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Matburn155

Coaching Wrestling

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This thread started off as a reply to a comment another poster made, and then I realized I was hijacking JT1's thread on "Evaluating yourself as fan". So I just made a new thread......

 

I find it interesting that it's almost an unwritten rule in the wrestling community, that you can't coach wrestling at a certain level unless you have competed and/or accomplished a certain amount at that level. Look at just about any head coaching position at D2, D3, NAIA, and even Juco (and the same is true for many high school coaching positions) and D1 level wrestling experience is preferred. Once you get to the D1 level, you had to have started and done well to get an assistant coaches job, and for a head coach you pretty much have to had won multiple AA honors or a be a NC. IMO this is a problem and schools are missing out. There are wrestlers out there who, for whatever reason, got too nervous, and couldn't perform when match time came around, but they were excellent technicians, and great at helping other wrestlers learn while in the room. Because of their lack of accolades, the best they can do is maybe get a high school head coaching job, and that's best case scenario for some. Many end up coaching peewee, when they could be a very good addition as a paid assistant coach at a college program. Our sport is really the only one I can think of that has this issue. Football, basketball, baseball, swimming, volleyball, gymnastics, etc. are full of successful coaches who didn't excel at their sport, and some did not even compete at all. They are just students of the game, like many of the wrestlers I am speaking of. And this is not because it is a combat sport. MMA and boxing, for example, are full of great coaches who never stepped in the ring/cage.

I'm just curious as to what you guys think concerning this matter. Do you know any coaches who fall under this category? Are we hurting ourselves by not giving some of these guys, who weren't the greatest at wrestling, a chance at coaching?

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Once you get to the Division I level it would be difficult for wrestlers, most of whom were state champs and among the best wrestlers in their respective states, to take seriously a coach who wasn't all that good of a wrestler himself. It doesn't matter how much technical knowledge he may have, the wrestlers need to be confident their coach was also a solid wrestler during his competitive days to take him seriously. How seriously would you take dieting advice from an fat dietician, even if the info he was telling you was technically correct? Same principle applies to coaching.

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So I guess Tom Bradey doesn't listen to Bill Bellicheck? Maybe the top quarterback coach in the country is OBrien from Penn State and the guy didn't even play the position. PSU got the top high school quarterback in the country and the kid went there because of OBrien.

 

This is one of the problems in wrestling. If you don't have ugly ears and a drawer filled with medals, you don't have any credibility. Many of the D1 coaches I have met are idiots. I think this is one of the reasons

the sport is dying on that level. The best college coaches in the country are at the D3 level. There are a few hundred D3 teams and those athletes are not on scholarship. Anyone ever try and figure this out?

 

I remember reading an article about the growth of the NHL about 20 years ago. The person who was largely responsible was an MBA fellow who never played the sport!

 

In order to keep wrestling in the Olympics, FILA has realized it needs to be more inclusive. Is it time for the culture of wrestling to change so D1 programs would be more open to accepting a wider range of people into the coaching ranks?

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This thread started off as a reply to a comment another poster made, and then I realized I was hijacking JT1's thread on "Evaluating yourself as fan". So I just made a new thread......

 

I find it interesting that it's almost an unwritten rule in the wrestling community, that you can't coach wrestling at a certain level unless you have competed and/or accomplished a certain amount at that level. Look at just about any head coaching position at D2, D3, NAIA, and even Juco (and the same is true for many high school coaching positions) and D1 level wrestling experience is preferred. Once you get to the D1 level, you had to have started and done well to get an assistant coaches job, and for a head coach you pretty much have to had won multiple AA honors or a be a NC. IMO this is a problem and schools are missing out. There are wrestlers out there who, for whatever reason, got too nervous, and couldn't perform when match time came around, but they were excellent technicians, and great at helping other wrestlers learn while in the room. Because of their lack of accolades, the best they can do is maybe get a high school head coaching job, and that's best case scenario for some. Many end up coaching peewee, when they could be a very good addition as a paid assistant coach at a college program. Our sport is really the only one I can think of that has this issue. Football, basketball, baseball, swimming, volleyball, gymnastics, etc. are full of successful coaches who didn't excel at their sport, and some did not even compete at all. They are just students of the game, like many of the wrestlers I am speaking of. And this is not because it is a combat sport. MMA and boxing, for example, are full of great coaches who never stepped in the ring/cage.

