Often at the end of the college season of any sport, you will see some coaching changes. College coaches are held to a standard by each of their athletic directors. The head coach needs to produce not only athletically, but also academically. Coaches are held accountable for the actions of their athletes while representing the university on and off the field. Usually all head coaches and assistants are evaluated at the end of the season and there are a variety of reasons for staff movement.
The most difficult changes can be the head coaches, especially when a coach gets fired. The unexpected jolt it can bring to a team can be tough at first. Now in some cases the team may need a change and see it as a good thing, but usually there are very different sets of opinions if you were to ask each athlete or staff member. So, how does coaching changes affect recruiting and the dynamics of the current team?
Lets say you are being recruited by a school that just had a head coaching change and you have not signed a National Of Intent yet. I recommend you call the university and talk to the athletic director to find out what the protocol will be in regards to your verbal commitment. Will they be honoring all the verbals? Will you want to look at other options depending on who they hire? How long do they plan to take for the new hiring of the head coach?
Typically, someone from the coaching staff will have a meeting with the current student athletes and call all the recruits to give them as much information as possible in regards to the situation. Each university will handle it a bit differently. Walk-on’s typically will be re evaluated after the new head coach arrives.
The current scholarship athletes of the team will often stay the same for the first year of the new hire. Sometimes scholarship athletes will ask for a release because of the staff changes, so as you can see this is never an easy transition for all involved. Once the new head coach is hired things typically get moving quickly and start falling l into place. No program is immune to change, whether it is coaches or teammates, change is inevitable each season.
When the new staff is in place a new culture will be established. At that point it is very important to have a positive and open attitude. Try to see the change as a new opportunity for you to grow and develop. Give it some time and it may surprise you that it might be exactly what was needed.
Jill Hicks Consulting is an advising business for athletes and parents who would like help navigating the college recruiting process. You can contact her by going to www.jhicksconsulting.com look for the “Get Started” page and fill out the forms or you can call for a FREE consultation