[TW]: Okay, good morning, it’s time for us to start this is, you know when you get on an airplane they ask if you’re on the right flight? So we’re going to take off on the topic of getting and keeping a college coaching job. We were sharing the presentation, so let me first introduce this is Coach Bob Groseth. Bob has had several wonderful coaching jobs, he’s probably best known to you as most recently as a long time coach of the Northwestern men’s team where he enjoyed tremendous success including becoming an NCAA Coach of the Year. He has just moved from Northwestern, and is now the current Executive Director of the College Swimming Coaches Association. And he will talk about getting the college job you want. When he finishes that…. My name is Tim Welsh; I am the men’s coach at the University of Notre Dame; I’ve been there for 25 years. And it is my pleasure to talk about keeping the college coaching job you want. And here we are on to getting the college coaching job you want….
[BG]: Thanks Tim. We gave handouts, both Tim and I had handouts that we gave out, Tim’s was the more colorful one but so I don’t want to spend a lot of time but I try to go over a lot of the factors that would go into what your dream job is. I think you need to know that both Tim, I started out as a History teacher and Tim started out as an English teacher and well, my path to coaching, I knew I wanted to be a coach when I was a junior in high school just because I saw how the coach that I had, Jerry Farmer at Hinsdale High school influenced young men and really my goal was to be a high school coach, that’s all I ever wanted to be was a high school coach. And that time the place to go if you want to learn to be a coach was Indiana University and so that’s where I went. I was the team manager at Indiana and I got a degree in History and Physical Education both there and just to show I got a job at Fenwick High School which is a Catholic School in Chicago, teaching History and coaching the swim team there and pretty much went from there.
The first four or five years I was at Fenwick I had a lot of success and I’d never thought about coaching college but that some of the other coaches that I was with started talking to me about, “Do you ever think about coaching college or are you going to coach college or?” Frankly I was pretty happy where I was. I had a great job; I mean I was making 10,000 dollars a year. How can you be working at a Catholic School, getting to do all this stuff, you volunteer for stuff and it becomes part of your job description? But I think I was good training there and I started my education as a coach there because I started working with other coaches in other sports and just to give me an idea well, I’m going to tell you a couple of stories. First of all, the first one is that I’m sitting down with Dan O’Brien who is the retired swimming coach at Fenwick and I was talking about how much experience he had had and how much experience the athletic director there at that time Tony Lawrence had and said, “You guys have had a lot of experience,” and he looked at me and he said, “No, we haven’t had a lot of experience. We’ve had the same experience a lot of times,” and that was like the thing that woke me up, it’s like, “Okay, yeah I can stay here and be successful here but if I really want to find out how good of a coach I am, then I need to be going against the best coaches in the world,” and at that time that was clear, the clear path to that was to go to college.
How did I get my first college job? I got my first college because I was a very good water polo coach. We had good water polo teams at Fenwick, I’d won 100 games in a row and because I was trying to get our guys better we were playing college teams at the University of Cincinnati came up to play us and they had a club team which included Charlie Hickox and Larry Barbiere and some guys who were Olympians swimmers and were good water polo players and our high school guys got lucky and beat them and so they came up to me afterwards and said, “Hey, you know the coach at the University of Cincinnati is retiring at the end of this year, would you be interested in the job?” Well, I was thinking about college at the time so I applied for the job but I think the operative point is that sometimes the thing that gets you the job is not necessarily what you’re doing in swimming coaching, it might be just something you’re doing in an administration or coaching another sport or so on and so forth and I think that on the back part of the handout. I think the thing that I’ve tried to point out is I took a lot of opportunities to try different things, at 26 or 27 year olds I was chairman of the Central AAU Swimming Committee which would be now the same as being the LSC chairman and like I said I helped coach the basketball team, I coached water polo, I helped coach baseball team, I got a lot of experience with coaching.
Later on when I was coaching at Iowa state, I coached a course in advanced coaching techniques where I taught people that were baseball coaches, football coaches and everything about what it’s like to be a coach and I had to do a lot of research and reading and so on and so forth and I had a great mile for that because when I was at Indiana University it was the same time that Doc was writing the book on the side swimming and I [own] [0:07:00] my way through school by building those pace clocks that Doc used to make and I would show up at his basement at two o’clock in the morning, sometimes after having some adult beverages somewhere and I wasn’t ready to go to sleep yet but so I put in a couple of hours and there and there’d be Doc at two o’clock in the morning working on his book but he was a great example of just always trying to expand his knowledge and trying to learn more things and I think that that’s, if you want to have a dream job I think the point that I try to make in this handout is that is you got to become the dream coach and you make your job the dream job.
