Jason Gillikin: You’re listening to the Diversity: Beyond the Checkbox podcast. On this podcast, we share diverse perspectives from leaders in their industries, explore diversity, equity and inclusion concepts, and challenge our own assumptions and perspectives to take diversity beyond the checkbox. I’m your host for this special series, Jason Gillikin, the executive producer of the Diversity: Beyond the Checkbox podcast and CEO of Earfluence. This podcast series seeks to initiate courageous conversations that remove barriers, stereotypes, and apprehension associated with asking difficult questions related to types of diversity.Our goal is to foster understanding, create connectivity between people and share experiences through conversation. Most questions asked in the series are researched as often asked questions and perspectives shared represent those of our guests and do not necessarily represent the sentiments or viewpoints of Earfluence, The Diversity Movement, other associate organizations or their employees or assigns. On this episode on our “Ask A” series, we have “Ask a Baby Boomer / Ask a Millennial”. And to see more diversity initiatives, including an online course on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit www.thediversitymovement.com. With that, let’s jump right into the show.
Candace Cooper is a sports media professional and former sports radio host whose resume includes positions with SB Nation, the Carolina Hurricanes, the New Orleans Saints, the New Orleans Pelicans. Candace was the first black woman to swim for the University of North Carolina.
Anson Dorrance is the head coach of the women’s soccer program at the University of North Carolina since 1979. He has one of the most successful coaching records in the history of athletics, including 22 national championships.
Canadace and Anson, welcome to the Diversity: Beyond the Checkbox podcast.
Candace Cooper: Thank you for having me.
Anson Dorrance: Yeah. Thank you, Jason.
Jason Gillikin: All right, well, let’s talk a little bit about you two before we dive into some of these questions. So Candace, you have done a lot in your emerging career. Tell us a little bit more about yourself.
Candace Cooper: Sure. So, born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. And I thought I was going to go super far for school, and then I ended up going 30 minutes down the street. And I spent my time swimming from 2009 to 2012 at Carolina, first black woman to swim at the university. And I only found that out after doing my senior thesis as African American studies major.
And I just asked Frank Comfort, the old swim coach, like, “Hey, has there ever been a black girl to swim?” And then there it was. And so, it’s just been a very interesting journey for me, just being a black girl who swam and kind of trying to navigate that space and using that as my foothold into many doors. I trained for Olympic trials in 2016 and then retired looking for wherever I was going to go next.
And decided to take my talents into the radio world. So I started out with a local show in the sport shop there, and then I spent some time in New Orleans working in operations and moved back, started to work at Duke and then took my talents back to the sports shop and then had my own podcast with ESPN radio, and ended up getting my first full-time gig at SB Nation and Houston was fun for three months, and then COVID decided to come a little early and take my opportunity away, but it’s all good ’cause I ended up finding work in the agency life. So I have been blessed to find work again and now I’ll be hosting Guess the Guest Live with Penn Holderness come fall and also Locked On Tar Heels podcast with the Locked On Podcast Network.
So I’m really excited to finally be shifting into some good news.
Jason Gillikin: That’s awesome, Candace. Thanks. Anson, besides being a hall of fame soccer coach, tell us a little bit more about Anson Dorrance.
Anson Dorrance: Well, thank you. Yeah. First of all, Candace, she made a brilliant decision not to leave the area. It’s so funny, all my kids, the exception of my eldest, all came to UNC and I think they had plans to go elsewhere. Once they got there, it was like me. They found their home, and I’m sure you did. It’s just an extraordinary university. So that was, that was wonderful taste. And I had a circuitous route to UNC, but like you, I came and absolutely loved it.
I stumbled into my job. I had no intention to be a soccer coach. I was studying the law. My father was an oil businessman and I had no interest really in coaching, but the guy that I played for at UNC, a wonderful man by the name of Dr. Marvin Allen decided to retire, and he went in and spoke to the athletic director and suggested to my athletic director that they hire me.
I was hired so young, I was coaching boys that I’d played with. Three years into coaching the men while I was finishing my law degree, they gave me a, a women’s team, and I still had no real interest in, you know, staying with the sports of coaching men and women at UNC, but I fell in love with it. I had six courses to go into a degree, and I dropped out. So, I haven’t looked back and I’ve loved every day of it. Even now, I’m almost 70 and I’m really, really enjoying everything about coaching. Obviously the pandemic has put this on hold a bit, but I know we’re going to get through this.
I am just overjoyed with this opportunity to coach at my Alma mater.
Jason Gillikin: Thank you for that Anson but, tell everybody, where you grew up, ’cause you didn’t grow up in the United States.
