Tom Sermanni grew up in a gritty, angry, hard-nosed part of Glasgow. Funnily enough, he's anything but.
Those who know him see a gentle, friendly, soul who's made a mockery of the conventional wisdom that you can't escape your upbringing.
Sermanni has - in fact he's spent the last 28 years about as far away from Cumbernauld as you can possibly get. And now he's heading halfway home after accepting the biggest, and most important, job in women's football - to coach the United States team. It's a massive loss for the Matildas, but a huge honour for our game. And, of course, an enormous endorsement of Sermanni - who at 58 is at the peak of his powers.
As a player, Sermanni - a neat, tidy, midfielder - never scaled particularly great heights. Lower division football in England, and just over 150 games as a part-timer in his native Scotland for modest Stirling Albion - and we mean modest.
He arrived in Australia at the tail end of his career to play in the old NSL for Canberra City, and it was in the national capital that he begun his coaching career - with men.
Whether Sermanni's quiet, respectful, nature has never really been suited to the men's game is an interesting debate. Whether he was simply a man before his time is perhaps more relevant. Sermanni cut his teeth as a coach with Canberra Metros/Cosmos at a time when strong, direct, language was the 'lingua franca' of the dressing room. Wilful characters like Marco Perinovic, or Danny Burt, or Toplica Popovich, or Marcus Phillips, operated best when the message was simple. Win. Full stop.
Sermanni, by contrast, has always seen football's shades of grey.
That may explain why he gravitated towards the women's game, having the first of his two spells with the Matildas between 1994-97. He returned briefly to the men's game, including a spell as assistant coach to the late Eddie Thomson at Sanfrecce Hiroshima - but that didn't last long. Since 2001, Sermanni's been weaving his magic on female footballers - the last eight years back in charge of the Matildas.
It's no surprise this period has co-incided with a golden age for the national women's team. Experience has given him wisdom, and those insights have struck a chord with a generation of players who relate to him as much as a father, as a coach. And now he's departing, leaving a huge void to fill.
Sermanni goes to the US having already knocked back the job once. The US federation have finally got their man, and they're delighted. Two years in the defunct professional women's league (with San Jose and New York) first put him on their radar, and his fine work with the Matildas in recent years has put him top of the wishlist.
Sermanni knows the American coaches, he knows the officials, and he knows the players. The biggest job in the women's game is his because he's ready for it, and deserves it. It's perfect timing for both parties.
For all that, it's a missed opportunity for the Hyundai A-League. In my view, Sermanni was ripe for a return to the men's game. Dressing room culture has changed enormously, and his inclusive, personable, style gets a lot more traction these days. Whether as a head coach, or a football director, Sermanni would have been a prized catch for an A-League club. Now, of course, we may never know.
What we do know is that the Matildas job is up for grabs - Sermanni's farewell in a green and gold tracksuit will be at the East Asian Championships in December.
Does the FFA go global, does it go local, or does it take the quantum leap and go for our first female national coach? Vicki Linton is already in the system, while there are two female coaches in the Westfield W-League - Belinda Wilson (Brisbane Roar) and Jitka Klimkova (Canberra United).
For what it's worth, I'd be looking at Robbie Hooker, now on the staff of the Socceroos, but a long-time prodigy of Sermanni. If you're on a good thing, stick to it.