I had some success at Northwestern the last couple of years in particular partly because [Indiscernible] [0:08:00] sitting in the back there had some great talent and that was there but I think we made that a place where people wanted to go and when I started at Northwestern, they’d been last in the conference for 15 years in a row, they’d never won, they’d been last in every relay at the conference meet for the last 11 years, they had never had a guy in the top eight in the conference for the past five years so we were taking over a team that you wouldn’t say that was your dream job but it was my dream job because when I got to college coaching I had two goals; one was that I wanted to be a coach in the big ten and the other was I wanted to be near where I grew up and a lot of where a lot of my friends were in the Chicago area so when the Northwestern job came open that seemed to me to be a great fit and the reason I got that job and again it’s in the outline there, the reason I got that job is two years before Kathie Wickstrand who is a friend of mine and who’s coached at Illinois state and then was coaching at Purdue, wanted the job at Northwestern and I sat down with her and she still keeps it, we’re at a restaurant and it had one of those paper things that you use and we turned it over and I wrote out a whole thing. We went just went back and forth and wrote out what you need to do to get this job and because I helped her get that job when the job opened up for the men’s team, she helped me get that job so I think those are really important things.
If you want to get your dream job, one of the best ways to do it is to help other people get their dream job and I think I’m going to turn over to Tim, most of the stuff like I said is included in there but I think that it’s just like if you want to become a top athlete, I think getting your dream job is you can’t stop dreaming, okay. Once I got into college coaching, it took me 17years before I could get my dream job and I’d been coaching seven years before that at the high school level. So you can’t stop dreaming and you can’t stop getting better. I think these are two things that I guess, don’t stop dreaming and keep making yourself a better coach, make yourself that dream coach; become a better administrator, become a better communicator, become a better psychologist, become a better physiologist and don’t be afraid, you know, just like a lot of you do when you first get into coaching, you end up doing a lot of these things that made you successful but don’t be afraid to try new things, follow your own path.
And I think that the final that I’m going to make before I turn over to Tim and then we are going to leave a lot of time for you guys to ask questions is when you’re going for that dream job, have a vision of what it is and be able to communicate that vision. I think almost every place where I’ve gotten a job, I think when I look back on the candidates that applied for the job other than me and a lot of them were very successful coaches and so on and so forth, is that I had a vision when I went in to apply for the job and interview for the job, I had a vision of what that job would be and how I would get there and how I would make that job successful. You can’t just go in there and say, “I’m a good coach and I’ll make you better,” I think you have to have a vision and be able to articulate a clear path on how you’re going to make that team better, that’s going to give you an outline of what you need to do but it also it’s going to show the people that you are interviewing that you have a clear idea of what it takes to be successful. And then, I’m just kind of turning it over to Tim now again, Tim got the job at Notre Dame and when he got the job there I don’t think it was a good job and I don’t think it was a lot of people’s dream job but it was his dream job and the dream job isn’t necessarily, I want to be an NCA champion, although if that’s what you want then you need to do that and again we have some good examples here in the room, but I’m just going to turn over to Tm, let him talk for a while and then we are going to go back and forth and try and help it out.
[TW]: Thanks Bob, I actually knew that it was and is my dream job; and then through the luck of timing, I got the job because at the time they did not want the job to be a very big job. They were not looking for a national level coach, they wanted an unknown, they got one but it was the job I wanted and it was perfect. I gave you a list on this hot paper of some hot ideas for keeping the college job after you get one, they boil down, we’ll go through them quickly but they boil down to about three concepts; so let me give you the concepts first and then we can run through them and you can see what I mean. And they are like a double-edged list because these will also be, as you do these things on your current job, they are ways to help get you the college job you’re dreaming of. Let’s say first thing, your athletic director wants you to succeed, start from that page; your athletic director, your assistant athletic director, whoever hired you, they want you to be a good hire, they don’t want to go back and do it again. So part of the job when you get it is to make them look good, that I am a great hire but they wanted to succeed so use the people who hired you to help you keep the job. They wanted to succeed. Number two; this is going to go all over with you, this is one of the chief components for keeping the job; be competent. You are the new person, no matter how much success you’ve had in your previous job, no matter how big you reputation, at this university, in this position you are the new kid. What do you want to know about the new kid? Is he any good, right? They all want to know that, your athletic director wanted to work but a lot of this list I have offered to you here are about proving, demonstrating, being, doing; are you good at your job?