Anson Dorrance: No. Yeah, I was a son of an oil businessman, and we traveled every three years. I was born in Bombay, India. At the age of three, we moved to Calcutta, from there to Nairobi, Kenya from there to Addis Ababa where I met the woman I’ve married. From there to Singapore, Malaysia. While my parents were living in Brussels, they sent me to a Swiss boarding school. and I came from that Swiss boarding school to the Marianas Teaching Order, the Catholic teaching order that ran that boys’ boarding school in Fribourg, Switzerland, which was St. Mary’s university in San Antonio, Texas, just down the road from you Candace in Houston. Spent only one semester there, ’cause that was almost killed every weekend. In order to live, I felt I had to transfer out, so I went to Chapel Hill. Back when I was there in the early seventies, San Antonio was the murder capital of the United States, and I really felt that one of those weekends I was going to be another statistic because st. Mary’s isn’t in the nicest part of San Antonio. And so I fled, and then just landed in paradise, and so I haven’t left.
Jason Gillikin: Awesome, thank you. So this podcast is Ask a Millennial and Ask a Baby Boomer. And just for context, millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. Me as the host, I am somewhere in the middle. I’m a gen X-er, but there has been a, a perceived cultural rift between baby boomers and millennials over the past few years. The stereotype for baby boomers is that they are maybe out of touch, maybe low tech, maybe a little closed minded.
The stereotype for millennials is that they are entitled, flighty and selfish. Candace, let’s go start with you. What do you think of these stereotypes?
Candace Cooper: Well, you know, I hate stereotypes, but here they are. And I’ve been taught like that there’s nothing new under the sun, so clearly we’ve gotten all these interviews from somewhere, right?
They might be heightened now that we have more time on our hands to watch and have more things at our ready, but I certainly believe that there are people who, in the past, have been selfish, entitled and what have you, that they are now passing some of those characteristics off to the next generation. But you know, it just comes with up and down of people being more vocal and outspoken, and I also think that some are boomers. I mean, we wouldn’t be outspoken if we hadn’t learned from someone, you know, in the past and they were doing it, tweaking it a little bit for good or bad, but definitely feel as though it’s been here before.
Jason Gillikin: Alright. Anson, what do you think of those stereotypes?
You’ve coached, you know, gen X-ers, millennials, gen Z-ers, and you’re a baby boomer yourself. So what do you think of those stereotypes? Whether they’re fair or not?
Anson Dorrance: Well, honestly, I think the low tech thing is spot on. It’s a miracle I’m actually on this podcast. I called, you and had you resend your Zoom invite. Somewhere in the ether is the original one you sent me.
If my life depended on finding it, I’d be dead now. So I think the criticisms of my generation are absolute legit and basically, the state of the country right now, I blame my entire generation. And I’ve asked the millennials and all of you younger people to save us. We’re ruining everything. Everything, I’ve – every criticism that they’ve given for my generation is completely legit. You know, we’re destroying the planet, and the faster we leave the Earth, the better for all of you. So I completely embrace every criticism.
Jason Gillikin: Oh, my gosh.
Candace, what about you? Are there any stereotypes of millennials that you feel are on point?
Candace Cooper: Oh, yeah. I think that millennials are extremely entitled. We have to go through this whole achievement route, then somehow we’re supposed to get a gold medal or trophy at the end of every prize. And unfortunately, that’s just not how life works. Especially as student – former student athletes, we’re used to, you know, you put in, you get out and that’s just how it goes and you’ll see results, and life has taught me not one more time than 10 more times that it just doesn’t always work out like that. So I think that entitlement part is hard ’cause you have to learn patience and you have to learn waiting for opportunities and waiting for, you know, that moment where you do get to reap some benefits of the hard work.
Jason Gillikin: Well Candace, let’s talk about, you know, let’s, let’s say you start a new job and you have a boss who’s a baby boomer.
What do you expect from that boss versus if that boss were to be a, a millennial?
Candace Cooper: I definitely expect low tech. Will definitely have to teach them a couple of things, you know, a few tricks, a few shortcuts that probably took him 10, you know, hours to do, probably take me 15 minutes and just, “Hey, by the way, this is how it goes. Like one, two little things control-alt-delete, and there you go. It’s done for the day.”
So, I think having to be more patient, just because they – some people do want to learn, but other people don’t want to learn, and so you’re going to have to be that, you know, voice for them. So I think that’s, it’s extremely important to know that you’re going to be doing 10 times more than you thought you were in the role, because that person is probably tired and ready to move along.
Jason Gillikin: Yeah. What about you Anson? What about the evolution of the athletes that you’ve coached from, you know, from coaching your peers, basically from coaching the baby boomers to now coaching gen Z-ers and all the way through from gen X-ers and millennials as well, you know, what have you seen as the evolution of that and, and how have they been different?
