Panel on: Assistant Coaching at a College Program (2010)


Alright the next panel which we’re going to put Mike again to work on [Indiscernible] [0:0:58] just in-charge [Indiscernible] [0:1:04], we have up here few programs [Indiscernible] [0:1:11] head coach, [Indiscernible] [0:1:14] coach [Indiscernible] [0:1:16] assistant coach to [Indiscernible] [0:1:18] on house state. And [Indiscernible] [0:1:23] other than the fact that he is the head coach and hasn’t been an assistant. Sorry, he was assistant for four years [Indiscernible] [0:1:35] right? (Yeah)

[Indiscernible] [0:01:38] currently an assistant at Wisconsin [Indiscernible] [0:01:42] an assistant at the University of Iowa. Mike here is now the head coach of San Diego. He is also an assistant for Dan. And I guess one of the things we [Indiscernible] [0:01:57] get going because I was trying to kind of direct this is, I kind of like find out what you guys want to find out. Why are you here? What do you expect to find out and so you can kind of direct the questions that way. So, somebody wants to make kind of give us an idea of what they are looking for. Yes?

Male Speaker: Okay, so staff management, delegation. What else do you want to know about? Okay, how does the staff support a new coach?

Male Speaker: Okay, other things – okay, what I’m going to do is I’m just going to hand the mike to each of the guys, let them talk briefly about their experience, where they are now and their experiences as an assistant coach and what are the main things they learn from being an assistant coach and then maybe after you get through that, we can [Indiscernible] [0:03:17] to specific questions and go from there. We’ll keep [Indiscernible] [0:03:22] as [Indiscernible] [0:03:24] till five but you get done before that. [Indiscernible] [0:03:33]. So, let’s start over with challenges. Try and give me [Indiscernible] [0:03:37] on as a swimmer and then going on [Indiscernible] [0:03:42]. That’s fine.

Male Speaker: I slam at Purdue for Dan here. And I started my coaching career as his volunteer assistant. Then I had a little bit of a unique path back to coaching. I spent four years in [Indiscernible] [0:03:56] and so everything I did as an assistant coach, I think comes directly from my experiences as my equal officer. And you know, basically, you had a team to set up, you had a head coach and assistant for assistance work. So, it’s very similar to the company where I’ve [Indiscernible] [0:04:18] structure a military unit. So, everything I did, when I got [Indiscernible] [0:04:22] as an assistant and 2004 almost came directly from that. Now, a few things coming to mind – first and foremost, I think no matter what your assistants do, they have to be completely loyal to you when [Indiscernible] [0:04:38]. And I think, that’s [Indiscernible] [0:04:43] if that is not happening then there is [Indiscernible] [0:04:46]. So, that doesn’t mean you have to always say yes, that’s right to the head coach, [Indiscernible] [0:04:52] assistant [Indiscernible] [0:04:53] coach, I think we should do it this way and this way and this way. And always voice your opinion when a decision is made. They have to completely support the head coach’s decision at all times. We can’t be [Indiscernible] [0:05:06] the swimmers with [Indiscernible] [0:05:07] any part of the program, that there is any sort of internal difference of opinion. So, I think that for assistance, [Indiscernible] [0:05:18] college level, clubs, high school, your assistants have got [Indiscernible] [0:05:23]. And they have to completely support you. Like I said, he doesn’t maybe always agree with you in private but once a decision is made they have go [Indiscernible] [0:05:30] and completely support you. I also think there has to be a certain vision for the program. And in a [Indiscernible] [0:5:39] there’s [Indiscernible] [0:05:41] if you’re trying to accomplish and you keep going on and carry out [Indiscernible] [0:05:49] without specific instructions, now that you’re on the same page. You have to have right kind of; I guess internal communication within your staff so they don’t have to ask every second what they are supposed to do and they know what their intent is. For example, the head coach’s guy [Indiscernible] [0:06:06] having our plan, having our training plan, [Indiscernible] [0:06:09] little practice. It wasn’t necessarily what I would do personally if were on my own is what our program did and what the head coach had set up. So, I guess there is [Indiscernible] [0:06:20] and comes down to words and be on the same page.

Male Speaker: John you’re still on the middle. You’re scaring the hell out of these people [Indiscernible] [0:06:31]. But John is also being very humble. He [Indiscernible] [0:6:35] time when they came in the new facility and those guys [Indiscernible] [0:06:40] past year and it has to do a lot with what John did. He did exactly what he just said – was being loyal to the head coach [Indiscernible] [0:06:47] working really, really, well and he would totally deny this but I’m sure he smiles somewhat [Indiscernible] [0:06:54] Championship [Indiscernible] [0:06:55]. He’s completely a pretty person, don’t get me wrong. He did definitely have a lot to do with that. When I first came to Purdue, I was the head coach – my first [Indiscernible] [0:07:09] head coach. I was the head coach and I was the psychologist, the trainer and everything else. We just had no help whatsoever. Mike [Indiscernible] [0:07:17] he was our first full time assistant but he had to work between men’s program, women’s program, talk about delegating and all tat was really kind of tough as he was getting [Indiscernible] [0:07:26] two different directions with two different philosophies that have [Indiscernible] [0:07:29]. So, Mike has plenty of more stories that hopefully he won’t share with you now but if you want maybe over a beer, he will tell you. What I learnt and I’ve been head coach since 1985. What I have learnt [Indiscernible] [0:07:44] that Mike was number one, Tim Kelly is number two, Carol Burg, Bill Weaver who is now in [Indiscernible] [0:07:51] in Madison Wisconsin for the environment engineering [Indiscernible] [0:07:55]. And our present assistant coach Jay is just [Indiscernible] [0:8:00]. I have learned that what I need to hire. When Mike came in, he was what I needed at the time. He was my voice. I told Mike, “Never shut up. I want to hear every word, everything you had to say.” If any of you have known Mike, [Indiscernible] [0:08:18] he’s got a million ideas. He is one of the smartest people I have people met. And all his ideas are nice. I wanted to hear it all. His frustrations probably were, what’s going on, what’s going on? I think he will finally hear what [Indiscernible] [0:08:30] maybe two or three weeks. He started looking at the workout and also all those thoughts that he had were coming out from the [Indiscernible] [0:08:37]. That was where I was [Indiscernible] [0:08:40] for my career. I’m at a different point in my career now. And I need somebody just almost opposite of me. And the assistant coach that I have right now, Jay is, he’s so intense. He’s so positive, he’s intense, he’s just totally different than I am but he brings a whole different subject matter to the table. So, the one thing I can impress upon you is hire someone who acknowledges you, someone that acknowledge that you have weaknesses. I know I’m a terrible delegator but I have learned to be as opposed to a miserable delegator, I am now just a bad delegator. So, I’m getting better – and we are talking 20 some years, okay. So, acknowledge what your weaknesses are, at least try to work on it and get better. But I tell you what, embrace your strengths. I know that there are a couple of things that I am good at. My philosophy [Indiscernible] [0:09:34] is when I first started being head coach I said I did 52% right, 48% wrong. But I believe a 100% in my 52%. So, you’re always going to have Dallas. You might as well worry about something else. But if you do what you are good at, what you believe in and believe it a 100%, go after you’re going to have a heck of a lot of success. Don’t worry about the 48%. Try to get a little bit better but acknowledge the fact that you know a little bit more than you think you do but at the same time [Indiscernible] [0:10:07].