The second thing that we want to do and we can, they almost alternated, I didn’t do this purposely, it just came out that way, the second thing that they are going to want to know and that your swimmers are going to want to know is how much do you care about them; every single one of them, and no matter how big your college team is, to a large extent they came to the college knowing that you were the coach, they want to swim for you, they want you to care about them, you do have to coach them all, in one way or another; not that there’s only one group and you all do the same thing, but in one way or another you do have to coach them all. Those are the principle ones, and now we can learnt the list and say what this does mean, but demonstrate over and over that you are good at your job, demonstrate over and over that you care about the people on your team and I assure you if you do those two things well, you probably will be at your school for a long time if this is a good fit for you.
I mean look at the list quickly. Number one: do the job you were hired to do. It sounds simple but a lot of times in your contract, if you are in a school that has a contract, they will spell out various components, do the job you were hired to do. If there’s a part of the job that doesn’t sound as appealing, I know when I went to Notre Dame I had to be the assistant aquatic director and manage the lifeguards and do the lifeguard training, not my first choice but it was the job I was hired to do, so do the job you were hired to do. If you into the system coach position and when you talk to your head coach, since you know the things I really need you do is X, whatever that is, make sure you do a heck of a job on X, whatever X you do, because the head coach hired you, recommended you for hiring with the understanding that X was going to be a part of your job as well as how many fifties on what are we doing, so do the job you were hired to do, number one.
Number two: this is from your athletic director, know the NCAA rules and follow them. Compliance is huge in college and athletics, your athletic director—and the bigger the school the more important this is—the athletic director does not want to worry about swimming. He wants to know that swimming is doing a good job, he wants to know that swimming is following the rules. And one of the things if you were trying to enter college coaching from a high school position or a club position, that is the question in the minds of the search committee; does this person know the NCAA rules and will he follow them? The NCAA requires us to take a compliance test every year before we can leave campus to the crew, you know we always joke about whether it is smarter to fail it or not. I mean I have to stay on campus if I fail this, but there is a practice test that is on the NCAA website. It’s online, it’s open, you do not have to be employed by college to take it. Take it. If you are looking for a college job, get the manual, especially pay attention to the recruiting rules and the playing and practices rules, those are the ones that your AD wants to know that you’re all over. But I would say if you’re interviewing for a job, take that practice test; take it several times when you apply for it. Put the practice test online got 100, which is upcoming to I’m good at my job or you’re competent.
Number three; coach well, coach well, coach well, no substitute for that, there’s no substitute for that, that’s why it’s on there three times. The other things that are important but you also have to coach well, probably the thing that we care about the most but with all the other things going on keeping your job depends on doing that and if the vision of your department is we want our team to go from this position to that position in our conference in our nation whatever the vision for your program is, that’s part of doing the job you were hired for, so coach well. Number four; be loyal. Thou shall not trash talk the staff, team, program, school, whatever this is in the care, right? Do you care about our team? Do you care about the school? Do you care about our program? Be careful, I mean if you don’t like your position move on, but if you trash talk people eventually it comes back and that beats you in the neck and it’s not nice. And if a guy can without sharing a name, we had a head coach at our University dismissed for trash talking University on a website; if you don’t want to work here don’t work here. Be loyal and if you are an assistant coach trying to move up, be loyal to your current position, be loyal to your current job and assume that if you were applying for a head coaching or an assistant coaching position in other schools, the two head coaches will talk to each other, “How is this guy as an assistant?” N not very loyal is the wrong answer, be loyal. And your team members want to know that you support them; be loyal to your team, be loyal to the people who hired you, be loyal to your school.
Recruit well, recruit well, recruit well this is in the competence category, it has to do with doing the job you were hired to do and follow the rules and we all talk about people who don’t and if you don’t think Bob and I have a list, we have a list, we won’t tell you what it is but we know who they are. Respect your current team members, this is especially true if you’re trying to upgrade your program in a hurry, respect your current team members, history, tradition, alumni; include everyone in the new program that you are creating. They want to be connected and keep remembering you are the new person and you are coming into their history, connect with them, find out what’s important for them. If this is a team that always is involved in an activity, be involved in the activity, if this is a team that’s proud of their academic average, support their academic level, whatever it is but connect to the old team, right, connect to the new team. Respect and support the academic mission of the school, it goes without saying and I have a letter here I just have to bring this to you but your in school and your faculty and maybe and especially your faculty will want to evaluate you based on your support for the academic integrity of your students, period. Your students no matter how much they want to swim fast which is always true, they always want to do a good job in school and they want to know that you support the fact that they do a good job in school and will always test it, there are academic and athletic conflicts and the swimming season and the academic season are the same season and it’s always true, right? You have mid two and mid term time in the fall, you have made your full meet just before the finals, you have championship meets before we have two mid term exams in the spring, they are on top of each other all the time, it’s normal.
