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I spent my twenties on the coaching rollercoaster, scratching from being the freshman coach at Foothill High School (Santa Ana, CA) to being an assistant at an NCAA Division-I university, UC Irvine. And it was hard. Really hard. I guess you’re supposed to spend that time of your life trying all the crazy things you dream about. I spent mine focused on the one crazy thing I dreamt about. Turns out, your dreams sometimes become your nightmares. The Game has always been rough on me. I thought it was because maybe, one day I’d find something incredible in it.
The coaching profession has to be one of the most ludicrous professions in the world. Here’s a party of the merry-go-round that I was discussing with a friend of mine: I’ll use University A (UA), University B (UB), University C (UC), etc. to avoid using real institutions. My buddy currently coaches at UA, but he wants out for a number of reasons. He’s tried to get involved at a number of institutions, including UB and UC, who’ve just recently hired new head coaches. He even tried to get involved in some other jobs a little farther away, but those were closed since their new head coaches already had their staffs set. UB hired an assistant from high-profile UD, but UB’s new coach filled his three staff spots with a coach from UC, held a coach over from UB’s previous staff, and hired a former player for the third. UC hired a coach from high-profile UE, who then filled his staff with a coach from UB who lost his job, a coach from UF, and a former player for his other spot. So that closes those jobs to my friend at UA. However, because UF is open, he decided to try for that. Meanwhile, I have other friends who were also looking for jobs at UC, UF and another institution with a new staff at UG. By the way, a coach at local university UH just went to semi-high profile UI, so his job is open, but I think it was filled with a coach from Junior College A…
Confused? That ain’t the half of it. Every job opening creates opportunities, but what we forget is that every job opening means there are more people out of jobs who are looking to get back in. That doesn’t include the hundreds of other aspiring coaches, directors of operations, video coordinators and managers who want to get involved, too. And a lot of it works with behind-the-scenes networking, recommendations, long hours, and just plain ol’ luck. It’s tough on your own, and even tougher with a family.
So, I’m out. Done. I miss it when I watch the NCAA Tournament and the NBA playoffs (especially the Suns, Spurs, Jazz or Bulls) or when I’m out on a court (which is rare), but I’m enjoying my time with my family and my thoughts. I won’t deny that it disappoints me that I’ll never have my “One Shining Moment” and that when I think about it, I feel a little empty, but that’s another story.
*Here’s my issue to this story: it’s part of a much more convoluted story and train of thought, but I wanted to write some of it and get it out so that it wouldn’t just sit on my computer. I started it over a month ago, and basically, that’s what it’s done – just sat there. So… this was the little bit that I could close off and print. Maybe I’ll get back to it, maybe I won’t, but at least this much is off my mind.