Musings Of A Hoopster Looks at Coaches…Hired to be FIRED

Musings of a Hoopster

Shawn Martin




Through the tremendous efforts and sacrifices of athletic administrators, coaches, trainers, and players, we have reached the end of season tournaments in high school and college basketball!

Usually an athletic director’s toughest job – especially a high school AD – is managing a short but unpredictable spring sports schedule, where just as many game dates are moved than actually play according to the original schedule due to weather.

Over the last seven to eight months, the AD’s have had to deal with spring sport problems on steroids!

Job well done to those men and women AD’s and their staffs charged with getting as many games in as possible, and managing an always fluid and unpredictable situation that could – and did sometimes – change by the hour. To the coaches and players who have dealt with unprecedented issues and interruptions to their seasons and kept their focus and showed up and played when they had the chance – tremendous jobs! Trainers who not only treated pulled muscles and sprained ankles, but also monitored tempatures and testing protocols as well as contact tracing.

Thousands of people across the spectrum of all sports doing things that 12 short months ago would have been unimaginable.

You all came together and made it happen!

Nothing that they will ever face in the lives they have moving forward will be as challenging as what they have just survived through.

Congratulations! Enjoy the reward of playing in the tournaments!

As seasons progress toward conclusion, another season begins.

Coaching changes are a part of sports. There are retirements and firings. Each of those opens opportunities for others to change jobs which in turn, opens more jobs up. It’s a natural and consistent process each spring in basketball. has tracked Indiana High School head coaching changes annually with their Coaching Rumor Mill section since 1998.

In those 23 years, head coaching changes have ranged from 125 to 197. The average number of changes per year is 154.5. That is both boys and girls coaches combined. Roughly speaking, there are around 800 of these head coaching jobs each season – so almost one in five coaching jobs change every single year.

Unlike with former IU coach Archie Miller, none of these high school coaches relieved of their coaching duties in the coming weeks will get a $10 million dollar golden parachute. They won’t even get a dime.

Change is needed sometimes. There are times where personalities just aren’t right, styles don’t mesh, or things get stale.

Even at the high school level, it is a results oriented business. With class basketball, the pressure to win is everywhere now. Every school board and fan base thinks they should win a sectional every year. At minimum.

I’ve been through three somewhat unceremonious coaching changes as an assistant to a head coach who was not retained. They aren’t fun.

So yes, change is part of the gig sometimes. Sometimes it is needed and warranted.

Just remember though, that high school coach that you may not have liked the way he coached defense, ran his offense, substituted, or played your son or daughter, is a person that works 16 hour days for five months for way less than minimum wage (for their coaching stipend) and care just as much about winning and your kid as you do.

They don’t live in gated communities with secretaries and staffs to keep distance from people who have issues with their coaching. The high school coaches have to go to the grocery to get milk and bread just like you do. They can’t avoid trouble. They live in your neighborhoods.

So as this process goes on over the next few months, keep in mind, that coach you don’t like and are glad the AD FINALLY grew a pair and got rid of so we can get a good coach, is probably a father or a mother, a good teacher – their real job – and the most important person in the world of their children and spouse. You wouldn’t accept someone chastising you about your job in front of your kids would you. So be respectful when you see these people out in your daily lives. They didn’t intentionally screw your kid out of a scholarship.

They are I’m sure, sorry they didn’t properly showcase your 5-8 post player who they had coming off the bench for a 5-18 team.

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