Male Speaker: Well, I come from a little bit of different perspective here and you maybe [Indiscernible] [0:10:17] I was head coach for a club for about 8 years and I didn’t have some staff and I was used to sort of delegating things and do a lot of things myself. And then, once I started at the University of Iowa, you know, I was no longer in-charge and it was quite a chip for me to understand, first to seek out and then understand what the head coach wanted to do and then sort of you kind of went against the grain a little bit for me, took me a little bit of adjustment because instinctively I wanted to do the things I wanted to do and I realize that they weren’t always the same with what the head coach wanted to do. So, I’m [Indiscernible] [0:11:00] adjust a little bit but I think I did that. And I have to [Indiscernible] [0:11:06] as John was saying here about loyalty – I realized very early that what I needed to do is first and foremost the other [Indiscernible] [0:11:16] of what the head coach wanted to do and I was constantly searching for you know, how can I compliment the head coach? What can I do? Because in doing that I think, what happens is you’re getting out the same message to the athletes and I think that’s critical to do that. Now, once I came to Wisconsin, a couple of years ago it was a little bit different. I am fortunate in that [Indiscernible] [0:11:50] Wisconsin is extremely organized and he has got a structure in place that I sort of plopped into. So, my duties at Wisconsin are very defined. I did come in and I had a one big request for him. I said, “I’m a coach and I really want to coach. So, I would love it if I could have a group of my own that I can work with and within the parameters you set up as head coach.” And then, he was gracious enough to allow me to do that and so what is happening now is you know, I have defined duties, I am essentially the travel coordinator. So, I do every aspect of travel that Wisconsin and I also [Indiscernible] [0:12:38] recruiting the international recruiting coordinator because of my background. And then, I also, because I know Wisconsin – I coached the club level for some years. Also, do a lot of [Indiscernible] [0:12:54] in Wisconsin. And on top of that, I do help out all [Indiscernible] [0:12:59] old [Indiscernible] [0:12:59] public assistant coaches with their [Indiscernible] [0:13:04] domestic but essentially a very defined and specific things I need to be in-charged of. And then, he gives me the freedom to do the job the best way I can and I work very well within those parameters. For example, he gives me a schedule and then he says, “We’re going to swim. Could you let’s say, at this day and because it is on the scheduled and I’d like to go the night before to [Indiscernible] [0:13:32].” That’s all I need to know. The rest I am taking over. I pick the hotel, I choose the food, I choose how things are going to be done and I do everything and essentially he just at the end of it says, “Oh, this is a great trip. Everything worked out great, awesome.” [Indiscernible] [0:13:52] you know, food was late, the bus wasn’t there on time and you know, we need to do a few things better. But that’s just the way it is. So, I think, if you pick someone like me as an assistant coach, then you need to make sure that they can work well within defined parameters but also give them a little bit of freedom and kind of find out what they want to be, what they are good at first and then kind of define what’s important to you as a head coach and then kind of let them do what they need to do. I think from that perspective, it’s working out really great for me.

