Elvis Was ‘Shamed’ so Much by His Football Coach That He Quit the Team

<p id=”par-1_72″><a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/tag/elvis-presley/”>Elvis Presley</a> grew up to become one of the world’s biggest <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/celebrity/”>stars</a>, but he did not have an easy time on his high school football team. According to Elvis’ high school classmate turned bodyguard, Red West, few of the football players liked Elvis. The team’s coach was not kind to him either. According to West, the football coach shamed Elvis so much that he barely lasted a few weeks on the team.</p>

<h2 id=”h-elvis-football-coach-had-it-out-for-him”>Elvis’ football coach had it out for him</h2>

<p id=”par-2_39″>When Elvis was in high school, most of his classmates had closely cropped hair. He stood out among them with the long hair he <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/why-did-elvis-dye-his-hair.html/”>spent hours styling</a>. According to West, this brought him a great deal of negative attention.</p>

<p id=”par-3_55″>“It was that hair, man — it got him into all kinds of trouble,” West said in the book <em><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Elvis-What-Happened-Steve-Dunleavy/dp/0345272153″ target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Elvis: What Happened?</a></em> by Steve Dunleavy. “If he had a regular haircut like the rest of us, he probably wouldn’t have been bothered. But I guess the other kids thought he was trying to show off or something.”</p>

<figure class=”wp-block-image size-full” id=”emb-1″><img decoding=”async” width=”1200″ height=”916″ src=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis_3dbadb.jpg?strip=all&quality=89″ alt=”A black and white picture of Elvis Presley lifting his hands to his ears while he sings.” class=”wp-image-3615934″ srcset=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis_3dbadb.jpg 1200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis_3dbadb.jpg?w=640&h=489 640w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis_3dbadb.jpg?w=768&h=586 768w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis_3dbadb.jpg?w=1024&h=782 1024w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis_3dbadb.jpg?w=459&h=350 459w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis_3dbadb.jpg?w=221&h=169 221w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis_3dbadb.jpg?w=200&h=153 200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis_3dbadb.jpg?w=664&h=507 664w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis_3dbadb.jpg?w=435&h=332 435w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis_3dbadb.jpg?w=280&h=215 280w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis_3dbadb.jpg?w=79&h=60 79w” sizes=”(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px”><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images</figcaption></figure>

<p id=”par-4_35″>As a result, Elvis was an outcast at his school. His attempts to fit in were often fruitless as well, as the faculty also targeted him. West recalled Elvis’ brief entry into the football team.</p>

<p id=”par-5_59″>“I think that Elvis lasted on the squad about three weeks,” he said. “The coach, a good old guy called Coach Boyce, just couldn’t stand Elvis and his long hair. Coach Boyce could be a real tough sonofagun and he was always onto Elvis to cut his hair. He just shamed ‘E’ so much, he finally left the squad.”</p>

<h2>Members of the football team often bullied Elvis</h2>

<p id=”par-6_33″>Elvis’ former teammates were some of his biggest adversaries at school. Several members of the team even tried to forcibly cut Elvis’ hair. West walked into the bathroom to find them cornering him.</p>

<p id=”par-7_85″>“I knew the guys who were hassling Elvis,” West recalled. “They were on the football squad. I suppose they got this haircutting business from old Coach Boyce. The guys who were giving Elvis a hard time were not really bad guys, just a bit noisy and stuff. But when I saw Elvis’s face, it just triggered something inside of me. I mean we were just kids and they weren’t gonna kill him or anything, but there was that look of real fear on his face.”</p>

<p id=”par-8_10″>West interfered and Elvis walked away with his hair untouched.</p>

<h2>Red West said Elvis seemed lonely</h2>

<p id=”par-9_30″>West said that he and Elvis were not necessarily friends in high school — Elvis was a grade above him — but he stood up for him whenever he could. </p>

<figure class=”wp-block-image size-full” id=”emb-2″><img decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” width=”1200″ height=”1096″ src=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis-Red-West.jpg?strip=all&quality=89″ alt=”Elvis wears a jumpsuit and sunglasses and stands behind his bodyguard, Red West.” class=”wp-image-3613788″ srcset=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis-Red-West.jpg 1200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis-Red-West.jpg?w=547&h=500 547w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis-Red-West.jpg?w=768&h=701 768w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis-Red-West.jpg?w=1024&h=935 1024w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis-Red-West.jpg?w=383&h=350 383w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis-Red-West.jpg?w=185&h=169 185w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis-Red-West.jpg?w=200&h=183 200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis-Red-West.jpg?w=555&h=507 555w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Elvis-Red-West.jpg?w=66&h=60 66w” sizes=”(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px”><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>Elvis Presley and Red West | Tom Wargacki/WireImage</figcaption></figure>

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<p id=”par-10_57″>“I really felt sorry for him,” West said. “He seemed very lonely and had no real friends. He just didn’t seem to be able to fit in. But I gotta admire him. All that razzing that the kids and some of the teachers gave him about his hair. Elvis would never cut it. That was his trademark.”</p>

<p id=”par-11_14″>Eventually, West became Elvis’ confidante and bodyguard. He worked with him <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/elvis-presley-threatened-former-bodyguards-killed-sobbing-betrayal.html/”>into the 1970s</a>.</p>

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