I'm just curious as to what you guys think concerning this matter. Do you know any coaches who fall under this category? Are we hurting ourselves by not giving some of these guys, who weren't the greatest at wrestling, a chance at coaching?

 

I couldn't agree more. I never wrestled competitively in college but my first two years, I went into the coaches office and asked him if it'd be ok if I attended practices. I was very lucky and fortunate to have him allow me into the room, and the wrestlers on the team were, with exception to one guy were all very welcoming of me. We had a three time New Mexico State champion who took a real liking to me and showed me a vital mistake that I was making on me feet during practice that cost me a lot of takedowns. He showed me a new technique to try and I started to win the scramble situations that I would normally lose.

 

When I went back home that summer, I attended a majority of my high school's freestyle practices, where the kids would sometimes also practice/wrestle folkstyle. There was a kid going into his senior year that thought he had a real shot at going to state. As I watched him wrestle, lo and behold I saw him make the same mistake that I had been making. I began to show him the technique that Keating (the 3 timer from New Mexico) had showed me. I was stopped immediately and told to just let him do it his own way. Which was fine. Yet later on, a former 3 time state qualifier from our school came into the room and showed him the exact same move, in the exact same manner that I did and there wasn't a problem.

 

It all came down to the fact that his record was 143-27 and mine was 65-70. I didn't achieve anything worth of significance so there was no way I could have possibly taught a young man a move that would actually work. Maybe I was wrong to think this, but I couldn't help but assume that if I ever got into coaching that I'd be facing this same scenario the entire time. I'd be allowed to be a practice dummy, and nothing more. Any techniques I'd show or strategies I'd convey would be dismissed as unreliable because I wasn't all that great of a high school wrestler, how could I teach someone to be? The whole thing really turned me off, and I opted out of the coaching endorsement class I was originally going to take the next semester and scheduled classes that interfered with wrestling practice so I wouldn't be able to attend. I figured the sooner I got the wrestling bug out of my life, the easier it'd be to cope with the fact that it was over and I couldn't do it anymore.

 

 

.....

 

With that said, I wish I knew the name of a coach that I once had as a camp counselor at a Wartburg Wresting camp. He was not a Wartburg coach, but either the coach of a junior college or a high school. He spoke to us about not seeing yourself as a failure, even if you came up short of your goals. He never qualified for state in high school and he never qualified for nationals. Yet, he became the coach of the school and took a team with a losing record and turned them into a top 4 trophy contender year in and year out. His entire message was all about how to not count yourself out with ability to coach because you may not have met your goals as a wrestler. He was a small, skinny African American. He spoke a message that isn't often heard in our sport, but should be.

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There are always exceptions. Mark Cody is an elite coach, I think we'd all agree, yet he only had one low (8th place) NCAA finish. There is more to being a coach than technical prowess. How about Tommy Chesbro? He never placed at NCAAs but he was a helluva fine coach, and a very nice man in addition. If it hadn't been for Dan Gable, Tommy Chesbro might've won 12 titles in a row.

 

I may be wrong, but I believe that the idea that a coach has to have had great success in D1 to coach in D1 is a relatively recent phenomenon. And that doesn't only apply to football. Look at Mike Leach...he's a great and innovative football coach, and I don't think he ever played college football. Heck, I'm not sure he even played HS football! On the other hand, look at all the great athletes whose skills never translated into coaching success....Bart Starr was a great QB and leader, but a pretty mediocre head coach at best. Same for Forrest Gregg. It doesn't guarantee success.

 

I think the main reason that schools are picking guys with excellent success in D1 is because of recruiting. If two coaches come to visit you, who are you going to be more interested in talking to...Mark Perry or Barry Davis? I'd pick Barry Davis in a heartbeat because I'm an old man and Davis is awesome. But these young kids probably never even heard of Davis.

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MatBurn155, thanks for posting this question. I have had some thoughts on this over the years and will share a few ideas I have on the matter in different posts (to keep them short and easy to read).

 

At the high school level, I have noticed that there have been a lot of coaches that have done a great job of developing athletes and building programs who were never considered top athletes themselves. Part of this, I believe, is that at the high school level a lot of what it takes to be successful is to focus on the basic skills.