Male Speaker: My history is similar in some ways. I have come from sort of a scholastic background. I am the [Indiscernible] [0:14:48] age group club coaching but I always [Indiscernible] [0:14:50] high school or summer leagues, summer coaching, collegiate. I first started – I coached high school in Chelsea (Michigan), outside of [Indiscernible] [0:15:00] and I wanted to get into college coaching. So, I got scared of going down to Michigan [Indiscernible] [0:15:08] and [Indiscernible] [0:15:09] what if we take him. And I call Sam Freas because he was the President of college coaches association. Well, he proceeded to tell me – I talked to him later and he proceeded to tell me every reason never to get into college coaching. And I just did never hear that message. I was just going, “Yeah, yeah, okay. You quit your job. Okay.” And went up to Michigan State and was a volunteer graduate student for Bill Wadley in 1988 in the first [Indiscernible] [0:15:37] went to Seoul with two athletes and there’s me and 60 men and women. I had no idea who they were and I still remember the first practice watching this army of people going for a run and just threw myself into sixteen and a half hour [Indiscernible] [0:15:51] gave me a ton of responsibilities, arranged all the travel for the training trip, return, departures. It was 16 hours a day. I had no idea what I was doing. So, I was stressed, I wasn’t going to do it right and you know, he was going to get rid of me. I thought my first year, I was just going to hand out towels and then maybe I would move up to you know, being the manager. But he just [Indiscernible] [0:16:13] great experience, went to [Indiscernible] [0:16:15], my goals was to be [Indiscernible] [0:16:17] everyday and just talk swimming continuously during this run, just pick his party. Did that for a year, he [Indiscernible] [0:16:23] to Ohio state. Richard Bayer came in – completely different philosophy. I managed to convince them that like these guys said, I was going to be a loyal coach because I worked with previous coach. And at the time, they had no money for an assistant, so they were willing to take this guy on. [Indiscernible] [0:16:42] worth almost nothing. And then I was able to get a job at Miami at Florida in ’91 and went down there. I think my salary was $15,000 for a family. So, I went down to Miami and then Hurricane Andrew came by and wiped out my apartment, everything else, worked through that year and then came up and got an chance to work with Purdue and then had a fortunate opportunity to be head coach at the University of San Diego. So, I think, the experiences I brought – I was very lucky that I was able to have an open and honest dialogue with every coach that I worked for. You know obviously as coaches in the office, we could discuss, argue, debate every single point but when we left the office, we had to have a point, we had to [Indiscernible] [0:17:32] that was a decision. The head coach made a decision, you went out but I have always been very lucky that I could express all my views and you know, good or bad and then we can debate those things. And I think that Richard Bayer actually, he said, “Well Mike, you can either say at the end, that I told you so or it worked really well.” “When you become a head coach, then you can make that.” And I’m like, “Yes, Richard.” But I was always going to want you have that opportunity. And so, I feel like I had a vast background of the things I really liked, a lot of things I didn’t like, how I would deal. But I was always loyal to the end degree to the coach that I was working with. And I think, that’s the number one thing. When I look for assistant coaches, I need to have people that are loyal. But I also wanted to have [Indiscernible] [0:18:16]. I don’t want people that [Indiscernible] [0:18:20] knocked down, drag out, fight about how we want to do it but when we make a decision, we have to be on the same page. We can’t have people say, “Well, I didn’t really agree with that decision.” You got to have people that you only agree with what you are doing. Robert was saying, “I think you have to find the strengths of your coaching staff.” I think it’s hard – I’ve never been in a situation where I have been able to look for this specific person. I think, you have to find the strengths of your staff, the strengths of the way that person works best and then utilize their strengths. And they are going to be different for every assistant that you have. Do the best you can. Obviously, there are parameters that surround and I think also, you got to weigh their pluses and their minuses. I’ve had assistants that there are certain things that really drew me nuts but they were so good in other areas that I had to learn, maybe that’s just my problem. She is so good for example, on this side that it way overwhelms; that this one little part bothers me. And I’m just saying, wait, I’m sure that that are these things that are really bothering her about me, [Indiscernible] [0:19:29] she could overcome those to work for me. But [Indiscernible] [0:19:33] staff but I would recommend the loyalty game the number one thing and then [Indiscernible] [0:19:41].

Male Speaker: [Indiscernible] [0:19:47]. I would like to particularly [Indiscernible] [0:19:49] and [Indiscernible] [0:19:52] for a round [Indiscernible] [0:19:56] came out of an age group programs and what motivated you again to get back into college coaching and being an assistant and basically in terms of going and – particularly John [Indiscernible] [0:20:17] and maybe I would talk with Mike about it later who went from being an assistant coach to a head coach. How did that influence the people that you hire as your assistant?

Male Speaker: Well, I’ll have to tell you, going from [Indiscernible] [0:20:33] Montana to Columbus, Ohio was a big switch. And you know, it was something, I didn’t want to do. I want to be a college coach for a variety of reasons. And nothing [Indiscernible] [0:20:45] enjoying being a club coach and a high school coach – I loved it and I love the age and I love the challenges. But you know, I really wanted to – I like the college environment. I like the idea of having everything geared towards team work in a close knit team, that sometimes gets missed in a club setting. And I think, that was the biggest thing and the biggest reason I wanted to gravitate towards the college level, was the team environment that you see in high school that is so hard to create in a club environment. Maybe you guys are better than I was but I always struggled to create that close knit team oriented feel on my club. So, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to be a college coach. And then, as I transitioned from an assistant college coach to a head college coach, Bob wanted me to touch on the people I hired. I was really fortunate because the assistant coach at Purdue when I was hired wanted to stay on as the assistant coach and I think all of us have talked about what to look for in an assistant coach. Well, she definitely fits my weaknesses or she is completely different and her strengths are my weaknesses. And that’s one of the reasons we worked so well together. So, it was a really easy thing for me. All I did was get the job and she wanted to stay and that was the hiring process. I can tell you that the view I have of what an assistant should do hasn’t really changed since I became a head coach. I [Indiscernible] [0:22:24] talked about the assistant coaches being loyal to the head coach. It goes both ways. The head coach has got to be loyal to the assistant coaches also and you know, one of my weaknesses and I think we’ve all talked about delegating and so on is that when – I think the best way to delegate something when you trust your assistant, and you want to have that loyalty to him is to tell him what to do and not how to do it. And give them the freedom to go about it because you have them in place for reason. One of my weaknesses is I keep forgetting it. When I give my input on how to do it instead of what to do and let the assistants run with it. They got to feel that ownership in creativity to do a good job. You just don’t want them to blindly do what you tell them. So, I’m not sure I answered your question Bob, but that’s what I got.

Well, one of the good reasons I felt it was so hard to [Indiscernible] [0:23:33] in club setting was simply I could never get my entire group to come to 100% of practices and that undermine what I was trying to do. That was the first roadblock. And then the second thing I always felt, no one took the same ownership or pride in the meet results as they did in the high school meet or a college meet. [Indiscernible] [0:23:59] Indiana, you know, the whole team is behind it. When my club team was swimming, [Indiscernible] [0:24:06] there wasn’t that same, I guess level of pride in what we were doing. But I’m sure there were things I could do. And looking back, there are a lot of things I would have done differently. I understand it was much harder to create that team dynamic. I think somewhat but my high school team was much easier to create that environment. The high school team I coached, I could get that team oriented feel but it was only in Montana like 11 weeks out of the year. So, the rest of the time, I felt like I always struggled for that team orientation.