Anson Dorrance: Well, what’s really cool about working for a extraordinary university is we have access to all these different people that study these things. And so every five years, what happens is the athletic department will bring in the resident, you know, sociologist emeritus. So he’ll come in and explain to us the generation we’re just about to coach.
And so I remember the millennial lecture from the sociologist because it was in, 2012. And he comes in and he’s explaining the millennials to us, and, you know, I don’t remember his entire presentation, but I’ll never forget his first two slides. And the reason I remember his first slide is the data on the slide was the year I graduated from high school.
So his first slide has popped up there on the, on the screen for his PowerPoint presentation, and it’s got the date 1969. So this resonated with me immediately, and this is great, we’re going back to my high school graduation here. Basically, this kid is coming home from school in 1969 and he has all F’s on his report card.
The next picture is the parents screaming at the kid. Then it goes to 2012, and now this is the millennial. And a kid comes home from school, he or she has all F’s on the report card, and now the parents are screaming at the teacher. So basically, what the sociologist was trying to explain to us is it’s not so much they’re entitled, they’re protected. They’re protected from responsibility. They’re protected from accountability. They’ve developed a narrative that protects them from pain. So if they screw up, it’s someone else’s fault, and their parents are part of this narrative that prevents them from accepting any responsibility.
So the challenge then of course, when you’re bringing them in, is to try to accelerate them to adulthood. If a kid’s on scholarship, they’re playing for us for three and a half years. If they’re not on scholarship, they get to graduate in May. But the kids that are on scholarship, they’re graduating in December of their senior year ’cause our professional league is basically a spring league. So we don’t have them graduate in May, so we have three and a half years to teach them how to become adults. Now, part of becoming adults is taking responsibility for everything. For your playing time, whether or not you win or lose, where every time you win or lose in practice, it’s recorded, it’s put up on a bulletin board. So in 28 different categories, all of our kids are ranked one to 30. It’s a matter of – it’s in the public domain. It’s not like we secretly share it with them individually in a closed room, no. It’s posted on a public bulletin board and boy, are they in abject terror if I’m writing a book that year, because then the entire exposure is printed until the end of recorded time. And so now their accountability has become something that’s terrifying. This is what happens because we’re at a university where they educate me on the challenge I have for each group.
And honestly, Jason, I forgot what they told me about your group, but somehow I managed because I haven’t been fired yet. So basically the challenge, you know, every five or six or seven or 10 years, is for me to adapt to my culture.
Jason Gillikin: Yeah. And Candace, I mean, the stereotype for millennials is lazy and that they’re coddled and yet you’re a millennial, you’re also a world-class swimmer. Like how did you do that? Like how did you break through that particular stereotype, I guess?
Candace Cooper: I think that I just had a mother who’s been very hardworking and instilled, you know, the independence factor for me.
She, like, I always wanted to do things for myself and wanted to get that A on my own. I didn’t want help, and so that’s just something that was innate for me. But, you know, with swimming, swimming, again, is one of those it’s you against the clock, so all the work that you put in is going to show out when you do, get, you know, your best time and what have you. So, swimming for me, really translated into life. That was good and bad because I thought “OK, in put in the work, where’s the results?” And then when the result didn’t come, you know, easily, I was very discouraged. So I had to learn some self-healing methods of trying to, you know, continue to push forward even when I got it discouraged.
So I do think that, you know, you had to learn a little bit on your own, but having the right support staff and the right village – someone like an Anson who teaches you things because they have experience – is critical.
Jason Gillikin: Yeah. I’m curious about some of the events of your generation and how that shaped your perspectives.
So, Candace, can you talk about – so there’s a couple that you can pick from. One, the terrorist attacks, or two, the recession.
Candace Cooper: When I remember September 11th, I was in sixth grade. I remember where I was. I remember my math teacher running in and saying the towers are coming down and I was just freaking out ’cause nobody knew what was going on. We had the whole school on lockdown cause we thought, you know, it was everywhere and being in North Carolina and having things happen in DC, we didn’t know if further things with like, Fort Bragg and other, you know, being a military type state, we didn’t know what was going to happen.
And so for us, it was just like, you know, you remember where you were when things happened, and now with everything going on in recent weeks, recent months, we’ve just been kind of trying to take it in one day at a time. And we’re, I think, we’re more of a feeling generation. So everything is based on our feelings and how we express ourselves and how we take things in and internalize.
And so, it’s just been a unique experience for us to have Twitter and Instagram and be able to show protests and speak on things. You see college athletes now, even though they’re a different, technically, generation is just – it’s proud for us to see them actually using their voice. ‘Cause for a millennial, we probably wanted to speak up. I wish I could have told my coaches where to go and like, my demands, stuff like that, but I would have never, you know, used that opportunity to do that. I would have been scared out of my mind. So, I think it’s unique to see now how that has still continued to progress.