 

I have noticed a lot of people who over coach athletes at the high school level and throw too much technique at them.

 

There is one situation that comes to mind. One high school coach that coaches at a small school in a poor rural farming community should never have accomplished what he has. He was a swimmer in college and has never wrestled a day in his life (practice included). He took the job when he was first hired as a teacher because they needed someone to head the program, had no one available, and if nothing else would get a little extra money out of it. He has been coaching for about 20 years now and has been named coach of the year for a few different organizations.

 

What has allowed him to succeed when others with so much more knowledge of the sport have failed? He doesn't know much. He has worked to pick up the sport over the years but due to his limited knowledge of the sport hasn't been able to over coach athletes or throw too much technique at them. When he would go to a clinic and they would talk about stance, changing levels, and standups it was all he knew. As a result, his teams have become very good at the basics and it has allowed them to be successful.

 

Now, I know there are people who would say that you can only coach kids to a certain level with such a limited knowledge of technique and that is partly true. But when a good athlete would bring up a certain position they got beat in, which is a typical situation where I have seen coaches introduce new counters or other techniques to address in this situation, this coach doesn't have any such knowledge. As a result, he brings up the failure that lead to it. Rather than focusing on the situation he losts he shows them the minor issues they need to address in their technique or positioning that lead them to getting in that situation in the first place.

 

Too often, I think, we have kids (and parents) who want to be exposed to all of the best techniques and get flooded with technique while never learning good technique or a system for putting it all together. But anyone who has watched the NCAAs or Olympics knows that the majority of the techniques used are the same ones used every weekend in youth tournaments.

 

I have heard that in places like Eastern Europe kids will train with their youth coach up through the Olympic level. I can't help but doubt that these coaches were Olympic caliber when they started coaching these guys at the youth level but yet they still succeed.

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At the college level, I think the issue of coaching has a lot to do with what we put an emphasis on.

 

Since we put so much focus on producing All-Americans we only have recruits looking for people who they think know the path to make them be an All-American. If someone has been an All-American, it makes sense that they would know something about what it takes to become an All-American.

 

But I think we are looking at the wrong issue here. Virginia Tech, Rutgers, and Chattanooga have all hired high school coaches to lead their Division-I programs in recent years. Though there may be other instances in other sports, the only one I know of for Division-I is the football program at North Texas hiring a South Lake Carrol High School coach to lead their program.

 

Having your first head coaching job being at the Division-I level is very rare in collegiate sports (outside of wrestling). But the majority of our current head coaches in D1 have only had the title of head coach when coaching at the D1 level.

 

I think the sport would be better off if we looked for coaches who have experience building a successful program rather than looking for quality ex-wrestlers or guys who helped develop an All-American. I always get the feeling that a lot of hires in our sports are a gamble on a prospective coach rather than a proven coach.

 

I always think about John Beilein.

 

Some of you may know him as the coach that lead Michigan to the NCAA Basketball championship last year. But how many of you know that he has never been an assistant coach?

 

His head coach resume:

1975-1978 Newfane High School

1978-1982 Erie Community College, NJCAA

1982-1983 Nazareth College, D3

1983-1992 Le Moyne College, D2

1992-1997 Canisus, D1

1997-2002 Richmond, D1

2002-2007 West Virginia, D1

2007-present Michigan, D1

 

Everytime he was hired he was hired based on actual results he produced with his teams. Other than his success with what would be considered a lower tier program, he never had credentials that would make him be considered a top coach.

 

Almost every college sport considers coaches who have success at lower levels to pull them up to lead their program. This is partly because most sports put an emphasis on building a team and a program while wrestling has a different focus.

 

I can only think of one coach in a while that has been hired to lead a D1 wrestling program from a D2 school.

 

Can you name many wrestlers who want to be future coaches who would put their dues in working up through the ranks? Why don't we have more former D1 wrestlers coaching at D3 schools? Why is it that our future coaches would rather work as a volenteer assistant at a D1 program than be head coach of an NAIA, D2, D3, or NJCAA program? (Olympic training is understandable)

 

This is, yet, another benefit I see to a dual centric sport at the collegiate level. If duals are important we would have schools looking to hire coaches that have developed programs. People with the know how and motivation to develop programs is what we need, we have enough people coaching that know how to coach.

