Mike Hillary Mutebi, in a professional football coaching career spanning over 20 years, has trained the national team Uganda Cranes , Simba FC, SC Villa, and KCC FC, and been involved in other projects like the famed Copa Coca Cola.
“My two colleagues and I initiated Copa Coca Cola so that we help young souls discover themselves,” he says, “When you discover talent; it enables you to enhance it.”
In May, he won the Uganda Premier league title when the club he is coaching, Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) Football Club beat Express FC. After winning that first formal title as the club’s manager and coach, Mutebi is now training his team for Confederation of African Football (CAF) champions’ league next year.
When asked about the triumph and preparations, the rather reserved Mutebi says winning is not all that matters to him but rather his ability to prepare players for what’s ahead. Mutebi who likes to say he has been in football for as long as he has lived, says experience has taught him not to value wins but how it’s achieved.
“Every coach can win but my concern is which legacy I leave behind,” he said.
Born to an athlete mother and footballer father, he says he became coach for the first time at the age of 12 while still a pupil at Namilyango Junior Boys Primary School in Seeta, Mukono. Before that, at only eight years he was captain of the team. He carried his talent through secondary school and at tertiary level where he abandoned his accounting career for the ball. However, his balling path was also short lived because of injuries and in 1993 he became a coach something he is doing to date.
The 46-year old who has played as a defender during his time at Bell Football Club and KCC FC speaks passionately about football as a stress reliever that transcends just playing to soothing society. But, it has not been all smooth for him. He at some point had to quit KCC where he was coach twice in 1997 and 2003. It was of because of “accountability issues” and “non-constructive instructions by bosses” which, he says, is a common challenge in Uganda’s football industry as the sport is not yet well understood.
“Ugandan clubs have to emulate what clubs in the west are doing if we are to build brands like premier league and Spanish leagues,” he says, “These brands were not as big but they took the right interventions. They are doing right things that we must copy.”
He says Ugandan bosses have not yet grasped the fact that sport is one of the most stable industries that have helped stabilise economies like that of Brazil. For this to happen, a critical mass that understands the importance and the economies of football needs to be created, the game must be made more appealing, and football leaders need to be accountable to the public. They must keep the public informed about funds, administration, and the state of real football on the pitch.
Mike Mutebi’s lite side
Any three things we don’t know about you?
I am a very quiet and laid back person who enjoys staying at my house. I also love classic music by groomed musicians like Whitney Houston.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
When one is at peace with his family.
What is your greatest fear?
Living an artificial life. People who build their lives on lies never sleep well at night and they have excess baggage because they are always worried of what will happen next.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I become very rude when somebody disappoints me. I try to avoid it by moving away from the person who has annoyed me but when I don’t after sometime I regret what I say in anger.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?