On Monday, July 21st I attended the Villa 6 Consortium at the Palms in Las Vegas. For four years VCU and Nike have been putting on the Villa 7 Consortium. Villa 7 is an invite-only consortium that provides a training ground and a networking oppurtunity for coaches and athletic directors. Villa 7 has produced 35 Division 1 head coaches in since its inception in 2004.
Some buzzwords from the event: loyalty, truth, reputation, preparedness, ask, listen, eyes, evaluate, versatility, work capacity, "your brand"
The consortium made me think of a quote that Rod Marinelli of the Detroit Lions once said (i paraphrase since I heard it, wrote it down, but couldn't find it anywhere on the internet), "I don't like the guys who look for light at the end of the tunnel, I like guys who keep on digging."
Here was the agenda:
12:00 – Welcome12:15 – The Journey featuring Florida associate head coach Larry Shyatt
1:15 – Secrets of Success featuring assistants Joe Dooley (Kansas),Russell Springmann (Texas) and Shaka Smart (Florida)
2:15 – Break
2:30 – From the Athletic Director’s Chair featuring Vic Cegles (Long Beach State), Keith Gill (American), Norwood Teague (VCU)
3:30 – The Anatomy of an Assistant featuring Dave Telep (Scout.com) and Jeff Goodman (FOXSports.com)
4:45 – What I’m Looking for in an Assistant Coach featuring American's Jeff Jones and Drake’s Mark Phelps.
5:45 - Closing
Larry Shyatt started the event with some phenomenal insights into his career. He distributed a hand out of "friendly advice". It was a collection of questions to ask yourself, an outline of program aspect to keep notes on, and notes on balance, respect, reputation and character.
Some notes from Larry Shyatt's speech:
Maintain a level of balance - look back/forward when you are 50 0r 60 and have no regrets
He said some guys excel at coaching low character guys
Some think doing right on the court and off the court is separate
He suggested watching or reading the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch at Carnegie Melon.
Here's the link: Randy Pausch Last Lecture
Some quotes he pulled from it: "It's not about how you chase your dream, it's how you live your life. Your dreams will come to you."
He also says, "Tell the Truth"..."All the Time"
He encouraged to "suck up your pride to move in the direction you want"
Learn with a new basketball Family
Shyatt had 22 interviews before he became a head coach
As a Head Coach he tried to manage everything
As an Assistant Coach he wanted more responsibility, wanted to be used more
Do your best, surround yourself with truth
Don't try to stop listening (improving)
Be Ambitious, ask questions...he said Billy Donovan is the best question asked whether it be in a meeting or to a cab driver
Find a mentor - lean on someone outside the program as a head coach
Enjoy the job
Impact winning: recruit, get along with people, make the environment more positive with you in it
Know the different between loyalty and TFL
TFL: Total F*cking Loyalty
Next Up was the Secrets of Success Panel with Rob Lanier (Florida), Joe Dooley (Kansas), and Russ Springmann (Texas)
There are 3 ways to be on the radar for a job before your reputation
1. where you are from
2. where you went to school
3. previous place of employment
These 3 blocks build your reputation. Its the people you work with and around that create your reputation
Win over your inner circle
Don't Focus on 1 part of what we do, be able to do it all
Focus on the job you have
#1 always: how can you help our players
Watch a pre-draft workout
Take 1 hour a day to do basketball stuff
Use entire staff to recruit (for example, every post recruit will talk with Danny Manning)
Change what you can, leave the other stuff alone
Coaching sometimes is preparedness - you need to learn on the job
Whats your body of experience
Russ Springmann - There are always eyes on you - perceptions lead to oppurtunity
Joe Dooley - Bill Self discusses the team and personal goals with his staff
Rob Lanier - the stakes are higher for administrators, they are not just relying on a head coaches phone call
Russ Springmann - have a relationship with you AD and associate AD's
Joe Dooley - mend fences
Says that an Assistant promoted to Head Coach at same school is tough because you are viewed as "the replacement"
Athletic Directors Panel with Vic Cegles (Long Beach), Keith Gill (American), and Norwood Teague (VCU)
Be proactive with relationships on campus
Leave an impression on everyone in the athletic department
AD is watching all the time, occassionally wear a tie to work
AD's see through the big name calls
AD has to sell you to the president, media, university, and fans
See your "total package as a brand'
Ask yourself "Do I fit there?"
Short Team Prep: "win phone call, win the interview, win the AD, win the seach committee"
Presentation: 1 to 2 page handout, bullet your philosophy
AD's see hundreds of presentations/packets and cant go through them
Vic Cegles: experience as a head coach overrides most factors
Recruiting is key. Each school does it differently.
It would be hard for a D2 or D3 to move up
Norwood Teague: Headhunters are here to stay
Some are hired for the security/background checks/ media buffer
Vic Cegles: headhunters get the names from AD's
headhunters allow the ability to say 'no' to the media about discussions with a candidate
Keith Gill doesn't think search firms are as prevalent at lower levels
AD's always ask if staff is lined up and who they have in mind
Interview evaluates thoughtfulness and preparation characteristics
At mid major an agent is not worth it and potentially harmful
A big selling point is fund raising at the mid major level
Anatomy of a Great Assistant with Dave Telep (scout.com) and Jeff Goodman (foxsports)
Dave Telep: reputation and relationships is the business
know your craft
know where you fit
Jeff Goodman: staffs must work together
Dave Telep: you are always being evaluated
before recommend a kid ask yourself "would you put your job on line for this kid?"
Goodman stressed versatility as an assistant, don't pigeon hole yourself as an X & O guy or a recruiter
Dave Telep: i watch everyone, may be at a different level program overnight
told a story of Darrin Horns thorough preparation as an assistant at Marquette
said Herb Sendek scrapped everything at NC State and did it his way
Sendek recruited academic, character, multi-position kids
Know what you want and what is a fit
a recruiting tip: show a kid how much money (and time) it cost to recruit him, visually spell it out
What I'm Looking For in an Assistant with Jeff Jones (American) and Mark Phelps (Drake)
Jeff Jones: Loyalty means doing the job
Mark Phelps: work ethic, "work capacity" - it is a gift to be able to sit and grind for 4 to 5 hours
character is paramount
loyalty is what are you doing on a consistant basis, especially when no one is looking
i am looking for a positive guy
JJ: needs evolve, core stays the same
MP: planned for 3 years to be head coach, wrote down names of guys he admired as assistants
1st impressions is sometimes all you got
JJ: listen to assistants, media, looks for guys who are evaluating on the road and not just hanging out
won't hire who i don't know
be patient, don't be the guy looking at the next job
let your head coach you are looking or thinking about a job
enjoy exchanging ides
write letters, follow up
MP: be diplomatic, urgency good, panic is bad
enjoy people and influencing young people or your in wrong profession
don't let yourself be labeled
dictate your own future
be thorough and complete
learn to write very good letters, they make points without a rebuttal or cut off