To be consistently successful, you must hire, teach, develop, and trust the right people. Show me a good football program on any level, and I’ll show you a good coaching staff. To build a solid foundation, you must have a strong coaching staff.
When I was hired, one of the first things I asked for was the authority to hire my coaches. I didn’t want the school board giving me coaches I didn’t want. Many coaches are politically appointed and forced on the head coach. Berwick High School allowed me to pick my coaches. I immediately began interviews, background reference checks, and meetings to pick my staff.
I expect my coaches to observe 10 commandments. First, treat the coaching staff with respect, dignity, and professionalism. They’re adults, not kids. Motivate them, don’t agitate them. Educate them, don’t demean them. Set goals with them, not by yourself. Involve them. Use their energy (five is better than one) and their strengths. Listen to their suggestions. Don’t blow them off or they’ll never offer you their true feelings. Be honest and up front, not phony. Make them feel worthwhile.
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Second, treat every youngster as if he were your own. Motivate players. Get in their heads. Get everything you can out of them. Teach them, don’t holler at them. Tear them down only to build them up again. Discipline them, set your rules, and don’t compromise. Be consistent, not wishy-washy. Be honest with players even if it seems unfair. Be fair. Communicate often and well with your players; let them know where they stand. Get maximum effort by setting goals. Make them all feel worthwhile and important.
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Third, cooperate with administrators, teachers, and other supporters. Be enthusiastic about all phases of the educational programs within the school. Support all programs. Perform all administrative directives with enthusiasm. Work closely with the faculty. Make the maintenance staff feel as if they’re part of your program; get them on your side.
Finally, lead by example. Work hard and live right. I want my assistants to know what I expect of them. They know from day one what coaching in Berwick is all about. It’s not about money and prestige, although both come with the job. It’s about commitment, loyalty, trust, and teaching youngsters to meet their full potential.