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Make no mistake. There are more inept coaches at the H.S. and college level in the U.S., and, I would bet, worldwide, that think they are doing the right thing. Despite the decision to include wrestling in the two Olymipic cycles past next year, we're in trouble. If we don't decide to stop appreciating the talent over the work, we're done, and rightfully so. Adapt? Yes. Complaceny, No!

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MY COACHING PHILOSOPHY

BY WARREN APPLEGATE

 

 

I first coached wrestling as a senior in high school. I coached Luis Tjerina a first year wrestler who was a junior at 103 pounds. I had convinced him to come out for wrestling. During my senior year I had separated my shoulder (similar to Sam Bradord’s injury). My coach said to me soon thereafter, you got him out you coach him. I realized that Luis lived 5 miles from our high school, would run from his home, weigh-in, then run back home. He was all-state in cross country and the mile in track. I realized that he had a level of conditioning no one else had in the entire state. I taught him two moves: a head snap and an explosive standup. If an opponent can’t take you down and can’t ride you, he can’t beat you. I would sit in the corner with my coach yelling at him to keep snapping the opponent and moving, never giving him a second’s rest. It worked he won the Ark Valley League championship defeating the defending champ who had been 2nd in state the year before as a sophomore by a score of 3-2. He later went on to win 4th in state.

 

 

 

I don’t have many rules, but many principles when it comes to coaching and wrestling.

 

Rules

 

1. Give a 100 percent physical and mental effort in each match. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when you can relax for a second or two.

 

2. Try to do the things that I’ve taught you. I realize that you will make mistakes, when you make them write them down after the match, and we’ll work to correct them so you don’t make the same mistake again.

 

3. If you miss a practice you will have to make up the conditioning. If it is an excused absence and the coach has been notified before practice, we’ll work with you on making it up. However, if it is an unexcused absence, you will not wrestle until the conditioning is made up. Weather permitting, you will run five 200-meter sprints after practice.

 

4. In a match if I tell you to choose a certain position, do so, don’t question it, or violate my instructions. I will have watched your opponents wrestle in other matches, or may know what their coaches teach their wrestlers. I will always try to put you in the best situation to win. If it doesn’t work, I’ll assume all the blame. Later we can talk about why I told you what to do.

 

5. There are certain positions that you must control or be in to be a consistent winner. These are as follows:

 

A. When an opponent grabs your head, BEFORE YOU DRAW ANOTHER BREATH OF AIR, CONTROL HIS ELBOW!

B. When an opponent gets an inside tieup, changeoff so that you have an inside tieup, or control his elbow

 

C. When you sprawl you hip goes down and forward onto the opponent’s shoulder. The foot goes backward, but not the hip.

 

6. This rule applies to me, not you. After you lose a match, I realize that you won’t be in a good mood. So I try to wait at least 30 minutes before talking to you. This will give both of us time to cool down. Then we talk we can do so objectively.

 

7. I try to treat each wrestler I coach as if he were my own son. That means I will be very critical at times because I want you to reach your full potential. When I give you a compliment, you’ll probably learn to treasure it, because I don’t hand them out unless they are deserved.

 

 

Principles

 

1. When you get an opponent on his back, don’t let him off of it. If he is a good wrestler he will be a mad S.O.B. and will take it out on you if he can get in the neutral or top position.

 

2. When an opponent gets on his hands and knees while wrestling in the neutral position, I want you to “pounce” on him. Apply a front head and arm tieup. Even if you don’t score a takedown, it will cause him to expend energy that will make him tired at the end of the match.

 

3. Wrestle aggressively, by dictating the action. I want you to determine how the match will be wrestled, not your opponent. Because of this you will need to be in superb condition, capable of wrestling at a hard pace for the entire 6 minutes.

 

4. Regardless of whether the referee called a good match, I want you to retain your composure. It is my job to yell at the referee and defend my wrestlers. If you win shake hands and don’t showboat (the one exception is if you win a state championship then and only then can you celebrate). If you lose shake hands and look the opponent in the eye. Remember how much it hurt to lose, and start planning on how to keep that opponent from beating you again.

