A note from Joe's son Garrett:
"As a young boy, I had the privilege of having Joe Drinon as my coach and my father.
He never confused the two roles. As a coach, he had the uncanny ability to combine skill building with competitive intensity. Players willing to attend his optional bonus workouts would spend early Saturday mornings working on footwork, ball handling and different ways to kiss the ball off the glass.
When it was game time, he made sure the only things that mattered to us were playing suffocating defense and boxing out on the boards. My Dad would emphatically praise the player who did not score a point but guarded the other team’s best player and kept him from scoring. He brought out the best in us.
To this day, when I see a former Boys & Girls Club teammate, we will fondly reminisce about JD yelling, “Get 'em!” which was a command that would whip us into a half-court press formation to trap the ball in the corners.
Through the years, I had the privilege of sharing a car ride home with “coach” after the games. While staring out the car window, I would ask;
“How’d I play?”
He would always respond; “Do you want me to answer that as a father or as a coach?” I always thought about which one I wanted to hear.
“Well,” he’d respond, “as your father, I think you played your heart out. I could not be more proud of you.”
“Okay, as a coach?” “….. as your coach, you did not move your feet on defense, you did not box out the second half and you stopped taking the ball to the rim. Someday you will learn that you have to make it happen to win.”
Well, I was glad when we were almost home!
As a coach, my Dad always treated me just like any of his other players. But as a father, he has always been my best friend."