Saturday, April 1, 2017

Loyalty in basketball

Loyalty appears to be the alpha trait of basketball coaching. How 'good' a recruiter one is can be important for landing an assistant position as is a resume detailing player development bonafides but none override a history of protecting the one above you, the head coach who brought you in. A repping of your bosses in a manner that keeps him in a good light and with no leaks is the must-have career enhancer.

But what's the payback for such faithful behavior?

Maybe that coach will keep you with him as he moves up the coaching food chain or possibly he'll recommend you to take his place as he heads upward. If the boss is someone of influence and respect outside his direct sphere then it's possible his nod could be critical in landing a step-up position elsewhere.

But what about when ADs are hiring a new head coach? Is loyalty a factor?

Albeit not scientific in any way, shape or form, here's what took place in four recent hires involving regional DI basketball programs.

At Santa Clara, Herb Sendek was brought aboard despite no previous ties to the Bronco athletic director. He was considered a 'get' based upon the levels of his coaching tenures elsewhere.

With Pacific, Damon Stoudamire also had no earlier connections to the Tigers AD. What seemingly played a factor in this hire was "Both men (Stoudamire and AD Ted Leland) also thanked Dell Demps ('92, '98), senior vice president of basketball operations and general manager for the New Orleans Pelicans NBA team and a member of the Eberhardt School of Business Advisory Board, for recommending Stoudamire for the position."

USF hired Kyle Smith in lieu of any seeming association between Smith and the Dons AD.

San Jose State University reached out to Boise State, Bronco Associate Head Coach Dave Wojcik in particular, when making a coaching change in 2013. Former Spartan AD Gene Bleymaier had earlier been in that same position for close to 30 years at Boise State. He obviously was impressed with what he witnessed during Wojcik's three seasons assisting in Idaho and how he worked with Head Coach Leon Rice.

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