Jason Gillikin: That’s super interesting because you look at The Last Dance, right, and Michael Jordan did not speak out for any political issues, and now it has taken LeBron James up until the last few years, right, for him to be speak out, and he’s a millennial, and I think he’s probably been pushed more by the gen Z-ers to, to do something, you know, by the social media generation.
Candace Cooper: Yeah, I – my senior thesis was “The Plight of the Black Athlete,” and we talked about the Sonya Haynes Center and how there are protests going on. And I talked about people like George Lynch and Michael Jordan and those kinds of guys, and I interviewed them just like, “So what would you have done?” You know, and they were like, “Well, back then, your scholarship would have been taken away like that, right?” So now when you have the opportunity to speak up and you feel like you have some comfort, I think it is kind of rewarding to see like their work and their doing – their decision to do protests back then. It’s still certainly effective today.
Jason Gillikin: Anson, what have you seen from your players over the years as far as their willingness, their knowledge, to, to speak up?
Anson Dorrance: I mean, for me, the three and a half years is human development. And so even though, yes, I want these kids to, you know, win gold medals and world championships, I want them all to sign pro contracts, and that’s certainly a part of the reason these kids come to play at the University of North Carolina and play for our program. My main mission is character development. And so for me, it’s about the evolution of a young woman that comes in, basically as this person without a fully formed character.
And by the time she graduates, we want her to have strong opinions and all kinds of directions. We want them to be leaders like Candace, and just to protect Candace from the millennial PowerPoint I was describing earlier, the greatest thing about swimmers is they can’t blame anything on anyone.
I mean, you can’t blame it on the water. I mean, you can’t blame it on the weather. You can’t blame it on anyone but yourself and your training habits. And so what’s really cool about a swimmer actually is the clock because your mother can’t call up the coach and say, “Why isn’t my daughter, you know, swimming before so and so?” because the coach is incredulous with that call ’cause it’s simple. “Well, because you know, I don’t know whether your daughter’s informed you of this Mrs. Cooper, but we have a stopwatch and you know, when you,” you know? And so they have a completely different paradigm than we do in sports where your opinion will determine a lot of whether or not a kid gets on the field. And of course they think it’s your opinion, even though of course, all of us that coach know that this person deserves to be on. But for the parents that are watching, it’s not as clear cut. So to get back to the point I was trying to make earlier.
Yeah, for me, it’s it’s human development and we want to take these kids to their potential. And so my challenge is, is that I, I really do want to get them to adulthood as fast as I can.
Jason Gillikin: So let’s get to politics a little bit. The last three presidential candidates – Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Joe Biden – have all been baby boomers. Candace, let me ask you, would a millennial be a better president than a baby boomer. Taking away the exact candidates, who they are, you know, would a millennial make for a better presidential – a better president?
Candace Cooper: You know, I think that as much as I’m like, yes, lead the charge for millennials ’cause they’ll get stuff done.
I am a person who really takes heat to wisdom, in someone who’s been through something and someone who has, you know, a certain rapport about them because of experiential learning. So I think that while a millennial can lead in certain respects, I think leading a country of people who are from such diverse backgrounds, such diverse age groups, I think it’s difficult. Because you’re trying – I think we as millennials try and please everyone all the time, we want to make sure everyone gets their point like, “Oh, you have this, you know, policy that you want. Oh, you have this, you know, thing that you desire,” and we’re always trying to make sure everyone gets something. And I think there has to be some hard no’s – no’s and yeses that go along with that. So I think sometimes I’d rather have someone older where I can just talk junk about them than have someone like, where I’m like, “I can do this better.”
And I know I can’t, but that’s why I don’t think you should be in here either. So I, I struggle with people my age because I still think as much as we think we know everything, like it does – sometimes we have to acknowledge that people who are older than us are qualified and do know what they need to do to be in that position.
Jason Gillikin: What about you, Anson? And you mentioned that a baby boomers don’t know a lot of the tech and maybe haven’t been up on as many of the changes, the evolution that’s been going on over the past, I don’t know, 15, 20 years or so, like, should baby boomers be president?
Anson Dorrance: Well, obviously I think there’s some that could be extraordinary. Tragically, the three names you gave me only one became president. One might, but the one that became president I mean, to be completely honest, he wasn’t qualified to be in that position, and for all the reasons that we could certainly spend, you know, the next 24 hours speaking about, he hasn’t been a very good president. And to support the opinions I’ve had all along about what’s going on in the world, if you look at countries that are run by women like Germany and New Zealand, and I could go on and on and on, those countries have figured out ways to handle this coronavirus. Ours has not. And honestly, even though I think there’s some extraordinarily positive conservative principles that are out there, I genuinely feel that Trump doesn’t have an understanding of how to corral this virus and how to lead us effectively through this.