 

5. Always work for the pin. In a dual meet you get 6 team points, twice of that for a regular decision. In a line-bracket tournament in the championship bracket a regular win is worth 1 point, while a win by a pin is worth 3 points, or 3 times as much. In the consolation bracket a regular decision is worth ½ point, but a win by a pin is worth 2 ½ points, or 5 times as much. Also you don’t have to wrestle a full match, which is always a winning proposition.

 

6. I will try to explain why I want a move done a certain way. However, when I’ve shown it I expect you to drill it exactly as shown. I will be glad to discuss it with you after the practice or before the next one. During the practice time is at a premium to get everything done in 2 hours.

 

7. A wrestler who doesn’t do extra things outside of the regular 2-hour practice will not become a champion. In 2008-2009 I was a volunteer coach at Oklahoma City University. I worked with the 197 and 285-pound weight classes. I told all of them that I was willing to stay 20 to 30 minutes after practice to show them and drill techniques that I thought would help them become better wrestlers. Corey Johnson who as a sophomore had a record of 9-22 was the only one who stayed late. In 2008-2009 he had a record of 31-14 and finished 6th in the NAIA tournament. Corey started out slow, but gradually improved during the season. I think he has a decent chance of winning the national championship this year. Stan Abel whose best finish in high school was 3rd, was 3rd, 1st, 1st in his three years of collegiate wrestling at OU. He said every afternoon after he got his classes finished he would go look at film of wrestling matches learning skills that he thought were best suited for him.

 

8. I will teach a “core” set of moves that I expect everyone of the team to master. However, I also realize that there may be some other moves that you will gravitate naturally too, that will make you an even better wrestler. I will try to show one new move in each practice, I may never show it again. If you would like to learn the move thoroughly, I will be willing to work with you after practice to help you perfect it. I will try to give each wrestler a 1 or 2-minute period to drill his favorite move with his drill partner.

 

9. Good Coaches are not threatened by Good Coaches. Bad Coaches are threatened by Good Coaches. I regularly would invite friends who had been world medalist and/or NCAA champs into by freestyle practices in Arizona to show technique. I found that when kids saw I was teaching them the same techniques, they began to learn where I’d learned what I was showing.

 

10. The higher up you go in wrestling it becomes more Mental than Physical. When I start working with a kid I try to find out what motivates him.

 

11. At last count I’ve coached wrestlers who’ve won 31 state titles, and 28 state placers in Arizona, Kansas, and Oklahoma. In most cases I wasn’t in their corner when they won or placed at state. Virtually all would thank me for some of their success. When I got a kid who was talented athletically and showed the desire to become really good, I’d ask friends who wrestled at high levels whose builds were similar to work with them. These guys weren’t interested in a beginner. They wanted guys who would be able to win state.

 

12. It is my experience that about 60% of being a successful wrestling coach has to do with things other than being able to teach technique. If you don’t have great technical skills find out someone who does and bring them in.

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It only comes down to 1 thing: Confidence in the coach. If the administration doesnt have confidence in your ability to win, you will not get the job. If your athletes do not have confidence in you that you fully understand the path it takes to win, they will not follow you. The only way to get that confidence from athletes and admin is to have legitimate results at the NCAA level or higher, as either an athlete or a coach.

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MY COACHING PHILOSOPHY

BY WARREN APPLEGATE

 

 

I don’t have many rules, but many principles when it comes to coaching and wrestling.

 

Rules

 

4. In a match if I tell you to choose a certain position, do so, don’t question it, or violate my instructions. I will have watched your opponents wrestle in other matches, or may know what their coaches teach their wrestlers. I will always try to put you in the best situation to win. If it doesn’t work, I’ll assume all the blame. Later we can talk about why I told you what to do.

 

 

 

*Funny thing is, I generally like it when an athlete tells me where he wants to go. If he feels strongly about it, I generally let him. So what if he's wrong? He has some kind of plan to win the match, which means his head is in the game. Most situations aren't make-or-break, and letting the athlete make a (potentially) bad decision sets the stage for him to make good decisions later on. Having him obey just wins the present match. If it prepares him for anything, it's merely to take more orders.

 

Besides, sometimes I'm wrong... in which case, it's nice not to have pulled rank.