Male Speaker: Well, I started in 1998 and it’s a long story how I got into coaching. I made $9,000 at my first job. It was a small club on the outskirts of Madison Wisconsin. When I started that job, I actually was pretty smart, I came out of the Olympic Games a few years earlier and I really had all the answers and I got into coaching and quickly I realized that you know, [Indiscernible] [0:25:25] what that meant for me as [Indiscernible] [0:25:28] the more I knew, the less I… the more I knew that I had more to learn – and so that’s how I mean I got [Indiscernible] [0:25:38]. It’s been a process since and you know, I’ve learned from every step that I’ve done. And so from this small club, I went to a bigger club and then finally to a large club [Indiscernible] [0:25:55] 500 seasonal swimmers. And actually, Johnny and I just had lunch today and we were talking; and he asked me this question, “What do I like about college coaching as opposed to club-coaching?” I think the main thing that attracted me to college was that you could actually do your own – well, in a way recruiting, because you get to select your own swimmers and I thought it was a luxury that you don’t have [Indiscernible] [0:26:31] club, anybody who walks in your door and they pay their fees, you kind of have to put up with that and you know, talented or not, you have to work with them at some level. And in college you know, as an assistant coach, you don’t get to say, the final word on who is coming to your program or who isn’t. But you get to kind of bring to the attention of the head coach the talented athlete and then you try to get that athlete to the program and then ultimately you get to work with them. So, I think, that’s a real luxury in college coaching. And I guess that’s [Indiscernible] [0:27:12].

Male Speaker: We’re are just going to stay with Robert and maybe talk about – you mention going from assistant coach at Iowa to Wisconsin and you’ve got clearly defined goals [Indiscernible] [0:27:27]. One of the question was managing your staff. Did that make you more comfortable? Was that a better situation for you to clearly know what you needed to do? And with that new recommendation that you would make for others and [Indiscernible] [0:27:44].

Male Speaker: Definitely, I think, going from Iowa – at Iowa I think, they just work differently and most of the things were kind of spread out throughout the whole staff. So, we had a travel coordinator but if he wasn’t available, wasn’t there, the head coach [Indiscernible] [0:28:08], “Well I could have some input here.” Then I would do it. Whereas at Wisconsin I think, duties are really, really defined and there’s no ambiguity among the athletes either. They know exactly – if it is a travel question, they go to me, if it is a recruiting question, they go to this person. And if it’s something – I also do academic overseeing, so they know that they can go to Eric or myself for any kind of academic [Indiscernible] [0:28:39] type of questions. And it is not only that the athletes know this but also the administration knows this because it is very clear cut. So, the administration for example, I’m always carbon copied on the emails and the notifications that they get, same ones that Eric gets on academic [Indiscernible] [0:29:02]. So, I think, it is a real advantage. If you’re comfortable working like that. Now, not every head coach I think, works well within those parameters. I think, it was Coach [Indiscernible] [0:29:15] this morning was saying that he wanted a part of everything especially when he was coaching , seemed to be like he liked to coach, decide what to coach on each individual day. For me, I think, I’m fortunate in that way, in this program that we don’t work like that. We work within fairly defined parameters. I personally think that’s an advantage and I like that.

Male Speaker: I’m Mike. [Indiscernible] [0:29:46] had the opportunity to work with several head coaches in terms of how they manage their staff and [Indiscernible] [0:29:53] what did you take from the different coaches that helped you managing your staff now?

Male Speaker: I’ve always said this. I mean, I’m coming [Indiscernible] [0:30:06] view point. That is what my base of thought is [Indiscernible] [0:30:12] there is always three, four kind of jobs [Indiscernible] [0:30:14]. You can be a fulltime coach, be a fulltime recruiter and a fulltime [Indiscernible] [0:30:20]. So, you had two coaches and then single sex program for three fulltime jobs. And so that [Indiscernible] [0:30:29] 60 hours a week. And to divide those task up, amongst my small staff is the key component. [Indiscernible] [0:30:40] paper work, where are you going to divide recruiting and who is going to do what type of coaching. And I’m from a [Indiscernible] [0:30:44] coaching viewpoint, I’ve drawn from the whole game of never knowing what’s going to happen until you walk in a [Indiscernible] [0:30:53] to having a workout that day to having your own group. [Indiscernible] [0:31:04] I think they all can work, I think they all have their pluses and minuses. I think, there is a lot of creativity going on with not having a specific plan. I think sometimes, style I’ve used for some of my assistants is that, write your work out and then I’ll put it into the main workout that we’re going to do. So, it is not specifically broken up and I’ve been with programs that I’ve had for at least small periods of times into separate groups. Some of the problems that I think that wind up with groups is that for example, sometimes it is really hard as a coach not to feel good if your swimmers swim well. And if [Indiscernible] [0:31:40] are swimming well, you say, “Well, my kids didn’t swim well.” And I think, if you don’t manage those thoughts, it could be somewhat just concerning to the athlete. I think communication is really important between the head coach and the assistant and the assistants having a feeling that they can communicate with the head coach and also the freedom to design or you know, do things their own way as long as you [Indiscernible] [0:32:08] assistant, as long as you’re able to fulfill the requirements of the job, in what they are trying to get done. And as a head coach not micro-manage your assistants, like [Indiscernible] [0:32:19] in the task but then you – “Well I want you to do it this way.” Well, you are really not giving him the task. For example, [Indiscernible] [0:32:24] was talking about which are not micro-managing your assistants. And I think, that develops over time. First year, obviously, if I have a lot of tighter control [Indiscernible] [0:32:33] as an assistant as a committee of program but as you start to feel more and more comfortable with it, you start to have a little bit more distance between what they are exactly doing with the tasks that you have given them. And I think that’s an ongoing relationship that you have with your assistant as you develop [Indiscernible] [0:32:50] for example, [Indiscernible] [0:32:52] I had my previous assistants going to the [Indiscernible] [0:32:55] for example. And she’s going [Indiscernible] [0:32:57] part time and I have a new assistant. She [Indiscernible] [0:33:00] for me, she coaches a little bit collegiately. But it’s still kind of a learning process because I’ve grown very used to the previous assistants and their style [Indiscernible] [0:33:09] that she worked with. And so, I think it is good but it also can be very stressful. And I’m not sure that [Indiscernible] [0:33:19] of different coaches. I think they have all handled a little bit differently and I think some of that is good but I also think there is [Indiscernible] [0:33:31] weaknesses [Indiscernible] [0:33:31].

