College basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. Head coaches at the Division I level are paid handsomely as are many of their staff members. The make up of coaching staffs is a confusing issue for the average fan. This article will clear up the role of the head coach associate head coach assistants, and support staff.
During most college basketball games on television a fan notices a large collection of suits. These suits represent members of the coaching staff of each respective school. Five, seven, or ten staff can be present on the bench during games. Who are all of these people?
The average college staff comprises the head coach and his assistant coaches. The number of assistants depends on the size and level of the program. A smaller school can have one, two, or possibly three assistant coaches. Mid level colleges, such as Division II and lower Division I, may have three to five assistant coaches. At the highest Division I level a support staff of coaches may reach seven or eight. Assistant coaches make up only part of the entire staff. Managers, trainers, graduate assistants, and statisticians can also be part of the bench make up.
A recent development at the college level is the associate head coach This is a confusing situation, and I to explain how this works.
Titles generally don’t mean a lot on college coaching staffs. You are either an assistant or a manager, basically.
The title of first assistant has little value as all assistants work just as hard or harder, in the case of graduate assistants at times.
The Associate head coach has been created to help assistants get head coaching jobs in two ways.
1. The title sets them apart from the rest of the staff externally/image- wise. It gives a coach with the title a little more leverage if the head coach moves on they they may look at the associate head coach first before going outside. Another factor is it can be a way to get this assistant more money, again separating him from the others. This title also can be a detriment in terms of staff chemistry. Egos are bruised and pride kicks in.
2. The associate head coach may help if an assistant looks applies for a head coach position at another school. An Athletic Director may look at an Associate head coach with more interest than “just an assistant.”
Remember that every staff is different in their approach to using the associate head coach title. There may be a plan behind it or just window dressing. Many programs and many head coaches have many different approaches to staff building. I hope this article will help you understand why so many suits adorn each college bench this winter.
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by Randy Brown