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This topic comes up every year or so. Usually someone points out that in order to get assistant jobs, you need to be a hammer in the room. I'm not sure why DI athletic directors are not very interested in hiring successful head coaches from lower levels. Is it the same in other individual sports, like golf or tennis?

 

Just speculating here, but it could be that athletic directors are uninterested in doing the work that it would require to thoroughly research applicants that have less buzz. From what I understand, their jobs generally depend on winning in football and basketball and keeping the other programs out of trouble.

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This topic comes up every year or so. Usually someone points out that in order to get assistant jobs, you need to be a hammer in the room. I'm not sure why DI athletic directors are not very interested in hiring successful head coaches from lower levels. Is it the same in other individual sports, like golf or tennis?

 

Because the role and contribution that lower level coaches could give can be handled by the head coach/head assistant. Instruction, tactics, strategy, and technique that can more be efficiently learned through feel can only be handled by coaches who are still superior in those areas compared to the student athletes.

 

In addition, AD's have very little to no say in who comprises the coaching staff. That is handled by the head coach. The coach picks his coaching staff and the AD gives the final approval.

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What I meant may not have been clear.

 

I think the question here is why aren't DII and DIII HEAD coaches being hired to fill DI HEAD coaching slots. It's pretty obvious why ex-DI wrestlers fill almost all of the assistant coaching positions.

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This is an interesting topic. Although I do agree with some of your points and do think our current coaching situation is not ideal nor most efficent I should say I believe:

 

1. Coaching at the college level is much different than coaching at the high school level

- Being a college wrestlers is vastly different than being a high school wrestler. The level of training, dieting, committment, and technique necessary is night and day. As a high school kid you cannot truly comprehend the technique nor level of committment necessary to live wrestling like adult college-aged wrestlers. These experiences while competiting in college are learning opportunities and cannot be simulated in a high school environment (minus elite schools: St. Eds, Blair, etc).

 

2. Coaching wrestling is much different than other sports

- Wrestling is a much different sport, thus is our coaching paradign. First, wrestling is highly individualized therefore much different than football, baseball, basektball. Secondly, wrestling is a fanatical, competitive, non-leisure sport. You dont see too many kids who just want to coach or be equipment managers/learn the sport like you see in football/baseball/etc. Third, think of the number of wrestlers per program, than the number of programs conversely to the number of coaches. 2-4 coaches per 30-40 kids per D1 team times how many programs. A lot of college head coaches are older and want coaches to train with and push wrestlers in practice (think of the Iowas, OK States, OSU, PSU coaches train with the athletes pushing them everyday) Additionally, a lot of impressionable young kids want the coach they grew up watching, they like the flash of the medals so to speak, see why everyone wants to wrestler for the great Cael (And can you blame them? Get best kids, train those kids, win, get more best kids cycle) They can sell the 'I did it and I can help you get there' narrative to the kids.

 

Sadly this leaves room for only the cream of the crop to take a position as assistants (often times with their own team) fast tracking them to head coaches some day due to the experience. I think/hope we are seeing a slight change: look at guys like Beasley at NC State, Stutzman, Derlan who were D1 guys that didnt set the world on fire but had a good head on their shoulders, good business sense, and did things the right way to get where they are today. Hard but very admirable!

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What I meant may not have been clear.

 

I think the question here is why aren't DII and DIII HEAD coaches being hired to fill DI HEAD coaching slots. It's pretty obvious why ex-DI wrestlers fill almost all of the assistant coaching positions.

 

Im not sure very many apply.

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I think the question here is why aren't DII and DIII HEAD coaches being hired to fill DI HEAD coaching slots. It's pretty obvious why ex-DI wrestlers fill almost all of the assistant coaching positions.

 

Because "good" D2 and D3 coaches aren't always good coaches. When you get D1 guys who didn't quite cut it, either grade wise or skill wise, it's not too hard to outclass the competition. It's a completely different ball game when you consider that for D1 you're actually recruiting the top guys out of high school.

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I saw Rob Ash speak once and he named the one thing that he looks for in hiring an assistant is that they care about the young men they will coach. I don't think it is any different in wrestling... People want to know how much you care before they care how much you know.

