The Turnaround – Do you know your assistant’s personality?

by Jason Strunk
Lubbock High School Head Football Coach
Follow @WestTXCoach

Lubbock High School football helmetThe Turnaround: You Never Know What You Are Getting

Hiring coaches can be a tricky thing to do. You never really know what you are getting until you are on the field coaching.  Sure, you have checked references.  You have also obviously checked the good ole boys network from your very own coaching tree, but you never really know what you are getting until you start getting after it on the field.

Here are some red flags they may point to signs of disaster (no particular order here):

10. The Looker: This type of coach is always looking to see where you are (the HC).  Why? So he doesn’t get caught not working.  If you have a looker, start looking for a replacement.

9. The Ferris Bueller: This coach is always doing what he isn’t supposed to be doing.  Worse yet, you may never be able to find him.  Cubs game, anyone?  Adios, Ferris!

8. The Echo Man: This guys only voice is an echo of your other coaches.  If the only thing he says on the field is what your other coaches are saying, it’s time to find a guy who knows what HE is talking about, not echoing what others are saying.

7. Mr. Page Six: This coach is more concerned with the gossip in the hallways than watching film or coaching his guys.  If he likes to talk too much about others, tell him the New York Post is hiring!

6. The Broadway Joe: This clown is more concerned with how he looks than the product he is putting out on the field.  If he checks the mirror three times before rolling out to the practice field, you may need to have an intervention.

5. Dr. Van Nostrand: This coach is a fake.  He says he coached the Wing-T for a few years. On the field you find out the only wing he coached was a wing he dipped into some hot sauce.  Classic reference to Kramer here from Seinfeld, who was known to pretend to be people he wasn’t.

4. The Minimalist: This is the guy who does the bare minimum, just like this definition.

3. The Costanza: This particular chap wants to be noticed for everything and get credit for it.  He will park his car out front and sleep in the office just to make it look like he is an early rise and grinder.  He will also want full credit for a TD he called in scout team.  Be wary of The Costanza.

2. The When I Was Coach At: This fella is stuck in paradox!  Does he really want to be with you or back at his old stomping grounds.  If he constantly brings up his old place of employment, it’s s red flag.  Yes, we all coached at different spots, but 99% of us don’t find it necessary to drop the name of our old school into the conversation.  For example, the staff just ordered pizza.  It’s delivered to the office.  This guy decides to say, “When I was at…. They had the best pizza ever”.  We get it, guy.  Now get this: you are here now. Get with us or go back!

1. Iceman: This guy is as cool as Val Kilmer’s Iceman character in Top Gun.  He has all the right stuff in the room.  Joe Cool, you think to yourself.  This cat can X and O with the best of them.  Then you get to the field and a dog fight breaks out, Iceman cracks and freezes, just like Val’s character in Top Gun.  He can’t apply the whiteboard coolness to on field coaching and teaching.  It’s too fast for him!  You better have a Maverick in your back pocket to save Iceman, because he is about to go down in flames!

Just some tips and things to look for. Don’t be afraid to have an intervention if any of these things rear their ugly head!


About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.