How important is your academic success? I’ve had the pleasure for the last couple of years, through Bob’s program with College Swimming Coach Association [of America], to write a letter to University people when their teams achieve like a team GPA of 3 0 above. I get letters back, I want to read you one. “Dear Mr. Welsh, thank you for your gracious note,” it’s a form letter, I’m not reading 100 individual letters, it’s a form letter. “Dear Mr. Welsh, thank you for your gracious note. I am delighted to learn that the men swimming and diving team has earned the CSCAA Scholar All American team honors, we are very proud of our water-bound team,” signed by the president of a major Big Ten university, not Bob’s. Presidents care enough to write a letter that he knows he is not dummy; he knows I wrote the same letter to a hundred schools and changed the name, of course he does. But that’s how much they care about it, always do that.
I’m on to number eight, love and challenge the men and the women, this is in the caring. It used to be that the rule of thumb was challenge the men love the women, that doesn’t work anymore, men want to be loved, women want to be challenged, you need to do both for both. And when you hear whole stories about people who lose their jobs and you don’t understand why, part of the answer sometimes is, people went in and complained that you didn’t care about them. That doesn’t mean you have to be a softy, it means you have to care about them and they have to know that you care about them.
Number nine; communicate with everyone, team members, parents, alumni, administration, admissions office, recruits, friends of the team, you cannot over communicate in your position, people want to be in touch with you, they want to know what’s going on, they want to connect with your program, they want to be a part of it and you want them to be apart of it and if you are in a program that needs to demonstrate it’s important to your campus, the stronger that network, the stronger your team and now as you can’t neglect the other parts of the job, Bob was great about this, Bob used to say you do an hour a day after morning practice. If you’re consistent on this it works but communicate with everyone, people want to know what’s going on and they want to be apart of your program.
Number 10 is like it, the same way you communicate, build links, links to your campus; links to your community, faculty, conference. Volunteer to do the thankless jobs. Every organization has them, the new push-in comes in and says, “Gives me the job that nobody else wants to do,” and they are thinking: “Oh, I like this person.” I don’t do the job if I hate it, I like this person you’ll hear, you are on my team, exactly what you want; keeping your job. Because at Show Star we had a guy, a former swimmer who we just nominated to the board of our lettermen’s club, we call it the Monogram Club. This guy is a former president of the international division of a company so major, it will blow you away. He walked into his first meeting and he said exactly that, “I want the job that nobody else wants.” Everyone was: Oh we like you. And then they called me up, and said, “We’re are glad you nominated him.” Bill Joe Links and the thankless job become important even when they are thankless and people care about you because you are doing them and even if you do it for a while and pass it on, the people remember that you do what needs doing around here to make the university better, we’ll keep you. Want to keep the person who makes the university better.
Over-deliver, especially as a new person, over deliver. If you say you are going to do something do it plus one, if you are not sure how much you can do make sure you don’t over-promise, but over deliver so you become established in your University as a person who not only does work his asked but does more than what he is asked, we like that person, right, we’ll keep him. Connect with your faculty, again the academic mission of this school is why the faculty is there it’s why your school exists et cetera and we all have whatever our natural inclinations are. Go to where your natural inclination is and whatever that is, there’s a need for you there, there’s a way to contribute to University in that position, there’s a thankless job in that area, go do that stuff, it will feel natural to you so it won’t be a burden, it will be appreciated by the University.
Number 11; honor the money and follow the money, needless to say these are tough times economically, you need to know from your athletic director administration, sport administrator, “What are the money guidelines in my program? If the answer is the budget is tight we expect you to stay within the budget, stay within the budget, if their answer is we are looking for you to raise money so you can take a training trip, raise money so you can a training trip, if the answer is we want you to raise money for specific tasks, we don’t want you to target general funds because we want to target those guys for bigger checks, raise money for specific tasks we need new starting blocks can you help us buy new starting blocks. Just follow the money, honor the money, a lot of schools need you to raise money but find out what that is and money will be important as we all know.