Male Speaker: You have a comment?

Male Speaker: Yeah, along with those lines, I remembered that this is an important fact I am thinking. It kind of trickles down from head coach John to assistant coaches and the swimmers and everybody else get involve in the program. Better define goals or direction I think, that the program wants to go in. So, the coach has a real vision – a real clear vision, a real simple but easy to follow message that trickles down to the assistant coaches then I think it makes the assistant coach’s job a lot easier. And by extension I think it’s easy for the assistant coaches to pass on to the student athletes and everyone else that is somehow involved with the program. That’s the message, that’s the direction we’re going and this is how we’re going to move from A to B. So, I think a clear vision and if you’re head coach, I think you need to pass that down. And if you’re an assistant coach I think it makes it easy for you to pick up on what the head coach’s direction is.

Male Speaker: [Indiscernible] [0:33:56] some of your experiences you’ve had in the military that you’ve seen structure and handling staff?

Male Speaker: Well, I also think it’s an evolution and the changes. So, whether we’re talking about a company level in the military where you have a commanding officer of that company and maybe 4 or 5 lieutenants that are in-charge of different platoons or different areas of the company or a staff where we have different coaches in-charge of different areas or a single sex staff like Dan and Mike and I were the head coach and one assistant. Things changes and as Dan said earlier, what he was looking for in an assistant, what he needed in assistant has changed over the years. Also I think, whatever you do in the hiring process, you bring in an assistant coach and as you work together you both get to know your strengths, your weaknesses and you can use that to maybe change the rules that you have originally thought. So, you see an assistant is really passionate and good in one area; you would want to get at them involved in that area. And when you see they’re really not enjoying. not successful in one area, shuffle things around. I think that’s really critical – is using the strengths you see in your program. It’s probably been more frustrating for my assistants who had been in the same job for 12 or 13 years before I got there and all of a sudden I come in and I have a different vision for the program and a different direction I want to go into things. I’ll hand it to her. She has done an incredible job and instantly there’s not been one day where I haven’t felt complete loyalty from her which has made my job ten times easier. So, I think just as you get to know each other or as the staff gets to know each other I think a good leader or head coach will find out what world they’re best suited for in terms of the assistants and moving them around different areas.

Male Speaker: [Indiscernible] [0:37:01] a lot of the assistants are also seeing other coaches hire assistants and I guess – take it kind of this way, a young coach who just got a head coaching job. A university called you up and said, “Hey, I need to hire an assistant, where do I go looking? And where do I look for an assistant?” Something [Indiscernible] [0:37:25] answer that question. [Indiscernible] [0:37:27] coach.

Male Speaker: Somebody is asking me advice [Indiscernible] [0:37:30]. Well, I could definitely say from experience that [Indiscernible] [0:37:37]. You get to take a hard look at yourself. You look at what you are, you have, you get, you got [Indiscernible] [0:37:49]. I can tell you his resources are quite few than mine are. He’s probably paying some less money. So, he probably can’t be quite be as picky [Indiscernible] [0:37:59] somebody then one of the [Indiscernible] [0:38:01] and utilize in his best ability. I’m to the point where we pay a decent amount of money we made out of a pretty good pool of candidates that I can kind of pick a person who can come in and do what I needed to do. And he’ll be confident of what I want. So, if I were to give any advice, it is to take a hard look at myself and then you have to look at your old [Indiscernible] [0:38:25] get back and look at it and a holistically good program how much money you have ten month position that this person is going to teach long time whatever. What [Indiscernible] [0:38:40] because in my case my assistant now works with approximately half the team. And that was part of the selection process is that he was going to deal with the [Indiscernible] [0:38:53] underwater kick inside no matter where it was. He’s going to work with those guys and I’m going to do this and then he’s going also have to do his part. And that piece together kind of made it easier to me, Mike’s got a lot harder. Because he’s got a hired – he doesn’t have quite problem in the same pool but I did. Then he’s got to hire somebody, then actually go to work. What are the weaknesses in there? I’m still doing that but I think on help front side since I have these resources that I can look at that way. I would also, this is not necessarily question but it’s really interesting that the five of us are all related in some way here. Robert defected from Romania, Hungary and [Indiscernible] [0:39:41] Wisconsin came over [Indiscernible] [0:39:43] maybe Olympic final in Barcelona. He’s being very kind about that. And then decide that he is to become a coach. So, he came from absolutely nothing. And still doesn’t. But he’s got a lot more than he had before and he come up, when I first started coaching, I went to Madison who will coach with Bob and his coach Jack Pittenjer. And that was the way for me to learn. I learned more in two weeks out there when I had my whole coaching career through there. So, the point being is get out there and talk to people. Get out and have a mentor. Right now cool it, you can’t imagine how much fun it is for [Indiscernible] [0:40:20]. Why are you doing this with these kids? I’ve learned more just because John’s been here the last year or two and just picking his [Indiscernible] [0:40:29] and vice versa. I’m sure and along with [Indiscernible] [0:40:31]. So, and then Mike came to Purdue and was there and I learned probably the most I learned from any of my assistant coaches in the time that Mike was in about coaching. So, he made it [Indiscernible] [0:40:47], that the other thing I’ve heard from everybody is we didn’t have a [Indiscernible] [0:40:49] when we first started coaching. So, if you want to get rich, this is probably not the profession to do it in. And the only I think I’ve noticed over the years is that coaches that think the harder they equate money to their work, they don’t last very long. No matter how much you make, you’ve got to work your butt off. And then eventually my dad always told me that the cream lies at the top, truly, truly believed that. Maybe naive but I truly believed that if you work hard enough, long enough, now it might take 30 years [Indiscernible] [0:41:24]. I know that’s [Indiscernible] [0:41:27].

Male Speaker: Nice [Indiscernible] [0:41:31] like to open up if there is any questions. [Indiscernible] [0:41:36].

