Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The importance of staff continuity

At Maryland, Gary Williams' Terrapins have lost four of six, including a nationally-televised 41-point loss to Duke on Saturday.

In searching for answers, this article touches on the value of keeping a staff together over many years.

Before leaving for other coaching opportunities, Jimmy Patsos, Billy Hahn, and Dave Dickerson had been with Coach Williams for 13, 12, and nine years, respectively, which helped to solidify the program's cohesiveness.

According to Coach Hahn, now an assistant at WVU, when longtime assistants leave, it takes time to recreate the chemistry.

"When you can keep a staff together for a long time, there is continuity and everybody knows their roles and their strengths and weaknesses. I think staff continuity is very important. If you see turnovers in staffs, you usually see a drop-off. Duke had a drop-off when they lost Mike Brey and Quin Snyder."

As a side note, one AAU coach quoted in the article contends that head coaches must play a more active role in recruiting today than in the past instead of delegating to his assistants.

"Once upon a time, you could rely on your assistants going out and building relationships. Today, [kids] want to have a relationship with a head coach who is calling the shots."