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  • Writer's pictureMatt Kramer

Job Hunting Season: An Opportunity of a Lifetime or a Gateway to Getting Fired.



5 Signs The Job is a Career Minefield:


1. The AD is forever interviewing for head coaching positions in the key sports. (Do the research)

~An AD who fires like Dirty Harry is likely to tell you one thing today and something very different the first time your program confronts a little adversity. Listen to him or her when you interview. It will be in his language. If it feels like he is blaming all of the programs struggles on the former coach, he will be blaming you in about 18 months. If you here this, and you still really want the opportunity, make sure there is enough talent in the upper classes RIGHT NOW to impact the record at the varsity level. If there's not, keep hunting!


2. High administrative turnover rate.

~The people who hire you are the only ones who have any stake in you. If you know the AD, principal, etc, are highly likely to be gone in a year or two, you're playing Russian roulette with your career by accepting the job.


3. Lack of essential facilities---like a locker room area.

~No locker room means there was absolutely no culture under the previous head coach. In and of itself, this isn't a deal breaker. But I'd strongly urge any candidate to ask if building a locker room would be possible, and anything short of a resounding "yes" would be a deal breaker. It's very tough to build culture--I'd say impossible--without a place the players and staff can call home.


4. Too many "experts" in the interview.

~If there's more than 4 people in the interview, there's no way they will all agree on the hire--especially if every one of them reveals a different opinion about what needs to be addressed to "fix" the program.


5. Very poor sub-varsity teams, grades 8-9-JV.

~In today's climate, you're getting 3 years tops to show progress; 2 is more likely. So, I'd say it's probably even more important that the sophomores and freshmen have a reasonable level of talent because two bad years means you're highly unlikely to get a third. Research this vigilantly!


Looking forward to seeing comments, additions to the list, and anything else that goes along with the job hunting season from The 98% Club!

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4 Comments


johnswetye
Apr 18, 2023

You're right, again! Also, I asked about having a designated locker room for the team. They nixed the idea. Another red flag that it was the wrong job.

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Matt Kramer
Matt Kramer
Apr 18, 2023
Replying to

I talked about the importance of a locker room last night on a podcast with "A Pen and a Napkin". Every administration says they want a coach / leader to set a positive culture, to build relationships with players that go beyond the hardwood, and mentor them. That really can't happen, not really, without a team room that is sacred ground for the players and coaches.


When I took the job at Milton in Georgia, that program had won two state titles in 4 years and finished runner up the other two. It had been a nationally ranked program loaded with high major college players. (Of course the fact that it was a public school in a town that h…


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johnswetye
Mar 28, 2023

Excellent points! I interviewed for a job 2 seasons ago. There were three or four people interviewing me -- the AD, one or two other administrators, and the captain of the team. Items 3, 4, and 5 from your list applied. Not certain of the first two. During the interview I presented a lot of the ideas from your first book and kept a lot of those tips in mind. I felt like I had the job and nailed every question they threw at me. But then the AD ghosted me after the interview, even though I knew the he was very interested in what I was saying during the interview. I waited a few weeks and followed up …

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Matt Kramer
Matt Kramer
Mar 29, 2023
Replying to

These are all very interesting points, and you have actually kind of given an example of what I mean. There were too many different parties represented in that room. On the surface, having a player in the interview might seem like a good idea, but we are talking about a 16, 17, 18 year old kid here. I don't care how "special" a kid we are talking about, "kid" is still the operative word. And I don't believe any kid is ready to make a decision that will one way or the other affect a generation of student-athletes at a school.


Case in point, the wrong choice was made; a coach was hired who either quit or was fired a…


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