Male Speaker: [Indiscernible] [0:42:08] some questions first with [Indiscernible] [0:42:10]. Robbie became head coach in 1985. The head coach before was co-ed. And I was kind of considered the co-ed coach but that’s now how we were going to design it. [Indiscernible] [0:42:23] and Mackintosh at that time came from [Indiscernible] [0:42:24] came over and coach the women, I coached the men. Technically I was the head coach of both. She was there for a couple of years then she went off to North Western. And then Kathy Rider came in and become the women’s coach. But again she was technically my assistant coach as far the view of our administrators was concerned. And we realized that it just wasn’t productive. We finally got it but the positions completely separate. So, that’s where the journey started for us and we are [Indiscernible] [0:42:49] in 1993. We had no help. We had a GA. We shared – it’s week two programs. Then each had our own GA. My problem with the GA was I didn’t see all – I could push in that hard because they were full time student trying to get the masters do whatever. So, I was really like whatever you could give me break as opposed to you got to do this, you got to do this and you got to do this. So, I think when you talk about part-time, at least for me, I was really buried. They got other things here they’re doing and I had trouble asking them to do all of these things. Then we [Indiscernible] [0:43:28] to one full time coach, that was Mike, that we shared and eventually he came just my assistant [Indiscernible] [0:43:34] hired someone else. So, I’ll tell you [Indiscernible] [0:43:36] really well[Indiscernible] [0:43:37]. I’m going to bring [Indiscernible] [0:43:39] name in it too Scott Usher is now Pete’s assistant coach. The one thing Pete does, he pretty much gets GAs. And each year, instead of overwhelming number everything that have to do. They essentially have a different duty each year. One year is all scheduling or team travel or something like that. One year it’s all – they face into the recruiting but they have that to do. And then there’s another year they do something else. I just remember going over this with him and I think it’s a great plan. And I think some more of the model [Indiscernible] [0:44:11] and we have part time coaches. We only have so many hours they could do stuff. So, maybe that’s the way to do it is that this year you’re going to [Indiscernible] [0:44:18] or not. So, what they’ve done best whether four years or three years and you get your degree whatever it is, they touched every part of the program. In my division, I’m getting a full time coach and he’s [Indiscernible] [0:44:29]. In reality when we started having an assistant coaches, they were full time, it hurt the college coaching profession. So, what happens is they get the full time jobs and they study there. So, nobody else could get in there. So, we kind of lost that feel with the GAs coming in and beginning to learn and then kind of moving all things. And I think those are some of the things that’s tough that Robert says is trying to growing up to be the head coach which is really hard to [Indiscernible] [0:44:58]. So, that’s one model to do it for us. Mike had to do a little bit everything. And he had probably the worst job ever because he had to deal with me and he had to deal with Kathy. And we’re just totally different. You go from one practice, it was just one way, you go to other practice, it’s another one. That was terribly unfair to him. So, he was at a time where we were learning and going in. It was brutal. But he handled it really well. But that’s [Indiscernible] [0:45:24].

Male Speaker: I could [Indiscernible] [0:45:31] you’re going to San Diego. We had a $10,000 to hire two coaches, a little $5,000 for [Indiscernible] [0:45:38] and $5000 for the swimming coach and $5,000 in San Diego doesn’t go very far. And I used to sell the whole idea that I could get you a full time job. You’re going to have a full time experience for part time and so. But I said in two or three years you’re going to get a full time job. And that’s the only way I could approach it with any I thought fairness and how much of work they’re going to get. I just told him upfront like, “I can’t have a part time commitment. I still need a full time commitment but this is a pay off, is that you’re going be able to…” It was a stepping stone job basically. Eventually, he moved to a little bit more well-paying assistant so, they only had to work only two other part time jobs instead of three. And then within the last 7 or 8 years, we had a fulltime assistant. But that was the way I approached it. It was a stepping stone job, you’re going to get a great experience. You’re going to know how to do everything and then you’re going to be able to move into a full time position. If you want to do that and you’re going to have to have [Indiscernible] [0:46:42] just another job. Now, in reality they didn’t do everything but I didn’t feel like I was being unfair to them because I had said that upfront that I needed full time commitment and I knew it’s only part time but [Indiscernible] [0:46:56] the reward would be getting into the coaching profession at a full time position would be relatively lucky. [Indiscernible] [0:47:03] and you are kind of re-learning the process each time. But we’re really lucky to get – I’m lucky [Indiscernible] [0:47:15] from San Diego, it’s a very attractive place to have people come. This seems to be a group of people that are interested in helping out. Some of them were ex-servicemen. And so, [Indiscernible] [0:47:23]. I’ve been blessed, the last two assistants all swam for [Indiscernible] [0:47:26] and so, they [Indiscernible] [0:47:28] obviously they know the school, they know my program. They know when Mike says this, he really means that. When he says it this way, this is really what he said. And that’s been a great benefit. Or, take this logic teacher, not this logic teacher and things like that. So, that’s really been nice but I’ve been in that situation for many years and I just kept selling the advantages of – and it’s basically a reflection of my experience. My long experience was almost no pay. I think for the first three years as being an assistant I made less money every year. But it was a better position. And then I was able to become more full time assistant but I took a pay-cut basically every year. Supposedly that was suppose to help me but that was – because I thought it was a better position. I wasn’t interested in dollar amount. I think one of the most valuable college lessons I ever learnt was in schools as I had a strengthening conditioning class in one and the coach was a football coach I believe. Anone of the sessions he sat down everyone and he started to explain how to get into college coaching. His basic message is that’s all stratification. He said, “You’re not going to go be a high school coach and then move around division 3 and then move up to division 2 and then be in division…” He says, “If you want to be a division 1 coach, start in division 1 no matter what it is. Get involved because it’s very difficult to move levels.” And I think that’s very true and so, I have been blessed with my family, I was able to make that decision. I always had a fulltime teaching job, probably they would laugh if I wasn’t paid very much as a fulltime teacher. So, it wasn’t a big deal but probably in the last years I could have made any decision like that with my career to make that cut in salary and move up to Michigan State. So, that’s how I approached it and obviously have to blend that with the responsibilities with how much time. But I just saw it as a stepping stone position to bigger jobs.