And finally on my top 12; be professional on and off campus, dress appropriately for the occasion, like whatever you wear in the morning to work out is probably not what you wear to meet your president, it’s probably not what you wear for an alumni gathering. So be careful with your language, you know there are words, we know which ones they are, that your team should never hear you say and your athletic practice should never say and if anything you should have reputation for never saying them. Be especially careful around alcohol, you know, don’t have to tell anyone but try to find the college problem that doesn’t have alcohol related to it, it’s very difficult, be very careful with your use of alcohol; do you have a drink when you’re with faculty administrator? Be careful with what you do and absolutely do not drink around your team members and do not date your students. Used to be that was thought of as cool, it’s on the opposite end, it’s extremely a cool at the present time. Part of being professional, to be cordial, open, friendly to everyone you meet especially on your campus, you never know who these people are, absolutely never and when you leave your campus representing your University to the people who see you, interact with you even if they don’t speak with you, you are your University when you are in Ohio Airport and you have your University shirt on, you have no idea who is saying, “Ah, that person is from so and so,” but you are your University and people will judge your University by you, sort of whether you want them to or not, it’s part of the deal of being professional. Okay, that’s my quick list, we intentionally left a lot of time so we can go back and forth; they all boil down to the two things. Are you good at you do? Demonstrate it because you are the new person, do you care about the people you interact with? Yes, yes, you keep your job.
[BG]: Thanks Tim. We are going to leave some time open for questions but I guess at this point I would say okay I’m going to put myself back 40 years or so and say, “If I was one of the college job right now what would I do, what I need to find out?” I think that number one; I think the easiest thing to do and the most productive thing to do is to ask people for advice, okay. If you want a job at a school talk to someone who is at that school, not necessarily the swimming coach, but ask people for advice. When I got the job at Iowa state, I found somebody that knew the baseball coach there and I talked to that person and said ,“How does the athletic department work, who’s making the decision and so on and so forth and I will send you my resume so you can see who I am,” so you get somebody that’s already there, investing in making you successful in getting the job; this is something that’s I’ve done all the way through in almost every job I’ve had, I’ve always asked someone, either another coach in the conference or a very successful coach that I know that that athletic director is going to call and say who are the good people out there, that’s one thing that I try and do, is like I put myself in, “Okay, I’m the athletic director at college X and I want to find a swimming coach, what I’m I going to do?” “Well, I’ve got a coach in our conference that’s been in the top five in the NCAAs for the last 10 years, I’m going to call that guy up, okay,” If I’m the athletic director and I want to find a good coach, so if I’m looking for a job that’s the coach I’m going to call up and I’m going to ask him for advice. “I’m interested in getting into college coaching, you know, I like your conference and if a job opens up there I would really be interested and what are some of the things that you think that I should do to get job in your conference?” Okay. And when this coach starts giving you advice he becomes invested in you being successful, you send him your resume, you send him e-mails every once in a while, you get on the phone with him every once in a while, when you see him on the deck or see her on the deck you talk to her and say, “I’m the one that sends you the e-mails, I’m really interested and here is what I’m doing now,” build your network.
And then the next thing you need to do is; who is gong to make the decision on the coaching job, is it going to be the athletic director, is it going to be the assistant athletic director? Some athletic directors are hands on in everything, they want to make every decision, some athletic directors like in the Olympic sports or minor sports they have associated athletic directors that handle those and they give them free reign. You need to know who’s going to make the decision and then who of those people you’re going to listen to. So one of the things that I’ve always done is now that you’ve got this websites it’s pretty easy, okay, if you know the associate athletic director is going to make the decision then you look up her bio or his bio and see if there’s any connections like this person who went to Bowling Green and he was in Bowling Green when I knew this swimming coach that was their baseball coach, you make connections, but almost every job that I’ve gotten I’ve gotten cause other people have helped me and other people have helped me because I made them invest in helping me by asking them for advice, there’s no greater thing that you can show a person that you respect him and other than asking for advice, I mean if I wanted a coaching job right now, there’s a guy sitting in back of the room he would be one of the first guys I went to, Dave Durden back there who’s now coaching at Cal and find out you know like how did you get to Cal, you know, that’s such a great job how did it happen? And ask these people for advice but also just like “You know, you got a really cool job, I’d love to be doing that, how did you get there?” Okay, so you stroke them a little bit but then on the other side of it you are also making them invested in making you successful. And don’t ask him just like when you know there is a job right now; start building up a network of coaches that you go to for advice all the time. I may not always, when I decided I wanted to go college coaching, I had several coaches in the college that I was already talking to and asking for advice.
I think the other thing you need to do, in my path I had one job that I was there for one year and that was at our University in the southern part of the country and I went there the athletic director hired me, he promised me all this stuff with scholarships and you’ll get the club team and stuff like that and non of it turned out to be true and I just went to the guy, I felt very uncomfortable there, wasn’t the right place for me, I went to the athletic director in January the year and said, “I don’t know where I’m going to be next year but it’s not here, you need to start looking for another coach,” and I think that sometimes your dream job isn’t the dream and you don’t want to make yourself miserable. I can’t tell you that there are a number of people that I get calls from who got themselves in a position where they weren’t comfortable and they didn’t feel good and they felt stuck where they were. So make sure that the job that you get, you are not going to get your dream job, it’s not going to be the first shot you get and again I think Tim and I will both tell you the same thing make every job your dream job.
