New Orleans-- This week on Pizza and the Playbook, Xavier University of Louisiana Head Volleyball Coach Pat Kendrick sits-down with Karen Loftus at G's Pizza to talk New Orleans cuisine, being a multi-sport athlete in college and bringing 30 years of head coaching experience to XULA.
KL: "You're in your first season at Xavier University as the volleyball coach. You have a lot of coaching experience. Tell me about your path to get down here."
PK: "I went to George Mason University. I ran track and played volleyball there. The women-- Kim Sears-- who was the head coach my senior year, asked me to be here assistant. I was her assistant for her for 2 years after I was finished playing. I moved into the head coaching job and then I was the head coach there for 30 seasons."
KL: "And you were inducted into their Hall of Fame for Track and Field. Talk about your time there as an athlete."
PK: "You know, in high school I did quite a few things and so when I got to college I thought well let's try to do something. I had never played volleyball before I got to George Mason so Dean Shumway-- who was the coach at the time-- basically taught me how to play."
KL: "You moved here from Southwest Virginia where the area code is 540. Here it's 504. Have you mixed it up yet like I have?"
PK: "Oh yeah. Quite a few times."
KL: "What's maybe your favorite thing you've done so far and something that's on your New Orleans bucket list?"
PK: "The favorite thing I've done so far is try to sample the different restaurants. I decided to try to take in different types of cuisine-- catfish. Although the brussels sprouts thing-- I'd never heard of that."
KL: "That's a thing here?"
PK: "Yeah, that's a thing here! The deep fried brussels sprouts."
KL: "So what's one thing that you're looking forward to doing?"
PK: "There's so many different festivals and that sort of thing. I haven't taken part in any of those-- whether it's Jazz Fest or Essence. There's something going-on all the time."
KL: "How would you describe your coaching style? Are you an in-your-face yell at your girls hardcore? Or are you quiet, stern?"
PK: "I think probably the latter. I don't think necessarily yelling and screaming is going to do a whole lot. I think I'm usually fairly quiet."
KL: "We have some delicious pizza. This is your choice to have some G's Pizza. Tell everybody what your favorite type of pizza is."
PK: "The o.G's, which is my favorite here-- I like it because of the barbecue sauce. It was kind of a different flavor to it. And I ended-up adding the spinach to it because I love spinach."
KL: "So we subbed-in the spinach there so it's basically a healthy meal!"