And obviously, there’s a huge issue right now, with Black lives that do matter, and I think he’s making everything so tribal. He’s, you know, pitting one group against the other, and I think in every conceivable respect, he’s making a hash of all this. And even though I do think we do have some wise people that would be extraordinary presidents, I genuinely feel like he hasn’t done the job in the right way, and I even think that most Republicans, if they weren’t also afraid of him well would publicly come out and denounce his leadership because it hasn’t been the sort of leader that we’ve needed during this kind of crisis. It doesn’t mean that all of his principles are off.
I mean, I could certainly make an argument for small government. Although, I think I could also make a very good argument for big government. I could certainly parse the difference between an extraordinary leader that cares about the people in the country and one that doesn’t. And unfortunately, I think he falls in that latter category.
And I have nothing but huge respect for the women that are out there leading their countries because just look at the data. We have 4% of the world’s population and 22 to 25% of the world’s deaths, and that’s an absolutely ridiculous statistic. And I would lay that out at the feet of our leadership.
It’s not like that we don’t have the science in this country, that we don’t have the resources, that we don’t have the infrastructure. We have everything. What we’re lacking is leadership at the top, and he takes no responsibility for it, which is tragic. And so, even though I do think we have some extraordinary leaders, unfortunately we didn’t elect them, and honestly, I am just appalled, and I think there are some millennials right now that would be doing a much better job in the position that Trump is in, if they were in power and I’m just, again, apologetic for the fact that we haven’t led the country, at least in the, in this, presidency, the right way.
And honestly, I’m, I’m a bit embarrassed.
Jason Gillikin: Yeah, and I just hope that millennials and gen Z-ers vote, just get out there and vote in November, right?
Candace Cooper: Even if you don’t agree, even if anything else, like I – Kamala Harris came out today as Joe’s vice presidential nominee.
I think that whether you love her or not, I just want you to vote. I don’t even care who you vote for. I just want you to vote. I think you need to exercise your right, and I think that’s sometimes what millennials don’t understand is how important exercising their right is because they’re just like, “Oh, well, I don’t agree with certain things.”
OK, I understand that, but come November, put your name, I want a ballot and check a box. Like I don’t care what it is, I just want you to exercise your right. Especially as a Black person, I just think we’ve come too far and people have done and sacrificed too much to not do that, right? Like there are people who have literally died and I know it just didn’t have to go to that extent, but if I have to make it so you feel that bad, I will do that. You know, I want you to exercise that right.
Jason Gillikin: So Candace, what’s one piece of advice that you’ve gotten from a baby boomer that has, you know, truly shaped your life?
Candace Cooper: That’s a great, ask. I was thinking about the question when you sent it. And honestly, it’s from my mom, she always says, “God is gonna bless you.” And it’s always at the time when I’m going through the hardest part of my life, and I’m always going through the toughest storm and it’s like, you know, you don’t want to hear that.
I don’t need to hear the positive part right now. Like there’s all of this stuff, can we acknowledge that this sucks? She’s always like, “I understand, but God going to bless you. You’re going to see this, like what he’s going to come out and you’re gonna be so grateful that you went through this,” and I’m like, “I hear your sister Lou, but I don’t feel that at the moment.”
So I think for her, it’s just always reassuring me that it is going to be OK, and I, because she knows how wound up I can get. So it was just always those constant reassurance that you’re going to get through it because eventually the rain stops, eventually the storm passes. And so it was just a matter of acknowledging, yes, that the storm is there, but not dwelling on it.
Jason Gillikin: Anson are your, are your kids millennials?
Anson Dorrance: One of them’s – you do the math. One of them is 40, one of them’s 38, one of them’s 29.
Jason Gillikin: Yeah, the 38 and 29-year-old are, the 40-year-old’s technically not. So Anson for your millennial children, what’s, what’s something that you’ve learned from them?
Anson Dorrance: Honestly, I love my kids. I just spent Sunday over in Greensboro with my grandkids. My 38 year old was turning 38 , and we were over there celebrating it. She has twin boys, you know, just a year old, and then she’s got a rising sixth grader. And what I absolutely love about her is how extraordinarily hardworking she is.
She married a litigating attorney, they just bought a beautiful home in Greensboro and I was just overwhelmed with the quality of their life and how they’re raising their kids. I am a member of a conservative faith, I’m a Mormon, so are they, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I love everything they’re doing. So, what she always teaches me and she could have taught my wife and I this a long time ago, she’s extraordinarily organized. I live in chaos, I’m comfortable in it, my wife is comfortable in it and for her, everything is just incredibly well organized.