Male Speaker: I think a lot of times a head coach will have someone in mind that they really want to hire but they go ahead and advertise it. My guess is that maybe when it’s a head coaching position and its posted they might have some people in mind but they are legitimately looking for other candidates. I think it depends on the situations but I do know that sometimes, they do have a specific assistant in mind and they are required to post it at least on their own website [Indiscernible] [0:50:34].

Male Speaker: You have to do certain HR things on campus, everybody does to post certain things. But I have to say I think I’ve probably hired a couple of people that were just totally off the resumes. This is [Indiscernible] [0:50:53]. This [Indiscernible] [0:50:54] people. You [Indiscernible] [0:50:59] how much long you think Jay will stay? You’re already keeping an eye out there. You’re looking at the young coaches and all that. So, I think that’s constantly going on for every head coach everywhere. You’re always looking for the people who you think are really coming up to do some. So, the more people I talk to going to nationals and junior nationals and clinic like this and things like that. The more [Indiscernible] [0:51:19] you get exposed and you start hearing names come up and you start, “Okay. That person might get a fit down the road.” So, there’s always a little shortlist that you got in you’ve got in your head. You don’t tell anybody about it but you’ve got little shortlist in your head and you start going over. The things that I’m looking for is – I want to have something that’s researchable. If you put something in my resume that I can’t find where it came from well, you aint getting the job. If I can pick up the phone and call somebody, we always pick up the phone and call the people who are close. If they put a person on the resume that I know they worked for, that person’s getting the call. I’m going to find everything I possibly can. I want to know the good and the bad. And when the candidate does make the interview, let’s say on the phone you start [Indiscernible] [0:52:12] come in front, I’m going to ask, “What is the strength? What is the weakness?” I’ve got 10 questions that I keep over the years I do. One of them is as simple describe yourself in one word? Which is really hard for me by the way but start thinking about a word to get [Indiscernible] [0:52:28]. Also I ask questions like this, “If you work in a college program” or some other places, “What’s the name of the guy who cleans your pool?” You don’t know that guy’s name I figure – if you don’t know the people below, you you’re not going to work very well with the people above you. So, I’m constantly looking at things like that. So, I want to be able to find researchable thing. I don’t like resumes. I don’t like looking at resumes. So, the more [Indiscernible] [0:52:54] concise to the point they are, the more important for me. I also don’t want 8,000 people calling me on behalf of that person. And I’ll tell you my [Indiscernible] [0:53:06] is, somebody calls you from your conference and this is for head coach. “You hire him, John.” Coaches in the conference were calling about other people in the conference. It’s like maybe, he’s calling me about some there we don’t want them as they want us to have him so, they continue to beat us. So, anyway that was his philosophy. [Indiscernible] [0:53:28] is that answer somebody else?

Male Speaker: Well, I have two things. When I was hired at Iowa, the head coach that I was hired under, he surely let after I got there. And I was a little scared because I’m like, “Geez, I’ve been three months and now I have a kid on the way and a family and I just moved to Iowa city. And now, I’m probably have to leave because the head coach that hired me is no longer at the program.” Well, it turns out that my contract wasn’t with the head coach or through the head coach but it was with the athletic department which meant that they just simply decided to retain me. It’s a little different now. At Wisconsin, if our head coach Eric [Indiscernible] [0:54:17] now, decides to leave or is fired or whatever he is in – he decides to leave then I got about three months and then I’m out of the job automatically. So, I think if you’re at the program where the head coach has the luxury of hiring their own staff then yes, maybe the head coach will know in advance that – I have some names that I’m really interested in. And then they still have to post the position but they may have a good idea on who they want to get. Whereas, when I was at Iowa, we really hired just off the resumes and the athletic department had a lot to say. The head coach has a lot of input but it’s still the athletic department that you’re in contact is with.

Male Speaker: Yeah, I’m just going to follow through a little bit on that. If you want to get a job coaching in college it’s pretty clear that… and I was head coach too. And I always had an idea that if my assistant left, who the next move is going to be. And I was always on the outlook. So, the best thing that you can do is if you’re interested in going to a specific school or in a specific conference or anything like that, ask those coaches for advice because then they know who you are and they are going to invest in you being successful to get a college job. Don’t come to Dan and say, “Can I get a job at Purdue?” Say, “I would really like to coach in your conference and what kind of advice can you give me to get a coaching job in the big ten or wherever conference it is?” And then, I could push the right contact, “What’s the best way for me?” Never talk about doing the resume and having people that you promised references and so on and so forth. But I think, the best way to put something in somebody’s mind is to ask him for advice because the next time, the coach [Indiscernible] [0:56:39] or coach in some other place gives Dan a call and say, “Hey, you know anybody that’s out there, your name is on their mind already.” So, start your networking and it doesn’t – then don’t ask for a job, ask for advice. There’s nothing more flattering your coach something comes right to him and says, “You know, I really like what your program is doing. I’d like to be in your conference and how do I get a job at a big time school?” That’s the way – if was a young coach that’s the way I would approach Dan right now as the head coach. And I also go to the assistant coaches and ask them, “How did you get that job?” “Who did you need to know?” “What kind of resume did you have to have?” “What are the coaches looking for?” Ask people for advice because you’re going to get some good and some bad but the main thing is people are going to be invested in helping you get a job. Any other questions? Back here.

Male Speaker: I think that is a good question. I’ve got a couple of people up here that were club coaches. Dan was a head coach. He’s hired [Indiscernible] [0:58:15] his assistant. So…

Male Speaker: I think you’re doing the right thing. You’re trying to stay involved in both of them. But I think if you get, I think ADs or probably ADs more than anything else get nervous about hiring people that they assumed don’t know rules or something like that. So, that’s what they all say is that, that person is a division 3 coach. [Indiscernible] [0:58:52] in division 1 because it’s a completely different world and what I was getting at. So, I think you’re doing a right thing. The thing I think is a shame as I got into college coaching just the beginning before they have the staff limitations and you could volunteer. I mean if you want to get into the position, you can say, “I’ll just go over there and volunteer.” And there’s still somewhat of that opportunity but it’s far less than it used to be. I really think that’s sad because it’s kind of limiting people’s opportunities to get involved. I think you’re doing the right thing by staying involved in both. So, that’s I guess my respond.

