Study Guide

Coach Ripley in Tears of a Tiger

By Sharon M. Draper

Coach Ripley

Andy's basketball coach is a real mentor to our main guy—or, as Andy puts it, "He's an okay dude" (11.32). He listens when Andy is feeling down and tries to support him whenever he can. We hear that the coach showed up at court to support Andy, and we see that he makes an effort to check in with Andy from time to time to make sure he's okay.

Coach Ripley knows Andy's been through a lot, and wants to help him out. He encourages Andy and tells him it's okay to cry; real men do that sometimes. Plus, Coach seems to be one of the only teachers who genuinely cares about Andy. Andy tells the psychologist: "None of 'em ever took the time to sit down and talk to me, and ask me if I was havin' any problems, except Coach Ripley" (11.32). Yup—Coach is one of the good ones in this book.