Other that the one example that I gave you in the 40 years that I coached, I loved every job I was at. I loved the kids that I worked with. I loved the administration and I think that you know like Tim was talking about in keeping the job, I think if you show that you really are enjoying the job that you’re doing and that you want to help out with the athletic department, you want to help out with the school and community in relations and stuff like that, you love where you are, that’s going to show and it’s going to help you get to the next job. But make sure that as you’re making the steps along the way, that if that job is not your dream job, you make it into your dream job. But also there’s a path to the next dream job there. And some times you have to make a move very quickly, like I did in one year. You have to make a decision, “Hey, this isn’t the right place. I need to be going somewhere else.” But again, follow your own path. Build a group of people that are invested in making you successful; getting that job that you wanted in college. And the best way to do that is…I’ve got lots of calls, Tim’s got lot of calls when he was and still does. People call me all the time like, “You know I want to get this job, what do I need to do?” and I give them advice. That’s the most flattering thing that you can do for a coach is ask him for advice and then they’ll invest in your success. So I get, that’s the thing; build a network of people that are invested in your success. I think now, I’ll just like to open up for questions. Yes in the back there.
[audience member]: I’m very curious. What would you, since you’ve been in it for so long very… a long time ago until today? How important is what you know versus who you know and how important your experience and you think will get the jobs [Indiscernible] [0:42:17] experience, but I’m wondering did they know someone and I’m seeing people get jobs some times that their experience did not get that. So I’m wondering which is more important in your mind; who you know or you [Inaudible] [0:42:30]
[BG]: One piece of advice that I would give you is talk to people that have interviewed for jobs, that have just gotten jobs and talk to people that have just been turned down for jobs. And find out what their thoughts on that. You have to be good. You don’t get a good coaching job without being a good coach. Now sometimes the best coach doesn’t necessarily, or the perceived best coach doesn’t necessarily get the job because of a number of factors. I have been very fortunate like I just talked about in building a group of people that were invested in my success. So every time I applied for a job, I had already made a group of people that would make phone calls for me, would write letters of recommendation for me and when I applied for a job, I didn’t have to call somebody up and say, “Hey, will you recommend me for the job?” I’ve already had talked to that person, they knew who I was, so it was easy for them to do it. So yes, you have to be good at your job; yes you have to be competent but part of…if you want to get to the next level? You need to build a group of people that are working for you and you need to have people in your back pocket that when that job comes up, that you can go to those people and they’re going to go to bet for you.
[TW]: I will just say two things; part of the job search and selection is similar to what we do in recruiting; it’s a match and your idea is looking for someone who’s a match for the school and I think you can not underestimate how important the right fit for the university is. Your resume will be a part of it, who you know will be a part of it and I would add to the list of people to talk to; who’s the person leaving the job and talk to that person and say, “What’s important around here and what’s the fit?” And I do know him, as I mentioned in the beginning. I got my job initially because they wanted to be a small regional mid western team and they were not interested in somebody coming in and talking about why it’s important to compete in California, so they passed over those guys; lucky for me. Yes.
[audience member]: Tim mentioned the other day actually during another talk [Indiscernible] [0:45:14] that usually coaches stay in a certain asylum, start out in division one or division two or division three. That’s kind of what you said based on rules and understanding the same rules [Indiscernible] [0:45:28]. Is there any kind of rights, is there anything else you’d add if someone does want to shift silos or go up or down or safety too? You want to try and move up to [Inaudible] [0:45:44].
[BG]: Sure. Yeah, again I think you’ve build up a network of people that if you want to be a division three coach, talk to division three coaches, I mean it’s a different thing. When I started coaching all I ever wanted to do was to be a high school coach. I didn’t even think about coaching in college until I had been coaching in high school for about five years. And it was really other people that kept pestering me like “Are you going to be going to college?” And I was really happy where I was, but I also realized that if I wanted to find out how good of a coach I really was that I had to step up to the next level. I think sometimes people make decisions to go to certain divisions for lifestyle reasons. I mean being a division one coach has a lot of baggage with it that you have to be willing to do, some people aren’t willing to do that and that’s fine. You know I’ve been helping out coaching now; still at northwestern I’m a volunteer there, I plan on doing the job that I’m doing for a couple of years and getting back in college coaching probably at a division two or three level just because I’ve talked to those people and now that in my position, I get a chance to go to a lot of their meets and I can see that there’s a lot of really good coaches at every level, and there’s a lot of cool things about being in division two and division three that you don’t have in division one, that are really nice, and so again, go ask people that are in division three; that’s what I’ve done the last couple of years because I’ve had to in my job. Just like, “what’s your job like? Tell me about it. Do you like it?” and stuff like that. I mean, all is there in coaching, any level coaching; I’ve had the greatest life ever and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve loved the challenges, I’ve loved working with the people; those are the things that come back to you. Forget about the glory part of it, the day to day stuff; if I didn’t have to go to swim meets and stuff like that and I loved seeing kids perform and stuff like that, but to me it’s a day to day working with the kids, that’s important, and that’s what you find out. If you’re going to change divisions, then talk to people in the next division. When I decided to go into college coaching, that’s one of the things I did. At the time, like for instance people were pushing me to go to a graduate school and I just went to the top five college coaches in Chicago area that were around Chicago and I asked them, if I got a graduate degree, if that would help me get a job coaching and none of them said yes. So I didn’t go to graduate school, I hang around coaches and talked to them about swimming.