Male Speaker: Well, do you have any more questions [Indiscernible] [0:59:34]. Lot of the division that you’re interested in going into, first division 1 then [Indiscernible] [0:59:44] website, take the rules and apply for the job. You can tell them that you’ve studied the NCA rules and you’ve taken the test and that you’ve passed the test. That shows that you – because as Mike says, “That isn’t [Indiscernible] [0:60:00] coach a division when they don’t know our rules.” But if you show you know the rules in division 1, 2 or 3 that will really help. This shows that you’re not just applying for the job but you thought ahead of it about it. Any other questions? [Indiscernible] [0:60:26] in terms of? Okay, alright [Indiscernible] [0:60:29].

Male Speaker: What I want to say about that is that I think if either way you slice it, the value of an assistant coach is in the assistant coach power to recruit. I don’t know what you guys think about that. But if you’re able to recruit well and you know you’re not afraid of it and you can go out there and work 16 hours a day, if you don’t recruit good swimmers you’re probably not a sought-after coach. So, if you can do one thing really, really well is recruiting, then there’s going to be coaches lined up to get you to your program.

Male Speaker: I want to add some very [Indiscernible] [0:61:45] about advice treatment coach. You can do anything you want. Just remember that. Anything you want you just make decisions, just be a [Indiscernible] [0:61:59] call people, ask them questions, come to clinic. Grab every dime, ask some questions and learn and get out there and get out there and ingratiate yourself with other people and talk to them and just go. And we give an opportunity – it might be like Mike said. Every time he moved up he made less money. My first job is $126 every other week. For six weeks I had a bag of potatoes and a ton of margarine for… and I had to work every camp I could do. But I wanted to be a coach and I did everything I could. I worked at dog camp to make money. And I’m a swimming coach. So, you do everything you can. Just be passionate and do it. If you rub, it you’ll find a way. Just don’t feel like you should be entitled. If you can do that be humble and just be passionate, you’ll be fine. The question over here was… it seems to be whether this is right or wrong? It depends. You said, you wanted to be division 1 coach, I have start in division 2, where should I start? It’s the same thing. If there’s a chance for you to go to a more successful division 3 program but it is still the goal to be division 1 coach? Usually, whether you believe it or not the ADs out there – you want to be in division 1, they want to see that you are in division 1. Even if it’s a volunteer coach, starting there and then [Indiscernible] [0:63:20] little bit more money and you work it whatever way up that has just been my experience. And you can disagree with me but that seems to be the experience, is that once you go in division 3 or division 2 like Mike alluded to earlier, club coaching or whatever, you’re pretty much probably stuck there. These guys went from club back at college – that’s really, really hard to do. But they did, it was hard. So, as they are exceptional coaches but they found a way and [Indiscernible] [0:63:43] be passionate, just keep going. You will find a job, just keep going after it. You can go to division 1 program and they improve while you’re there, you become markable, you’re attached to that program. When I was here we did this. Now, don’t take all the credit. But you were there and you saw it happened, then you’re going to be able to move up in that position. As opposed to even the best division 3 program kid, you’re most likely in my opinion stay in division 3. And I have two sons in the division 3. I love division 3, don’t get me wrong. It’s great.

Male Speaker: I’ll just to add on to that, if you can get involved under recruiting process. Well, if you want to be a division 1 coach or assistant coach or head coach and you’re trying to get into it and you volunteered, try to get involved in any way you can in recruiting. Obviously there are rules and you’re not allowed to call recruits but I think one of the things is, I was trying to transition from being a club coach into a division 1 college coach. It was typically the one thing that I thought how many back log was I – no experience in recruiting. So, anything that you can show that you’re involved in recruiting whether it’s behind the scenes or not I think is cute.

Male Speaker: [Indiscernible] [0:65:15]. The way you think that is, if you’re coaching kids that are going into college, how come you’re in recruiting process? That’s how you learn about it. Call up coaches and say, “Hey, I got this good kid. What does he need to do to get into your school?” Start [Indiscernible] [0:65:43] we’ll tell you about why I can’t contact in such and such of time. You know the rules, you’re learning the procedures that college coaches go through, you’re deciding what people come for visits, what people are going to get scholarships. You learn all about that by helping your kids get into colleges. Go to your kids and say, “Hey, what kind of college do you want to get into? I’ll call the coach up, I’ll help you.” That’s how you learn about the process. And that’s also frankly how your name gets out with other coaches. So, that basically – you guys agree with that?

Male Speaker: [Indiscernible] [0:66:20] You can say, “Hey, this is what I see as people become [Indiscernible] [0:66:25] recruit my swimmers.” This works or this doesn’t work. You get involved with that process. Get start get to know. You get to know 2 college coaches, you get to know 4, you get to know 8, you get to know 16. So, it just keeps going, it keeps going. And then, find out maybe then that’s when you go be a volunteer coach. Take the local club – local program for a little while, can’t recruit technically but you’ve volunteered and you can go in there and you can just watch everything. But then you say, “I’ve been watching this. I think I could do that.” And then you sell yourself, get out there again, meet people talk to them and get your way in. You can’t be picky. I think I’ve heard one thing, this clinic is – people are looking for jobs. There is never an ideal time for the right job to open up. It never opens up when you want. Mike, I can still remember he had tears in his eyes. He got the San Diego job the day we had our first team meet. You know, and he had to go down until team [Indiscernible] [0:67:14]. There’s no easy time to do it. But you got to keep finding that way. Get up there and become an expert in recruiting. And I’ll tell[Indiscernible] [0:67:24] as Robert just told me, “If you can prove [Indiscernible] [0:67:27].” One college coach believes you can recruit you will get a job.

Male Speaker: Okay. I want to thank you guys up here in the panel. And thank you guys for being so patient and staying. Good luck this season all of you.

##### end #####

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