View Full Version : Coaching Paradigm for the 21st Century

04-07-2007, 12:42 PM

I truly believe that Duke is flawed in how it goes about selecting coaches in all sports--and this might have more to do with past culture than with anything else. I get the impression that Duke selects coaches based on potential AND how long they are apt to stay at Duke. I don't think that should be the case. I think the days of the Coach K, Coach Smith, Coach Rupp, etc. staying at one school are coming to an end. This is an era of coaches staying 4-5-6 years at one school and then moving on, an era when really the brand has to be the school.

In football, we have tried to hire coaches who might be at Duke 20 years if they were successful. In fact what we, in my opinion, should be doing is trying to hire the very best coach available and if he stays 3 years that is fine. He moves the program along. The next coach stays his 3 years and moves the program along some more. Eventually you have a program where a great coach wants to stay 6 or maybe 7 years while at the same time you have built up a powerhouse. In other words, get the best coach available and worry about longevity later.

I think this should also be true for our WBB hire. I don't know if we are going to find a qualified coach who is in the Coach G mold and will stay 14 years. Instead, we may find great coaches who stay 6 or 7 years or until other schools pay them huge sums of money in a game Duke might not (should not?) want to play. It is in other threads that I have been reading about how much money the WBB program loses. Perhaps we can get great coaches, at a lower cost, have them do well to prove themselves and then have them bought by another school that wants the Duke stamp and we save ourselves more money to put into things like facilities so that the next coach can have a great run before s/he decides to go to greener pastures. I was bummed about Coach G leaving, but now I am starting to think that maybe this is just the way things are. Coaches are not going to stay somewhere until they retire. Coaches in the 21st century will move around much more and the schools that adapt to that paradigm will do better in the long run.

I wish I had some documentation to backup this post so as to lend it more credibility. I have to admit it is just the musings of a Duke supporter based on conversations with a friend from another institution.