[TW]: Then I think in the simplest terms, it’s about the match and if you’re changing division or levels, part of your research is to say, “What is this school looking for in it’s next coach?” and then you’d want to demonstrate your competence at that level. But you’re right, there are some athletic directors including our previous one who were all about the silos. I mean you just have to demonstrate that you are good at whatever the next level is.
[audience member]: And you guys here, as applying for assistant coaches, after all the resumes that you guys applied with, is there anything that stood out in those resumes that kind of made you think I would want to get this guy really to come on [Indiscernible] [0:49:52] interview?
[BG]: I’ll tell you two things. One; no cover letter, no interview and two; if the person is currently an assistant, I look for whether they take credit or whether they share credit. If they assisted with blah, blah, blah I’m thinking right on, I think I did this, I did this, I did this, I’m thinking I need to check this out. But again I’ve always looked for a match and I had an idea in mind and typically if your program is going to be strong and stable, your head coach will hire to their weakness, so you need to find out what does a head coach need but typically we hire to our weakness and not to our strengths.
[TW]: Yeah, the only thing that I would add to that is again going back to the vision thing, I think for me, I want an assistant coach that has a vision of what his role on the team and what the team can do and is able to articulate and then going back to the cover letter. I like it when somebody says, you know, It’s not just a cover letter that could be sent in any school but it’s really tailored you know like, this is what I see, you know, what strengths of your team and how I would fit in and what my vision is and I want to work with you and stuff like that. To me I think that’s a big part of coaching and even, what I would be looking for in an assistant and somebody who has a vision for how I can elevate your team to the next level. How I’m going to help do that.
[audience member]: Okay, this is for both of you, you all have been in a position, you know Bob [Inaudible] [0:51:52] at a time when we respect the program for [Inaudible] [0:51:58] whole lot of attention, in some cases like you know, when Bob came in our program was basically an afterthought and I think they probably would have [Inaudible] [0:52:13] but yeah, you both managed to assemble staff sort of [Inaudible] [0:52:19] in some cases to rebuild some fractured blames from your past in some cases you have [Indiscernible] [0:52:31] to rebuild those things back up. Obviously you know, you guys don’t do that strictly yourself as per individual efforts, those are staff efforts, those are team efforts [Inaudible] [0:52:50] a little bit of that. How you assemble a staff, assemble the team attitude, that builds the type of disorder of whoever is found like that and then yet taking [Inaudible] [0:53:02] from a slow level as Tim calls it, a small mid western key up to an internationally recognized program.
[BG]: I think one step at a time, it’s, yeah, I’ll just speak to my experience and, Chris is a graduate at Northwestern and was there before I got there and it is exciting to see people like himself and others who were have in the program in the past get excited about the success that we’ve had in the last couple of years. But it wasn’t an easy process; I mean we were last in the Big Ten for the first three years that I was there. And it took a while to, you know, you have to, you get kids that make finals and then, I remember when got our first guy that got in the top three at the Big Tens and we had our first guys that got to go to NCAs and we got guys that were wining big times and scoring NCAs and it was a slow process. But to me, it was a place where I wanted to work, I was excited there, I felt good about it and I think the key thing, like we are in the state of Illinois, when I was there, when I first got there we had one kid from Illinois, Scott Stone, I remember him, he’s from your part of the state but, nobody from Illinois wanted to go to Northwestern. So one of the things that I realized is we got to get people in Illinois excited about Northwestern swimming, so I really tried to, because that’s our local area, you get people on the local area and the local swim clubs excited about your program and then they start promoting before you when they get kids going there and they start being successful. Then you got your club programs and your high school programs in the area that end up being working for you. I think that’s what you have to get, you know, the people that serve your school, that are near your school and your regional area, you get those people promoting for you. And you’ve got something going and when our teams were the most successful, it’s when we had the most kids from Illinois because it’s a great swimming state and if you can get some of the top kids from there, you’re going to be successful most of the time.
