In February 2014, The Huntingtonian reported that President Emberton and the athletic department had decided to move toward hiring more full-time coaches. Essentially, this would mean that instead of balancing full-time jobs outside HU in addition to their coaching jobs, coaches would be employed solely by the university, with coaching serving as a portion of their responsibilities.
As a student athlete, I am in complete support of this effort because I think it could only make our teams better. I have been lucky enough to have both a full-time head coach and a full-time assistant coach during my two years so far on the women’s basketball team. Coach Culler works as athletic director, while Coach Green works in the ERC and as sports information director.
Having my coaches on campus has been extremely convenient for me. There have been many times that I’ll stop by both of my coaches’ offices, either to ask a question or for advice. Having a coach whose job and coaching is connected seems like a natural way to create a pattern for student athletes, whose studies and sport are continually interacting.
A full-time coach and player can more easily build a relationship off the court or field, which helps with overall team chemistry. I think that this capability, without question, gives coaches an upper hand in getting to know their players on a personal level. It makes interactions more typical and therefore more natural. It’s also a comfort, as a student away from home, to know you have an adult that cares for you so close to you each day.
I think that having full-time coaches could also help with the recruiting process. With an office and day job already on campus, coaches can more easily meet with recruits and their families. I think that full-time coaching could also act as a recruitment tactic. What parent wouldn’t like the idea of having a coach consistently available on campus to walk alongside his or her son or daughter?
I don’t intend to communicate that I think part-time coaches are sub-par. I think that there are many coaches that manage outside jobs both at HU and elsewhere that generate success on the court and create close relationships with their players. I just think making these coaches full-time would make that process simpler.
Lastly, being full-time would eliminate some of the stress part-time coaches likely feel. Being full-time means a drive across campus instead of a half-hour commute. It means the ability to hold impromptu meetings with players.
Simply said, I believe hiring full-time coaches would make their jobs easier and be both more efficient and effective.
Gina Eisenhut is a sophomore journalism and public relations major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column reflects the opinion of the writer only.