And so to be in her home to see everything, you know, lined u p – she would even line up the pencils on her desk. I mean, it’s just incredible how well organized she is. Basically what she taught me was the value of structure ’cause I’ve never been structured. Now, the excuse I’ve given myself is my game isn’t structured. You watch a soccer game, it’s absolutely chaotic. You go to a swim meet, Candace, of course you’re all in these lines. We’re not, I mean, the soccer game is just oblivious to, real form and structure. So I think what she has taught us, first of all, is what you get from hard work and commitment and raising your kids the right way, and I love that.
Jason Gillikin: Let’s wrap with some, some fun questions here.
So, I’ll start with Anson. What is your go-to social media app?
Anson Dorrance: All right now, remind me what they are and I’ll tell you which one I like. What are they?
Jason Gillikin: Well, you’ve got a LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok.
Anson Dorrance: Hey, you have to go slowly. LinkedIn, I jumped off of. I was barraged. I can’t keep up with my email, and then I’ve got to keep up with LinkedIn?
Someone wants to connect and all of a sudden it’s like – you know, I took a Gallup leadership organizational course, like 30, 40 years ago. And they were saying, you know, basically three quarters of your phone calls are going to produce more work for you. So basically, don’t even pick up your phone, ignore your phone.
So email is also, you know – three quarters of your emails, you’re doing someone else a favor. The same thing with LinkedIn. So I was on that for awhile, I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t keep up with all my LinkedIn connections. It was like a second email! And then of course, not only am I trying to keep up with it, but I’m helping people get jobs and all of a sudden, I was like an employment agency. So LinkedIn was for me to get everyone that connected with me on LinkedIn a better job, and I was thinking I finally got off it. I was just, it was, I was overwhelmed. So, so that’s the first one I named the next one.
Jason Gillikin: There’s Twitter.
Anson Dorrance: Twitter. I do fly through. I fly through it because yeah, I get the news quickly and so for me, I’m not on it very long and, but basically I do fly through it on occasion. It just keeps you more current. So I, I don’t mind Twitter except when a president of a country uses it. That’s the only time I have any objection to it.
Jason Gillikin: And then Facebook and Instagram?
Anson Dorrance: I’m not on Facebook. Instagram, my kids have to show me how to find it, but once I find it, it’s actually pretty good because obviously, the Instagram accounts I’m sent to are all self-promotional. And so of course everyone on our Instagram account looks incredible.
Everything they do is brilliant. They’re having the time of their lives. I mean, it’s just incredible. I mean, there’s this Instagram world that I only see on occasion, but Holy cow is everyone in a glorious mood and everyone looks incredible. And you know, I’m thinking my God, what a place to live.
You know, I wish I could live in an Instagram world. They’ve never made a mistake and they’re all joyous and, yeah, so that’s a wonderful world, but I don’t visit that often because I just can’t find it.
Jason Gillikin: Amazing. Candace, what are your top three?
Candace Cooper: Instagram is my favorite cause I enjoy pictures, and I like to have sassy captions. And then Twitter is good, but I need to take breaks with everything, especially coming out this week, it’s just, everyone has an opinion and it’s just annoying. It’s like opinions are like butt holes, everybody has one, but sometimes you could just keep that to you. You can keep that tweet in the drafts. You didn’t have to like, shoot that out because you see in the week after, it’s always this notes, apology from an athlete because he, you know, talked out of his tail. So it’s just sometimes I think people need to send things before they – like send it to your friends before you drop that tweet in there.
Jason Gillikin: Candace, he got hacked. He got hacked.
Candace Cooper: Yeah, exactly. And then Facebook is where I keep up with all my boomer family so they can keep up with what I’m doing.
Jason Gillikin: Oh, there you go. OK. All right, Candace, how often do you write a check?
Candace Cooper: I don’t know the last time I’ve written a check, but I did learn in fifth grade. How to do check, do checks and balances?
Jason Gillikin: Yeah, I don’t- I was listening to a podcast with a president of a bank the other day, and I don’t think checks are going to be a thing very long.
Candace Cooper: I know how to cash a check, and that’s it.
Jason Gillikin: There you go. Alright, so you both are in sports. Candace, who is the coolest person in sports that you ever met?
Candace Cooper: Anson Dorrance would be number one. I can check this off my bucket list that I have interviewed with someone of his caliber, so this is pretty cool for me, I’m just gonna say. But other than that, you know, obviously I met Antawn Jamison when I was actually working at Duke, and he was a Lakers – I don’t know if they call them recruits – but he was helping with the team and he was lost. He didn’t know that I knew who he was because he obviously was at Duke and he didn’t know that I was a Carolina grad. And so, I’m just looking at him in awe. And he’s just like talking to me regular, like this is just every day.
