the CIA. That’s a big “what if” historical moment. If Pop went to the CIA the Spurs would have four less titles and the Soviet Union would have collapsed in the 70s after a series of well-set off the ball screens by the United States.
There was also this short paragraph on Pop’s time at the academy included in the yearbook. Here’s the best line:
“What he did while he was here may have been bad and it may have been good, but he learned it did not matter much either way.”
You can see Popovich’s complete apathy for the yearbook process which carried on seamlessly to his dealings with the NBA media. The perfectly vague yearbook entry closes with:
“His future plans include happiness.”
Popovich was probably having visions of something like this: