Advancing from Position Coach to Head Coach

7 min read
Objective: To provide a step-by-step guide for position coaches aiming to advance to the role of head coach, focusing on developing the necessary skills and mindset for success. Key Steps: Embrace the CEO Mindset: Understand that transitioning from a position…

To provide a step-by-step guide for position coaches aiming to advance to the role of head coach, focusing on developing the necessary skills and mindset for success.

Key Steps:
Embrace the CEO Mindset:
Understand that transitioning from a position coach to a head coach requires a shift in focus from individual player development to overseeing the entire program.
Aim to be a strategic leader rather than just a play-caller.
Gain Experience in Leadership Roles:
Take on responsibilities beyond coaching, such as managing a group of coaches or leading recruiting efforts.
Develop a broader understanding of team strategy and management.
Acquire Business Administration Skills:
Familiarize yourself with the financial aspects and operational details of running a program.
Consider pursuing training or education in business administration to enhance your managerial skills.
Cultivate resilience and positivity.
When faced with adversity or rejection, maintain a creative and positive attitude.
Learn from failures and strive to improve continuously, rather than getting discouraged.
Focus on Personal Authenticity:
Be true to yourself and avoid trying to emulate others.
Authenticity is valued by athletic directors and fosters genuine connections with others.

Cautionary Notes:
Transitioning to a head coach role without prior coordinator experience may require additional effort and learning.
Rejection and setbacks are common in the journey to becoming a head coach; resilience and perseverance are key.
Tips for Efficiency:
Stay positive and creative in the face of challenges.
Embrace failure as a learning opportunity and strive to improve continuously.
Be authentic in your interactions and leadership style to build trust and credibility.
By following these steps and maintaining a positive and authentic approach, position coaches can increase their chances of successfully transitioning to a head coaching role.
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I want biggest thing when you're a Position Coach man is that people are Going to tell you that you cannot be a Head coach without being a coordinator Uh without being a uh without being Someone who's had play calling Experiences and and I get it I do but to Me that that wasn't my desire I never Had the desire to call plays uh I never Had the desire to to sit up top and and Look down and make the adjustments from That standpoint uh to me I wanted to be The CEO of a program and I I want to Talk on this so so is Kenny Burns brings Up he's the second year head coach at Kent State he's also had some Interesting takes on recruiting um his Philosophy is that being a CEO you don't Need to go through every single step Meaning you could be a position coach And become a head coach and and that's Been true in some instances Recently um that guys have gotten head Coaching jobs it's the jury still out uh And I think it's going to take some Years whether that can be successful and And reason why I bring it up is um The paths that have given you the Ability to be successful is if you are In charge of a few people at a position That's one thing and a strategy and Those kind of things if you're charge of An area for recruiting that's one thing When you're charge of of as a

Coordinator you're not just in charge of Players but you're also in charge of a Larger group of men as well so and Players and your strategy is limited to Maybe one side of the bow but your Strategy Is a little bit larger than it is as a Position coach so it starts to get you Thinking about what it takes to be Successful for the whole entire team the Jump from position coach to head coach Is an interesting one because uh head Coach is in charge of the whole program And how do you learn those th those Things as a head coach without being a Coordinator where you have to manage More and more people it's kind of a step Process um and we're talking about Jumping a step in order to become CEO I Think it can work but you need to have Some MBA level experience so MBA meaning Master's business administration you've Got to understand all the things going To the program you've got to understand The details of the program you got to Understand the financials of the program And there's some training that has to be Done there uh in order to be able to to Give you an opportunity to do that and That might involve being on the other Side of it on on the player Personnel Side alongside being a position coach to Give you a better skill set um but it' Be interesting to see what what happens

Here let's listen to the rest of this I think you don't have to be a Coordinator to do that there's tons of People who are out there who were uh Position coaches that went to this role Uh the one piece of advice I give Everyone and I called them my big three Uh when you're trying to make that Journey from a position coach uh you've Got it when adversity hits first be Creative and positive uh people are Going to tell you know like I said you Got to get creative with how you go About that journey and then you got to Stay positive you're gonna get told no Way before you get told yes Carl could Tell you I was denied 12 head coaching Jobs before I finally got one and uh I Just kept going and getting creative and Finding a school that I fit with my Culture fit with what I wanted to build Fit and and I found that here at kid State the second thing I tell everybody Is listen when you're told no be better Not bitter uh for some reason we I love This right here so I think he does have Some really good skill sets be better Not bitter that's a great point so You're going to have a lot of failure Along the way um and one of the things That a lot of people do when they get Told no is they get upset which is Understandable um but they let it take Him down instead of you might be annoyed

You might be mad but then moving forward I think Kenny Burns has some really good Points here um moving forward being Positive posit you know what you want to Have as your outcome if you're positive About that's going to give you the best Opportunity don't be upset when Adversity hits and uh don't be upset at Least long term and figure out the best Way to work so he talks about that we Don't get what we want we find a way to Be be better and and we get down and out On oursel uh we turn that to people get Mad at them for not hiring us get mad at People for not helping us uh don't don't Do that be better find a way you can be Better in the circumstance next that's Coming and then the last thing I always Say to everybody is be you be you don't Be anybody else but yourself I think ads Can read through people being fake I Think they want a genuine person and I'm Not you know I always talk about PJ Fleck who's one of my mentors I'm not Him he never wanted me to be him or Forced me to be him he tried to help me Be the best version of myself and I I Think that's a part part as we talked About that NBA portion having PJ Fleck Craig Bow um as as mentors are Definitely huge helps uh for Kenny Birds Now obviously we'll see how it Translates into his own management Skills of the team and development uh

And the building of the team but I think Uh you know being genuine on what you're Doing and your approach everything is Obviously going give you a good chance For Success uh I'm curious to see what Happens here at Kent State Kent State's Always been a very difficult place to Win some guys have one there um so it's Really going to take great effort in a New area of transfer portal

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