And I was just like, I think – I know you know who you are, but like you’re having a full fan girl moment, so we’re just gonna keep it, keep it pushing. But yeah, Antawn Jamison was pretty awesome.
Jason Gillikin: Amazing. Anson, you’ve been in sports since 1975 at Carolina, something like that. Who’s the coolest person in sports that you’ve met?
Anson Dorrance: Well honestly, this guy shaped my life in a very positive way because of the different things he did for me when I was a young coach. I would say Dean Smith. Dean Smith is one of the most, classy, giving, extraordinary human beings I’ve ever met. He created a culture at UNC about caring for everyone.
He would treat his lowliest manager with the same amount of respect and concern that he would treat Michael Jordan with, and he just taught me a lot about humanity. If you look at the success, of the University of North Carolina, I think it begins with basically the reason Dean Smith was hired.
He was hired to replace a basketball coach that was in trouble with the NCAA. And he was admonished by a chancellor, to basically do things the right way. And he did things the right way for so long, and in such a competitive environment, and influenced so many of us that the legacy he’s left at UNC is a part of what I absolutely believe in. He made my profession respectable because honestly, back when I was young, I had no interest in coaching. And honestly, one of the reasons I had no interest, I didn’t really think it was a legitimate profession. And after, you know, watching him work while I was a law student and coaching at UNC, I was thinking, you know what? This man inspires me. He has made what I’m doing worthwhile, and the lessons I’ve learned from him I’m carrying on right now. And obviously I’m here with Roy Williams, who also was a Dean Smith acolyte, and he and I just believe in the simplest things, just like treating people properly. And just like a Roy’s recent gesture of contributing $600,000 to make sure the spring sport athlete scholarships were covered when they came back. And not too many people know this, but every single year Roy Williams writes – speaking of checks – writes a check from my program, a significant check to my program, and he picks, you know, 10 or 12 other sports across UNC.
And he makes all the difference. One year I had a kid that was having knee issues that was trying to play professionally, and I used that money to have her go to a special doctor, and she was able to play professionally for five or six years because of the money that Roy Williams sent to my program.
So, Dean Smith and his legacy through me and all the coaches that admire him , certainly Roy Williams, but, like I said, a huge impact on my life, but also the life of my university.
Jason Gillikin: That’s amazing. When I came to Carolina in 1997, the first semester I was there Dean retired, and that was a bummer. And to get back to Candace’s most famous person that was with Antawn Jamison in the starting six.
So it was – that was the best team I’ve ever seen that did – that lost. They lost in the final four to Utah, and the things you remember as a freshman, right? Anyway, let’s end on this. So, Candace, we’ll start with you. What is one piece of advice that you would want to give to baby boomers?
It could be about anything. It could be about the way you want to be treated in a job, it could be a way – a misperception. What’s one piece that you would want to give to baby boomers?
Candace Cooper: I would say, check on your strong millennial employees. I think oftentimes we think these millennials are go getters, they’re always wanting to, you know, go to their next and they want to be always advancing and always wanting to learn more, but sometimes they just want to be able to talk and they want someone who wants to listen to them and be able to express their feelings because we live in a generation now where everyone, you know, always has to achieve, achieve, achieve.
And if you’re not, you know, at the top, then you’re nobody. So I think we do achieve great things, but at the same time, it’s just like, we need time to reflect and to, you know, be proud of our accolades. And we need have someone who like, “Hey, you’re doing a good thing.” We need that support. And we won’t vocalize it sometimes. Sometimes we will just keep going and we’ll keep internalizing ’cause we’re taught like, “OK, don’t have feelings and you know, you’re an athlete or you’re, you know, this performer, you have to be on all the time,” so they need to have that space where they can say, “Hey, it’s OK to let that guard down and really just express yourself.”
Jason Gillikin: Love it. Anson. What about you? What advice would you give to millennials?
Anson Dorrance: Honestly, we just finished, sort of, our book clubs with the two books that I would well, a book and a commencement address, and I mentioned the commencement address earlier. What I think would be really cool is if the millennials got into the Second Mountain by David Brooks and then if they kept by their nightstand or on their nightstand, David Foster Wallace’s commencement address “This is Water.” And the principle, I guess, ideas in The Second Mountain is about, basically climbing two mountains. The first mountain is what Candace was referring to where you’re basically, you’ve got to get a job. You’ve got to make some money. You’ve got to sort of climb the sort of ladder to keep yourself alive, to keep your family alive.
