The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching part of your career.
I knew when I was in high school I wanted to get into coaching. I felt like I had the leadership qualities and the desire to learn and grow that it takes to be a successful coach. I got hurt my sophomore year in college and as I was working to deal with my injury and figuring out my future I knew coaching was going to be in it somehow.
Outside of mentors, talk about one or more ways you’ve learned some aspect of coaching.
The biggest way I have learned as a coach is understanding the importance of relationships. Building relationships have helped me create solid connections with some of the game’s best and that has allowed me to pull information in from those coaches and apply it to my philosophy. Relationship building has also been key in connecting with the players I coach and I think in today’s game that is vital to a team’s success.
If you could go back to your rookie coach self and give one piece of advice, what would it be?
I have learned to be in this game for the players, not myself. I think when I first became a coach I was selfish and more concerned about my future. I would go back and tell myself to be “all in” on building a positive future for the student-athletes. Everything else will fall into place if you do that.
What is your favorite memory from a coaching conference or clinic?
Last year at the ABCA convention myself and another coach took two volunteer assistants out to dinner. We told stories, gave advice, and had a great time. Taking them out to dinner was the highlight of the weekend for me because I felt like it gave me a chance to impact a young coach. I had so many coaches help me out when I first started that I understand the importance of a gesture as simple as buying a meal. It was a great chance to pay it forward. Hopefully, years down the road those two guys will be taking two other young coaches out to dinner and sharing their experiences.
Your dream lunch date. One coach. Any sport. Any level. Living or dead. Who is it?
Bobby Cox would be my pick. I grew up a Braves fan and admired how he managed. I would love the opportunity to sit down with him and talk about what it took to have success day in and day out at the highest level. I also think he would have some awesome stories.