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*Funny thing is, I generally like it when an athlete tells me where he wants to go. If he feels strongly about it, I generally let him. So what if he's wrong? He has some kind of plan to win the match, which means his head is in the game. Most situations aren't make-or-break, and letting the athlete make a (potentially) bad decision sets the stage for him to make good decisions later on. Having him obey just wins the present match. If it prepares him for anything, it's merely to take more orders.

Besides, sometimes I'm wrong... in which case, it's nice not to have pulled rank.

 

In big matches decisions are usually make or break.

There is no decision that can't be discussed after the match. Athletes need to be focused in the moment not dickering the what ifs.

 

We've all seen poor coaching choices at high levels putting kids down against TOP MONSTERS or keeping kids on top instead of trying to turn them. Heck at NCAA's I saw someone have their athlete cut the bottom man with 13 seconds to go losing by 1 and they only need another 9 seconds to secure riding time.

 

Coaches should have their head in the match. 15 seconds before the end of the period they should be thinking choice and what if's. If a coach is indecisive or it doesn't matter, then let the kid choose. In big matches the coach better have a plan and be confident in it. If the athlete looks over and the coach is torn between choices then it hurts the athlete's confidence.

 

**Young kids need to learn to get off the bottom. In developmental years, to me it is more important for a kid to take down and risk getting the dog snot ridden out of him then to score 10 more takedowns.

I went to a clinic with Jeff Buxton and he talked about "never putting a kid somewhere where he might lose a match because of a coach's choice". In theory that makes perfect sense because "these things should be taught in practice". What Blair Academy's practice room looked like beyond his 1st string and what most school's look like are two different things. Developmental Years and the competitions kids get are the best time to learn the fundamentals of the sport in most cases.

 

Obviously in big matches, you put the kid where he has the best chance to win.

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I think the question here is why aren't DII and DIII HEAD coaches being hired to fill DI HEAD coaching slots. It's pretty obvious why ex-DI wrestlers fill almost all of the assistant coaching positions.

 

Because "good" D2 and D3 coaches aren't always good coaches. When you get D1 guys who didn't quite cut it, either grade wise or skill wise, it's not too hard to outclass the competition. It's a completely different ball game when you consider that for D1 you're actually recruiting the top guys out of high school.

 

Recruiting, recruiting, and recruiting. Names bring in big recruits, period. Cael didn't move to Penn St to hike the Appalachian Trail, unless he knew Nico etal would be out there.

 

Plenty of DI/DII coaches can really coach and do it very well. Opportunity is all that separates them.

Bad DIII/DII coaches are truly "bad" coaches, not "good" ones. The top 10 coaches/programs every year in the DII and DIII are all good coaches very capable of being as successful as most Mid Major schools.

Doing more with less is an attribute any DI school should be looking for when trying to turn things around.

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Plenty of DI/DII coaches can really coach and do it very well. Opportunity is all that separates them.

Bad DIII/DII coaches are truly "bad" coaches, not "good" ones. The top 10 coaches/programs every year in the DII and DIII are all good coaches very capable of being as successful as most Mid Major schools.

Doing more with less is an attribute any DI school should be looking for when trying to turn things around.

 

I agree with you.

 

I would like to see coaches progress in their careers up through the ranks.

 

I do notice that a lot of the top coaches in D2 and D3 are older coaches and it makes me wonder if they are settled in their careers and communities and just won't leave. I have to figure that a lot of these moves would be lateral when it comes to pay and benefits which could be a deterrent for older coaches.

 

Still, I would like to see more young motivated coaches taking over programs and putting in five or six years of hard work and establishing a solid D3 programs, moving to a better D3 or D2 program and doing the same until they get into a Mid Major D1 program and continue working up the ranks.

 

A few recent athletes that I think could do very well going this route would be Troy Nickerson and Steve Fittery. Their name brands would be significant in recruiting at the lower levels (more so the closer to NCAA competition age they are) and I think they could have what it would take to go this route and actually end up accelerating their D1 head coaching careers quicker than going the traditional Assistant coach route. Granted, especially for Nickerson, it would be hard pressed to match the salary as an ISU asst but I could see them still working the summer camp circuits and making good money while building relationships with kids who are not quite D1 talent but still good wrestlers who can be developed and build their programs into powers.

 

Would be fun to see a handful of situations like those play out...

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