And so the first mountain is certainly something that you have to address, but it’s the second mountain that’s going to bring you the most joy. The first mountain is a climb to happiness because when you’re successful on the first mountain, you are happy and you’ve got some material things and, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but true happiness comes by climbing the second mountain, and the second mountain is giving back. It’s caring for your family. It’s caring for your community. It’s basically giving back. And that’s where all of us should live as fast as we can. Yes, we got to climb a little bit of that first mountain otherwise we’re going to starve to death, but eventually let’s get to that second mountain quickly. And then if everyone would just read David Foster Wallace’s This is Water. And even the beginning is so millennial-like. He talks about these two young fish that are swimming along and all of a sudden they run into these two older fish and the older fish look at the younger fish and say, “How’s the water?”
And the two young fish are looking at each other and they’re thinking, “What’s water?” And of course the whole story is about awareness. Because when you’re really young, you’re not really aware of what’s critical because in the transformation between when you’re a high school kid and when you graduate from college, as you’re making the transition from the world revolves around me to I want to serve the world.
And the faster you can make that transition from I am the center of the universe to I am a part of the universe, and a very small part, and I want to leave this place a better place, the faster you can get there, the more effective you’re going to be. And I think that’s the challenge for the millennial is to realize you’re a tiny cog and you can make a difference, but let’s face it: nothing is rotating around you. And if you think things are, boy do you have a lot to learn sort of thing. And so I’d recommend that commencement address. You can read it in less than 20 minutes and then read the, David Brooks’s The Second Mountain. And basically, that’s the spiritual journey.
And obviously anyone that’s spiritual, stay there. ‘Cause boy, we’re becoming all secularists and I don’t think that’s good for humanity. I don’t think it’s good for any of us. I think we should be opening up that very critical conduit to a better life.
Jason Gillikin: Wow. Awesome. Well, Anson and Candace, I really appreciate your time today.
Candace, take a minute to talk about what you have going on with Guess the Guest.
Candace Cooper: Yeah. So coming up September 15th, I will be with Penn Holderness and he is going to be guessing which ACC legend is behind the curtain. And I’m really excited because we have some really good guests who are top tier.
They are in the banners, in the rafters, in their respective universities. And they’re going to be coming on and sharing what they did at their time at school, and then what they are doing now. And a lot of what they’re doing now is that social good, a lot of what Anson is talking about, they are on that happiness mountain trying to provide to the universe and do some social good.
So we are excited to talk about the good old days and then, you know, how we’re helping to serve the community now.
Jason Gillikin: That’s amazing, and that starts September 15th. Anson, you’ve got a podcast coming out. Can you talk about it?
Anson Dorrance: Yeah, I’m so excited about it. And obviously, Jason, you’re a very important part of this. We are creating a podcast from the second book I wrote, The Vision of a Champion, and honestly, I hadn’t read that book in forever. It is so much better than I remembered. We’re attaching all these extraordinary personalities to each chapter. You know, certainly people that everyone would know, like Mia Hamm, and Kristine Lilly and some of the all time greats, but even some of the modern grades like Lucy Bronze, who’s one of the greatest players in the world right now plays for England who played for me. Tobin Heath, a two time world champion, so we’ve got all these amazing people on that are explaining their soccer journeys, Crystal Dunn, who was considered, you know, one of the most versatile players in the world and also a reigning world champion.
And so – and I’m having a good time with them ’cause I’m reminiscing with them about their experiences at UNC, but also giving everyone that listens, that has any interest in the game either fan, coach, or player, some insights into the game itself and we’re having a good time. So Jason, thanks for letting me shill that ’cause I can’t wait for you guys to put that thing out there and I think we’re I guess four recordings away from finishing everything. So thank you for your grind with me. And Candace, just let me share with you how much I’ve enjoyed being on this podcast for you, and Frank and I go back to the beginning. So your swimming coach and I are two very old men, and we’re – both of us, by the way, are willing to turn the world over to you. ‘Cause let me say again, we’ve made a mess of it, so would you please save us? So yeah, I’m relying on you guys. So Candace, absolute pleasure.
Congratulations on all your success and good luck to you in the future.
Candace Cooper: Thank you very much. Again, I – make no mistake – this is very much a big interview for me, and I appreciate your time. And I’ve learned, I’ve learned more. I wish I could have taken notes at the same time, but certainly look at this recording and take some of the gems that you left today.
Jason Gillikin: Thanks again, everybody. This has been amazing.
Born between 1946 and 1964, Baby Boomers are often perceived as out of touch, low tech, and often closed minded. Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials are typically described as entitled, flighty, and selfish. Are these fair stereotypes? What can we do to bridge communication between Baby Boomers, Millennials, and all generations?
Our guests today are Anson Dorrance, 22-time national champion as the women’s soccer coach at UNC, and Candace Cooper, sports media professional. And you won’t want to miss their perspectives on generational stereotypes, what shaped their views, advice they would give to other generations, and what social media platforms they use most often.
Find Anson Dorrance and Candace Cooper on LinkedIn.
Find this podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.