He's not anywhere near former All Black coaches Alex "Grizz" Wylie or World Cup-winning Sir Graham Henry when it comes to disguising the daily rigours of mentoring a team.
But Bay of Plenty Steamers coach Kevin Schuler will be the first to attest to how such a persona is almost a prerequisite for coaches.
"You've got to have a good mask," the 45-year-old says before tomorrow's 7.35pm kick-off against the Hawke's Bay Magpies at McLean Park, Napier.
"I've got a pretty good frown but we all like a good giggle now and then," Schuler says, adding Wylie and Henry were masters of such disguise.
"Grizz was frowning even when he was smiling, mate."
Needless to say, that hint of intimidation and that twinkle in the eye will be evident tomorrow night in what is religiously billed as the "Battle of the Bays".
Multitude of fans take to social media with implausible theories as they engage in robust debates on which Bay - Hawke's or Plenty - is the better when it comes to settling scores on the rugby paddock.
Schuler prefers to play down such traditional rivalries and it's not because his wife, Michelle Schuler (nee Morgan), hails from Napier where she still has friends and where she attended Colenso College.
At the risk of sounding like he's engaging in the age-old etiquette of preening the Magpies' feathers before putting a skewer through them to slowly rotate them over an open flame, Schuler believes it's always difficult to eclipse Hawke's Bay here on the foundation of a rich tapestry of success.
"You can't read too much into any games because it's a sprint this winter with a short turnaround with some teams playing three games in a row and you think they'll be tired but that's not the case."
But many agitated fans here, some who feel cheated for what they are about to receive for the remainder of the competition as season ticketholders, will argue the Magpies certainly have a case to answer and that palm readers will have a field day on their four defeats.
Yes, the Craig Philpott and Danny Lee-coached Magpies are last on the ITM Cup premiership table and have won only one game from five to date.
True, it must be extremely daunting to motivate a unit who last Sunday unceremoniously succumbed 35-7 in Invercargill to the last-placed and, until then, win-less Southland Stags.
You almost get the impression captain Mike Coman - should he run on if cleared of a suspected broken hand - and the lads won't say much in the changing shed tomorrow.
They'll simply need to look each other in the eye to reinforce a sense of belief after what can best be described as mediocre against the Stags.
The boys were guilty of grabbing the ball carrier's jersey rather than going low to grab them ball and all in tackles.
Five Magpies in one passage of play failed to halt a Stags attacker that resulted in a try.
The forwards looked sporadically disjointed with players arriving at the break downs with as much intensity as someone with an aching molar waiting in the foyer of a dentist's clinic.
Having had a week off, BOP skipper Tanerau Latimer and his Steamers are mindful their hosts will be smarting tomorrow.
"It'll be a cracker of a game at McLean Park in front of a parochial crowd," Schuler reckons.
The mood at McLean Park, according to Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union commercial manager Jay Campbell, is set on a "Blackout" campaign.
From 6pm to 6.50pm, Campbell says the Magpies not involved in the Battle of the Bays will be at the back of Harris Stand to sign autographs and pose for photographs with the faithful.
"The players will be handing our team posters and bumper stickers during this time while all photos taken will be uploaded to the Magpies Facebook page the following week."
It could be the turning point for the Magpies, injecting some much-needed attitude although one has to ask why hooker Hika Elliot, sporting all the traits of a pack leader, again warmed the bench at Rugby Park Stadium, akin to the defeat to Auckland in the season's opener on August 23.
"Hawke's Bay have good set pieces and will try to grind us down so we'll weather the storm and unleash our backs," Schuler says, delighted that utility back Lance MacDonald has made his intentions clear with two tries in their 37-16 win over Auckland in Rotorua in the last round.
He feels whoever shovels coal into the engine room with diligence will prevail, especially the traction loosies from opposing sides will find.
The return of unwanted All Black flanker Sam Cane with Latimer and Luke Braid is a mouthwatering prospect against Hurricanes counterpart Karl Lowe in Schuler's script for the Magpies.
"Hopefully every time Karl looks up he'll see different number sevens in his face and it'll be his worst nightmare."
Having returned from his coaching term in Japan since 2003, Schuler is in his second stint with the Steamers on the foundation of attacking rugby and the new challenges that brings.
With a tongue in his cheek, he acknowledges a coach's life is great but orchestrating 80 minutes of excitement remains a priority.
The claustrophobic ITM Cup window doesn't sit too comfortably with him.
"The window's too small. It should be opened wider so everyone gets to play everyone."
Happy to coach in anything, including children's basketball, Schuler isn't keen to talk about Super Rugby aspirations.
Rugby in BOP, he says, isn't just about the Steamers but also developing the young.