The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Dale Anderson
Sports Columnist 

Worst Seat in the House: If I were coach...


Last updated 12/5/2019 at 11:06am

This is the time of year that we hear grumblings about the coach because it is the end of a really bad season; the team didn’t become bowl eligible; lost to their biggest rival or didn’t play up to preseason expectations.

Coaches lost their jobs over the weekend because of these reasons. There are several other coaches that kept their job after having a bad season because they have proven themselves over time as doing a great job. Athletic Directors will look at their head coach after a down year and ask why? They may have lost several games by less than a field goal which keeps them from a good paying bowl game. They did it with a new QB because the starter from a year ago did the graduate transfer thing and went to a big name school.

A team like Stanford lost a bunch of players because of injuries and had a patchwork line of freshmen and sophomores and a backup QB. The team only won four games so let’s get rid of the coach may become the battle cry. Stanford looks at their coach and realized that you can’t replace a guy like David Shaw. Besides, Shaw had opportunities to go to greener pastures so to speak but his loyalties are to the Cardinal. A year like this is not the norm and Shaw is too good of a coach for it to happen two years in a row.

Coaches have a tendency to not talk about injuries like they used to. Because of the HIPAA laws medical information is not generally available to the public unless the injured party says it’s okay. Coaches don’t want to let their counterparts know what is wrong with their QB, RB, receiver or cornerback is having issues with. So no one seems to know why the stud running back is in street clothes or why the backup QB is now in the game.

There was a time when you could see what the trainer was working on when the big lineman was helped off of the field. Now they have a medical tent that they are taken into to find out how severe the injury is. Why do I mention this? Well, years ago a coach would go to the microphone after the game was over and they would tell the world that Johnny All-American had torn an ACL or broke an ankle. Now that info is kept under wraps by saying that the QB has been dealing with a few dings and will hopefully be back in a few weeks.

A coaching staff needs to keep kids healthy, out of trouble and do their best to develop that talent that they recruited. There are some kids that were great high school players and didn’t get a lot better during their college days for a number of different reasons.

Others kids are raw and enthusiastic and get better the longer they play. They found their niche and work hard to maximize the opportunity. These kids make coaching worthwhile. It is so much fun to see a kid work hard each day and do their best to make the kind of strides to become a great player and somebody that can be counted on the never take a play off.

When it comes to the college recruiting the major winning programs usually get the best talent whereas the teams that have struggled has to take lesser talented players and they need to be developed in order for the team to have success. Once the team has that break out year then the big name schools come calling and want that coach to do the same thing at their college. Now it goes from being a developer of talent and build a program to this is a golden opportunity and the money they are offering is unreal. A coach may never have that type of opportunity again so they choose a big payday over loving what they are doing for young athletes.

The pressure to succeed is great and the local news outlets can certainly let the world know that maybe you weren’t the right choice to lead the U or State or Tech or A&M athletics, even though the writer may have been cut from the high school team.

Coaching is not easy for sure at any level. Success doesn’t necessarily make one great and failing doesn’t mean that they are bad. I’ve seen coaches win with average players and others lose with unbelievable talent. It certainly isn’t an exact science.


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