[TW]: Yes. Bob’s on it. But I think because part of the job we talk on making links. There are great people on every campus, and when they can help you, boy, let them and they like doing that. I know we don’t have a lot of time left so let me not say anymore and let’s go on and do whatever is next.
[audience member]: All this is concerned when you started the program from scratch, when your programs followed up. Other than what’s [Inaudible] [0:56:23]
[TW]: I will start with academic integrity and establish that every one in on my team is a good student and they do a good job in class. The next thing I would do is, build the training program gradually but definitely, so wherever your people are now in terms of what is their intensity , what is their volume, I would start with that and I would build that gradually so that’s progressive, you know so that they could see themselves getting better and I would celebrate the heck out of any success we had in the classroom, in the pool, in the community, I would just celebrate the heck out of the success that we had. But I would start with academic success.
[BG]: Yeah, I would agree with that, we are both from fairly academic schools, so that’s a big point but I think in terms of what Tim said, one of the things that we did when I first started on Northwestern is, I wanted to make every kid know how everybody else on the team was doing. So that when kids ,did their best time and when I first got there, you know, we had a lot of kids that were in Dual meets for doing their best times and we had one kid that we laughed at because he went through six dual meets, doing his best time every time and we celebrated that every time at the end of the meet, it was like; this guy does his best dual meet time, this, you know little successes because we frankly we were going to win to many meets when I first got there. And then you have got to make some decisions like, after I was there about four or five years we made it our goal to win as many dual meets as we could, we won 13 goal dual meets and then we went to the Big Tens and we ended up getting [Indiscernible] [0:58:26] and I forget what it was and then I’d say to the guys, “Is that what you want? Do you want to win dual meets or you want to do good in championship meets?” and changes the culture but you got to get them interested. The other thing that I would do is again; especially if you have a regional team or you recruit from a local area, try and get kids from that area and let the age group coaches and club coaches in your area know how you’re doing, let them know how you’re doing, especially if you have a kid from their team, if you have a kid that on your team is from a local club area, when that kid does well, call the coach or send him an email, “Hey, you know Johnny did his best time” you know, so on and so forth. The club coaches really appreciate that and then they end up again being invested in your program and invested in the success; time for one more question if we have one. Yes.
[audience member]: Question is for both of you. You know a lot of times it would be some assistant coaching jobs at programs, schools or institutions that will be very competitive, you know, you’re thinking a lot of [inaudible 59:45] from a lot of great assistant coaches [inaudible 59:48] from around the country. Other than, you know just communicating with people out of school because there are much people who could be doing that, do you guys have any other ideas of anything that would make sure you stayed ahead of your competitor and try to give yourself the best means to land that job?
[BG]: Again I think I would build a network. So if you want a job at Notre Dame, who does Tim talk to? If Tim is going to hire an assistant coach, who is he going to ask? Where is he going to look? I guess again choosing the vision thing. I would put myself in the head of the head coach of the school that I was at and say, where is he going to go to look for? Where is he going to go? He’s going to go to a lot of places. He’s probably, if his like me or Tim or anybody when you go to meet in the summertime, you’re looking at coaches to see how they’re doing because again, when I was at our state I taught advanced coaching techniques, so I observed coaches, when I go to a soccer practice for 11 or 12 year olds, my grand nephew, I watched him a little while ago and in a hockey practice, I watched the hockey coaches and what they did. I mean, so as coach I observe coaches. Again, go to those guys and ask them for advice, if you’re interested in a job at Notre Dame, you go Tim and say, “I’m from this area, I really like what’s happening in the Big East Conference and I would love to get a job as an assistant and you know, one of the top teams there, give me some advice.” And then he becomes invested, he’s going to call maybe a coach at another school and you might get interviewed at that school and do a good job and maybe you will or wont get a job there, but that coach will remember you, I mean the couple of times the systems that I’ve gotten up are people that have been turned down at other places and I call them up and I said, Tim and I just said, we both do this , if we know it’s somebody just hired an assistant coach, we call them up and say, “Hey, who are some of the guys that you interviewed that really impressed you?” and then we’ll contact those people. So, no matter what job you’re going to, try and leave, if you don’t get the job, always follow through to thank the people for the interview and again, ask them for advice, you know, “I know I didn’t get the job here but I’m really interested in coaching in your conference or coaching at this level or whatever, you know, if you get a chance to help me out please fell free to, if somebody calls pass on my resume,” follow through stuff like that. Thanks everybody.
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